Thinking (more seriously) About Health Insurance for the Pets


One of my young cats is sick. Last Friday, I noticed he was just being unusually subdued – particularly in relation to his littermate sister, who was bouncing around the kitchen and harassing/trying to engage the dogs in play. I picked up the quiet one-year-old cat and held him a while, feeling him all over for lumps or bumps or wounds of any kind. I didn’t find any, but I did notice that under his longish coat, he was a lot thinner than his short-haired sister. And did he feel a little warm? I called the vet and made an appointment.

Aside from a low fever, the vet couldn’t find anything specific. He took a blood sample and sent it out to test everything and sent me home with some antibiotics to give the cat, on the premise that he had some sort of infection that was causing the fever. Total cost: $230, and we have no idea of what’s wrong, but the test results and the cat’s response to antibiotics should tell us more.

An acquaintance’s dog was diagnosed with cancer only because she insisted on radiographs taken at an annual wellness examination of that seemingly perfectly healthy dog. This dog has been undergoing chemotherapy, which seems to have – at least for now – completely arrested and thwarted the cancer. The dog’s owner can’t say enough nice things about her pets’ health insurance. And I’ve been thinking about that ever since I read about her travails with her dog.

I wouldn’t DREAM of going without health insurance myself, or having a child without health insurance. But while I’ve been thinking about getting health insurance for Otto ever since I got him almost four years ago, I haven’t actually done it yet. With two cats and now apparently two dogs (Otto plus niece’s dog Tito, who doesn’t seem to be going anywhere), a couple of illnesses or accidents and a major health intervention for any of these animals would be quite a burden. On the other hand, it might be quite a burden to insure four animals.

I’m going to get some quotes today – and I’ll share what I’ve found with you later this week.

What about you? Do you have health insurance for some or all of your pets? How many? How much do you pay? Has it been worth it?