A recent question sent in for my CatChannel cat behavior column alarmed me. This question, along with (only a few, thankfully) others, inspired this week’s column.
The question involved a kitten who, after receiving an acute life-threatening physical injury, was not examined by a veterinarian. Three days later, the kitten, in obvious distress and pain, still had not received the medical attention she urgently needed. There is no excuse for this. In my book, this is extreme abuse.
Living with cats and kittens is a responsibility. Do not adopt a cat if you cannot keep the cat safe and provide the cat quality food, clean water, clean litterbox and regular veterinarian care; and, whenever the cat is in distress, suffering, has been hurt, has sudden changes in behavior or acute medical problems, a veterinarian must immediately examine the cat. This is not negotiable.
Assistance for Vet Payments
I realize that everyone’s situation is different. Thanks to the internet, we have readers throughout the world — some in areas with a wide choice of skilled veterinarians, others in more challenging ones.
A more common reason people do not take their cats to the veterinarian is the cost. Although vet care can be expensive, this is not a legitimate reason for not having cats evaluated by veterinarians. Resources are available to help people with financial challenges pay their vet bills.
These agencies provide a much needed service — especially in today’s economy. Additionally, I know that they appreciate and need donations. At the end of this column I’ve listed agencies for those who need help with the costs of vet care and for those who can donate.
In addition to the regular vet checkups, cats need veterinary care in a number of circumstances. These include serious injury, sickness and sudden changes in behavior. If needed, your veterinarian and Dr. Arnold Plotnick, our CatChannel veterinary expert, can outline symptoms of injury and disease that need immediate veterinary intervention.
Be responsible and take great care of your cats and kittens. For those of you with financial challenges please review the list of resources below that was compiled by a fellow cat lover (click on the group names to go to their websites):
American Animal Hospital Association
“Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship.”
Angels 4 Animals
“Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need.”
“A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.”
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
“Seniors, people with disabilities, people who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten — any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.”
The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.
God’s Creatures Ministry
“This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help.”
“Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
“We are dedicated to ensure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.”
The Pet Fund
“The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care.”
You can also ask your veterinarian if they will accept payment installments. Next week’s column will be the usual question/answer format.