Survey Asks How Much Cat Owners Are Willing to Spend on Cat Vet Bills

Kroger survey reveals how high a cost dog and cat owners would pay for medical care.

Posted: September 1, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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A survey found that the medical condition cat owners most fear is kidney disease.  
Approximately one in 10 dog or cat owners is willing to spend more than $3,000 on dog and cat medical procedures if it meant that their pet’s life could be saved, according to a survey released by The Kroger Co. in late August.

Kroger, which offers pet health insurance through an affiliate, polled more than 300 dog and cat owners about pet medical expenditures. While some pet owners were willing to spend more than $3,000 on medical procedures to save Fluffy or Fido, the majority of those polled (61 percent) said they would be willing to spend between $100 and $1,000. Fifteen percent said they are comfortable spending between $1,000 and $3,000 for life-saving medical care for their pet.

“Determining how much we are willing or able to spend to sustain the life of a pet is a decision none of us ever wants to make, but given the rising cost of pet health care, it's often an inevitable one,” said Dr. Jennifer Coates, a Colorado-based veterinarian and author. “Even for young pets, planning ahead and budgeting for the costs of pet health care, including cat and dog insurance, can help you feel more prepared when facing a serious health situation with your pet.”

When asked what they fear most about their pet's well-being, about one in four of dog owners said cancer (27 percent), followed by hip/knee/leg injury (17 percent) and getting hit by a car (16 percent). The biggest concern for cat owners was cat kidney disease (19 percent), cat cancer (17 percent) and injuries sustained by fights with other animals (10 percent).

A small percentage of the pet owners — 4 percent of dog owners and 2 percent of cat owners — said they have pet insurance. However, 61 percent of dog owners and 48 percent of cat owners said they would consider purchasing pet insurance if it costs under $20 per month.

At least half of pet owners (55 percent of dog owners and 51 percent of cat owners) said they would be interested in adding their pets to their own health insurance plans, if such a thing were allowed.
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Survey Asks How Much Cat Owners Are Willing to Spend on Cat Vet Bills

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Teresa    Milton, ON

9/20/2011 8:28:16 PM

Absolutely costs for medical care for pets have increased these last few years considerably. I think that could be one of the reasons, some people have decided to not take their pet into the vets and if they become sick they just let them go by sending them on their way outside and hope they don't come back or worse just neglect them medically because they don't have the money to look after them. It's heart breaking to think people out there love their pets that have the money or don't and because of these vet prices not only the owners lose out getting care for their pets, but the pets suffer also.. It's a disgrace. I do take my pets in once a year for their shots and so far they are both very healthy. I would hate to think someday I wouldn't be able to provide them the adaquate care they may need. I feel for those who do the best they can to love and take care of their pets and would do anything for them if they have the means..

melissia    west liberty, KY

9/5/2011 7:00:49 AM

i don't own a cat but i do have 3 dogs and i just had my bermese mtn dog got sick on me really bad and his final vet bill cost me $732.00.,but he is worth it to me bcuz my 3 furbabies are just like my kids so i would do it for my kids so i would do it for my furbabies too.i love them with all my heart.

Alexa    Toronto, ON

9/5/2011 5:54:26 AM

I agree with the outrageaousness of some vet costs. I have found that if you have a vet school near by, taking animals to their teaching hospital is a good way to keep costs down and still get top medical care. I also insure my cats (which saved me big time a coupe months ago when my cat had a $1200 vet bill). Its great to have insurance if you live in areas where vet costs are reasonable, but I just moved to a big city and my premium went up from $18 a cat to $44 a cat! That totally changes the game...

Samantha    Mission, BC

9/4/2011 6:03:05 PM

It's true that going to the vet costs a lot. If they lowered their prices for some things, I think more people would take the pets to the vet more often.

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