Being a responsible cat parent takes a great deal of commitment. Caring for a cat isn’t just about supplying her with food and shelter – it’s typically a 15 to 20-year commitment! Not only does your kitty need daily time and attention, you’ll need to provide regular veterinary care, have her vaccinated, and provide medical care should she become ill or injured.
Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do that will help your cat live a healthier, happier life – and help you cut the costly vet bills – without sacrificing your feline friend’s well-being! Here are 8 things you can do to save money at the vet:
Have your cat spayed or neutered.
Severe medical conditions, like testicular and breast cancer, uterine cancer and pyometra can be all but eliminated by simply having your cat altered. As if that weren’t reason enough, a cat that’s intact might have the urge to wander off and could potentially get into a fight, be hit by a car, or become pregnant – and that means the added expense of an accidental litter of kittens! Many communities have groups that offer low and no-cost spay and neuter programs, so check around!
Cat-proof your house.
Protect your kitty from household hazards by storing medications safely out of your cat’s reach, keeping chemicals and cleaners safely put away in cabinets secured with child-safety locks, and protecting your cords from curious chewers. Remember, also, to keep toxic plants out of your home. Instead, opt for plants that are safe if your cat decides to snack on them.
Stay up-to-date on vaccines and other preventatives.
Get your cat vaccinated, or titer-tested, to be sure she’s fully protected. Also, never wait until your kitty is ill or infested with parasites. Keep her free from fleas and ticks and, if you’re in an area with a lot of mosquitoes, talk to your vet about heartworm prevention. Chances are, you can find an organization in your community that offers vaccinations at a reduced rate, too!
Practice good hygiene.
Groom your cat and trim his nails on a regular basis. Get him used to nail trimming when he’s a kitten by handling his paws and nail trimming will be a breeze for both of you! Brush your cat’s teeth regularly – using toothpaste made specifically for cats– if he’ll let you – or use a dental cleaning additive like PlaqueOff to keep him from developing plaque and gum disease, which can lead to serious illness later in life.
Provide a high-quality diet and adequate exercise.
Did you know more than half the cats in the US are overweight or obese? Obesity often leads to serious conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. So, keep your cat at her ideal weight by providing a high-quality, species-appropriate diet. Then, give her lots of mental and physical stimulation. Keep your cat busy with interactive toys and brain teasers for cats that are sure to help keep your kitty’s body and mind in tip-top shape!
Make a commitment to have your cat seen every year by your veterinarian.
Even if he appears perfectly healthy, having a thorough checkup by the vet will help detect any issues early. Early detection is the key to less costly treatment and – most importantly – better prognosis for your feline friend!
Ask the vet how you can save!
Many clinics these days offer discounts and package deals for their clients. If your pet needs to be medicated, ask about free drug samples or lower price options. Often times, it’s less expensive to fill a prescription at a pharmacy or online rather than to have your vet fill it in his office.
Never leave your vet’s office without having a clear picture of your cat’s health.
Especially if you are dealing with a chronic or costly medical issue, you should know in advance what to expect in terms of treatment so that you can begin to budget accordingly and explore other options that might be more affordable.
What other tips do you have for saving money at the vet? Tell us! And if you found this article helpful, pin it!