Cat health care on a budget
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention
Most disease takes a long time to develop to a point where your cat begins to show signs of illness. When it does, the vet bills can be extraordinarily expensive. It is ONLY through prevention that you will be able to greatly reduce the potential of life threatening illnesses, and subsequently, your vet bills. Sadly, and solely through lack of knowledge, many cat owners are financially forced to put their companion down.
Can You Afford to Skip the Annual Exam?
A veterinary exam can only assess your cat's health at the time of the exam, plus cat's hide their illness as a defense mechanism. Chronic illnesses and disease typically develop out of view, deep within the gastrointestinal and immune systems, making them almost impossible to detect, even with expensive testing. The best approach is to watch your cat for signs like a change in energy, or behavior.
When budgeting for a routine checkup, be aware that the actual cost includes hidden expenses like; time away from work (door to door averages 4 hours), and travel costs. Even if you are fortunate and get a clean bill of health, you are looking at $50-100 just for the visit, plus all those hidden expenses.
Better Health through Nutrition
The old adage "you are what you eat" is five times more applicable to your cat. Why? Because cats age five times faster than we do! Chronic illness and disease seem to come on suddenly, when in fact they develop slowly, below the surface.
During the pet-food recall of 2007, pre-packaged pet foods found themselves at the center of attention. This was actually a good thing. While prepackaged cat foods today are considered safe, they are the equivalent of eating fast foods for every meal.
If you haven't yet seen it, the documentary "Super Size Me" is a must see! For those who haven't; the film maker made a documentary of himself eating nothing but McDonalds food for 30 straight days. Prior to starting, he had a battery of tests by physicians, who also monitored him throughout. A mere two-weeks into the experiment his doctors urged him to stop immediately as his overall health was deteriorating rapidly, and yet, this is exactly what the overwhelming majority of owners feed their cat's daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. The connection between food and health can be ignored, but it cannot be denied!
By far, the best way to safely stretch the time between annual exams, and to minimize the risk of your cat getting a serious disease is to improve their diet!
The most effective diet includes human grade meats, fowl and fish, combined with daily supplements like; soil-based probiotic supplements, and high performance oils, or vital pet lipids, which are essential to maintain every aspect of your cat's health- joint, skin, digestive system, immune system and all internal organs.
When transitioning, you can avoid, or minimize GI upset by mixing the old cat food with the new in a 50/50 ratio for a week, then making the full switch to lightly cooked meats; then, after one month, transition the same way to a raw meat diet, again with daily supplements.
The Bottom Line
Cat health care on a budget is possible once you realize that you cannot do it by cutting corners on dog food or supplements! Let's do the math: The actual cost of 3 vet visits a year (including annual check up) is hundreds-of-times more expensive than the difference in cost between pre-packaged cat food (which should only be fed in times of emergency) and better food combined with a high performance supplement program.
Spending more upfront, for better cat food and proper supplements, will not just minimize your vet bills; doing so will reward you with a happy and healthy cat that will live 5-7 years longer than if you don't!