What Is Your Cat’s Future Worth?

A survey shows that many people regard their cats as family, and have financial plans in place for their future care.

By Cari Jorgensen | Posted: August 12, 2014, 5:00 p.m. EDT

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Many cat parents probably wouldn’t think twice about the amount it costs to make a sick cat well. We may spend $500, or perhaps even more, for the benefit of our cat’s health. And if he outlives us, we hope that whomever we’ve chosen to be his new cat parent will do the same.
Your Cat’s Future
Have you planned for your cat’s future? Via Terry Wild Stock

Some cat parents have thought about their cat’s future care. Some may even have a plan for what will happen to her after they’re gone. Do you?

The Securian Financial Group asked 903 pet parents that very question. Of those, 44% said that when it comes to their pet’s future care, they have a plan, be it formal or informal. For a fifth of those 44%, the plan is financial.

According to American Pet Products Association May 2014 survey, 29% of surveyed pet owners said they would spend $2,000 to $5,000 to save their pet’s life, while 16% said they’d spend $10,000 or more.

What about daily care?

Almost 60% said that they spend up to $1,000 annually on toys, grooming, food and boarding. Some (9%) spend $3,000 or more. Additionally, 75% spend up to $1,000 per year in vet bills, and 18% said they’ve spent at least $2,000 on a single pet-related expense.

This means if your cat lives 10 years, you could potentially be spending upwards of $20,000 throughout her lifetime.

That brings us back to the question: what if our cat outlives us? Of the pet owners surveyed, 11% have formal written plans for their pet if they happen to pass away or become disabled and can no longer care for their pet. These plans involve listing the future caregiver as life insurance beneficiary, increased life insurance to cover their pet’s future care and the purchase of an annuity naming the future caregiver as beneficiary. However, the majority of these pet owners (73%) plan to give cash to the future caregiver.

In my opinion, this shows that more pet owners are believers of the notion that pets are family. People have wills in place with set plans on how they’d like their heirs to be taken care of, whether it is financial or otherwise. Why should it be any different when it comes to our cats?

Read Securian’s survey on financial planning for your cat's future.

Get more information on planning for your cat’s future financially.

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Reader Comments

Jennifer    Morgantown, OH

8/19/2014 10:24:38 AM

I've crafted a living will of sorts for my cat. He's 11 1/2 now, and I know that someday he'll face a serious health problem (as of now, he's never been sick a day in his life). Boiled down, it says we'll treat an illness if it means a relatively full recovery without a lot of pain. If diagnosed with a terminal illness that will involve many miserable days of treatment and only limited quality of life, we'll put him down to spare him the misery.

For us, the big question is this: At what point in our effort to treat a pet's illness does that effort go beyond the animals best interests, and is more reflective of our own, albeit loving, selfishness and pain.

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