Australia is home to more than 29 million pets, making it a country with one of the world’s highest rates of pet ownership. The Animal Health Alliance reports that an estimated 61 percent of households in Australia have pets. With 40 percent of households owning a dog, dogs are the most common pet in Australia, followed by cats at 27 percent (2019).
Dogs and cats are excellent and lovable companions that many pet parents think of as family members. The costs associated with pet ownership—pet food, treats, toys, and accessories—can be expensive. Vet bills from visits to the veterinarian can perhaps be the most costly part of having a cat or dog for pet owners.
Having pet insurance and an illness plan can help pet owners afford their vet bills. Pet insurance plans intend to cover unexpected medical expenses when your cat or dog sustains an injury or illness that needs veterinary or emergency care. Whether your pet is new to your household or they’ve been in your family for some time, buying health insurance for them is necessary and practical for the reasons listed below.
Cats Can Have Unexpected Medical Needs
By nature, cats have a more sedentary lifestyle compared to dogs. Noted for their self-sufficient ways, cats are generally good at handling their grooming and prefer sleeping for most of the day. Contrary to popular belief, cats are at risk of having accidents even if they spend most of their time indoors. For instance, cats can chew up houseplants, some of which could be toxic to ingest. Furthermore, your cat could attempt to jump from a height and miss, falling and hurting themselves. Other unexpected conditions a cat could incur that would require medical and veterinary attention include ear infections and digestive upsets. Pet insurance policies can be more than helpful when a cat needs an emergency visit to the vet.
Your Cat Could Develop a Medical Condition
Older and younger cats—even if they are otherwise healthy—may be at risk for conditions including ear infections, cystitis, heart disease, and cancer, whether they spend most of their time indoors or outdoors. Having an insurance plan for your cat can come in handy should your cat develop these illnesses and need cancer treatments or other types of medical care.
Pet insurance policies, like other insurance policies, have exclusions. Cat insurance typically doesn’t cover food, grooming, training, dental care, or physiotherapy or chiropractic treatments. Furthermore, most insurers consider pre-existing conditions that your pet may have had ahead of getting insured or during a standard 30-day waiting period, in exclusions.
Dogs may experience common congenital disorders like brachycephalic syndrome, heart disease, and hip dysplasia, which dog insurance is unlikely to cover if they are pre-existing. On the other hand, cats may develop genetic illnesses such as polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, and feline lower urinary tract disease.
Health Insurance Helps With Preventive Care
Pet insurance isn’t only handy at the occurrence of an illness or injury, but it can also help pet owners take preventive health measures. Specific pet insurance plans allow pet owners to get coverage for routine check-ups, vaccinations, and flea and tick medication if they purchase a wellness plan typically offered as an additional policy.
Responsible pet owners should consider protecting their pets with pet health insurance. A medical insurance plan for pets is an essential safeguard against accidents, illnesses, or injuries a four-legged loved one may incur. Pet health insurance can reduce veterinary bills, medical treatment costs, and procedure costs. Depending on the policy, pet insurance can sometimes cover loss and recovery, boarding fees, and holiday cancellation.
To get the best insurance possible for your pet, compare pet coverage options with iSelect.
Factors that affect pet insurance costs and monthly premiums include the coverage plan chosen, the cat’s age, and the owner’s location. iSelect, a reputable online information resource, provides users with facts about coverage options available and the pet insurance companies offering them—making it easy to pick a pet insurer and plan that best suits your finances and your cat’s health.