People regularly join our forums seeking medical advice on a sick pet they can't afford veterinary care for. Unfortunately, nobody online, not even veterinarians can safely diagnose a sick pet via the Internet. The only way to obtain proper medical care is to see a veterinarian. But what does the pet owner do if they don't have the funds for a vet visit?
The best piece of advice is to be prepared for the fact that at some point in time, your cat will need medical care from a veterinarian. There are several ways to be prepared for the unexpected.
- Take out pet health insurance.
- Have an 'emergency' credit card which is only for medical emergencies.
- Put away a small amount of money every week into a separate 'pet' fund.
Prevention is better than cure:
Certainly, preventing your cat getting sick or injured is the best way to avoid expensive veterinary bills. This includes:
- Vaccinating your cat.
- Keeping it either indoors or providing it with an enclosure. Cats allowed to roam wherever they choose are vulnerable to cars, dogs, and exposure to disease from wildlife and or other cats in the area.
If you need help now and don't have the funds:
- Contact veterinary practices in your area and see if they will permit you to pay off the account week by week.
- Ask friends and relatives if they will give you a loan.
- Look around the house to see if you can sell anything.
- If you have a credit card, ask the bank if you can increase your limit temporarily.
- Phone around local shelters and ask if they offer or know of anybody who helps with veterinary fees.
- Ask your employer if you can have a temporary loan.
If you do either obtain a loan from a friend or relative or find a veterinarian who gives you credit, do ensure you pay them back in a prompt manner. Just remember, your veterinarian is providing credit in good faith and it is your responsibility to ensure that the account is paid in full. Some veterinarians will not provide accounts due to people failing to pay accounts in the past.
The worst thing you can do is nothing. If your cat is sick, then it needs veterinary care. To do nothing is cruel and prolongs suffering in your pet