Top 10 Cat Vet Costs

See why new cat parents often pay $1,300 at the vet and how much more we spend on vets than we used to.

By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: May 29, 2014, 12 p.m. EDT

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Maine Coon Cat with Outstretched Paw
Off to the vet. Not the best way for a cat to roll in a car, but we won't judge in an emergency. Courage and Terry Meyers
Rubber bands and cats: Natural enemies you never suspected. 

Dog and cat owners will spend $15.25 billion on vet care in 2014, according to American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates. That’s up 6% over last year.

How does that add up, you ask? PetFirst dog and cat insurance provider crunched the numbers to see the highest cost procedures at the veterinarian’s office. The company analyzed policyholder claims from 2013 and found the average vet cost for common dog and cat health concerns.

Check out the Top 10 dog and cat illness or injury vet care costs:
•    Foreign body ingestion $1,286
•    Pneumonia $960
•    Parvovirus $911
•    Chemical ingestion $702
•    Tooth abscess $431
•    Sinus infection $395
•    Gastritis $385
•    Urinary tract infection $295
•    Sprain $267
•    Laceration $227
•    Ear infection $149

Vet prices have nearly doubled over the past 10 years in the United States.  Dog and cat parents spent $8.3 billion in 2004 and $14.37 billion in 2013.

Dogs or cats who eat the inedible (foreign body ingestion), such as rubber bands, are frequent guests at the vet’s office, mostly accompanied by new pet parents. It usually racks up around $1,300 per visit, ending the honeymoon period with your new cat quickly.

Company reps say they’ve seen claims for pets eating string, rocks, feminine hygiene products, clothes, coins and even razorblades. Says one: "You name it, a pet has most likely eaten it.”

Would you consider cat insurance to help with these costs?

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Reader Comments

Hannah    International

6/18/2014 2:54:28 PM

To Jody from AZ. I'm a vet nurse in Australia and yes I work for those places who charge 'criminal' amounts for our services and time. How ignorant is your comment?
Our prices are reasonable given how low profit margins can be. And when you think about how many times people just like me have to wake up at 10:00 pm, 12:00 am, 2:00am and 4:00am to go out into the cold night to check on our sick patients and we don't get paid/charge owners for our time? I know that Australian veterinary care is different to the US system but your comment shows that you have no respect for your veterinary team.
I spend 1/3 of my monthly paycheck on medication for my dogs. I can't really afford it because, guess what, my pay is tiny. Especially compared to the human sector who get paid by my taxes.
But I don't complain that the big pharmaceutical companies are making a grab for my money. Because without them, my dogs wouldn't be alive.
Don't have pets if you don't like the costs.

Kathleen    Woodside, NY

6/3/2014 10:00:42 PM

It's a good chart for comparing plans. However, it serves only to highlight my current dilemma. As I consider myself a responsible as well as a loving animal parent,and given that I'm now an informed animal lover, I'm torn between my desire to adopt a new (rescue) cat and the knowledge that I haven't the means to pay for vet care. Sadly, I'm sure I'm not alone.

Kathleen    Woodside, NY

6/3/2014 9:59:40 PM

It's a good chart for comparing plans. However, it serves only to highlight my current dilemma. As I consider myself a responsible as well as a loving animal parent,and given that I'm now an informed animal lover, I'm torn between my desire to adopt a new (rescue) cat and the knowledge that I haven't the means to pay for vet care. Sadly, I'm sure I'm not alone.

Jody    Phoenix, AZ

6/2/2014 10:49:47 PM

I think it's criminal what a vet charges for services. It allows pets to die because their parents don't have the money, and it keep pet owners from getting the necessary vaccines. Put a lid on it!

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