The American Humane Society is once again celebrating Adopt A Shelter Cat month throughout June to highlight the issues facing cat rescue shelters and to promote the adoption of shelter cats.
Most of the pets available from these shelters are healthy cats and kittens that need owners to love and care for them. Upon adoption many pet owners will begin researching the best pet insurance plan for their new cat. In return, these feline friends offer unconditional love and affection and a lifetime of purrs and cuddles for their lucky human owners.
Prospective adopters should consider certain factors before selecting their next pet, including:
-Age and temperament of the cat
-Environment inside the home (including any other pets already living with the family)
-Activity levels and available time of family members.
Cat vs. Kitten
While kittens are cute and cuddly, they typically require far more attention than adult cats and may need training in order to adjust well to their new environment. However, it may be more difficult for adult cats to find homes, so taking home a stable, loving adult cat may be a wise and humane decision for potential adopters. When taking age into account, a pet owner should also ask cat insurance companies if there are any upper age limits. Companies like Pets Best Insurance don’t have upper age limits, and will cover a pet so long as it is seven weeks old.
Most cats do better in a household with at least one other cat. In the wild, cats live in colonies and are highly social creatures; as a result, they require a great deal of contact with humans and other animals within the home in order to be happy and healthy. While cat rescue shelters and foster homes make every effort to ensure the well-being of their cats, ultimately cat health and happiness depends on having a dedicated and attentive owner to care for its physical and emotional needs. By adopting two cats or kittens at the same time, most owners find that their pets bond well and interact with other in the household in a more healthy way.
Just as people may have widely differing personalities, cats can vary widely in their temperaments and activity levels. Some cats are lovable couch potatoes, content to snuggle up with their owners for hours on end. Others may perform acrobatics and engage in amateur clowning, demanding constant attention from their humans in return for entertaining them. By choosing a cat whose temperament complements their own, owners can ensure that their new pet is the perfect fit for their household.
Cats and kittens require veterinary care in order to grow and remain healthy and happy. Cat insurance is a solid investment for new owners, since it offers financial security even if serious health problems arise.
Pet insurance is typically a cost-effective purchase, as it usually covers much of the cost of typical veterinary procedures and emergency care. Purchasing health insurance for cats is one of the most practical ways of ensuring the health and happiness of the newest addition to the family.
Pet insurance is a relatively new idea considering how long veterinary services have been around. Although more people are now buying pet health insurance policies for their pets, it’s still a fairly small percentage of pet owners. An even smaller percentage of people purchase cat insurance.
The Myth that Cats are Self-Sufficient
Unlike dogs, cats are often seen as being much more self-sufficient—they don’t need to be walked, they groom themselves, and they’re “independent.” People also believe that cats are less likely to get into things that might be harmful. There is a perception that cats are such finicky eaters, for instance, that they would never eat something they shouldn’t.
Dangerous Situations for Indoor Cats
But think about it, cats often ingest parts of cat toys, especially string or metal parts, that can be very dangerous to their digestive systems. They will also eat foods that are toxic, like chocolate, if it’s appealing to them. And most cat owners have seen their pet chew on house plants, some of which can also be poisonous. These are just some of the reasons that cat owners should consider purchasing cat insurance for their pets.
Despite statistics telling owners that cats with access to the outdoors have higher injury and death rates, many cats are still let out. This can result in vehicle accidents, fights, injuries from other animals and opportunities for your cat to eat things that are harmful. The subsequent injuries or traumas often need very costly vet interventions, like complicated surgeries.
It’s crucial for you as a responsible pet owner to consider purchasing pet insurance for cats. Despite your best intentions, there may still come a time when having a good cat insurance policy will give you peace of mind.
Like dogs, cats can also have allergies. There are several different causes for cat allergies including flea bites, food allergies, atopy (inhaling something like pollen or dust) and immune-response allergies, which can be very serious. Many pet insurance companies will cover allergies so long as they are not preexisting conditions.
Cats can have allergic reactions to foods that cause similar responses in humans—soy, dairy products, wheat, or meats. To determine if a cat is allergic to a substance, they must be exposed at least twice. If a reaction happens after only one exposure, it could be an isolated incident.
• Symptoms: These can include itchy rashes on cats’ heads, necks and backs. Often hair loss and sores will result from scratching. Less common is redness and a discharge from the ears.
• Treatment: After it’s determined that a food is causing the allergic reaction, treatment starts with changing the food to a hypoallergenic type.
Inhalant Allergy (Atopic Dermatitis)
Sometimes you will see an inhalant allergy as the seasons change and pollen gets in the air. But mold, dust, and other irritants can cause the reaction as well. You may see itching and rashes on the cat’s head, neck. Excessive licking can cause hair loss.
This type of allergy is hard to differentiate from allergic reactions caused by insect bites. Diagnosis is often made after skin tests. Because quality veterinary care can be expensive, looking for the best pet insurance for your cat is a good idea.
• Treatment: As with foods, try to identify the allergen and remove it from the cat’s environment. The cat can also be treated with antihistamines, but this will not cure the allergy.
Immune-Related Skin Allergies
These are a group of diseases that come from the body’s autoimmune system “attacking” the skins. It’s the most common allergy seen in cats and results in itching and small pustules. In severe cases, symptoms include a fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
• Treatment: This can include corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.
Watch for symptoms and signs of allergies in your cat. Because cat health care can be expensive, be sure to find a pet insurance company that will provide coverage for allergies.
It’s estimated that one dog or cat is put down every eight seconds in U.S. shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
When Leigh Peterson of Ohio found herself posting ads trying to find homes for four puppies, she struggled with guilt.
“I felt like I was killing a dog in the pound every time someone came to see our puppies rather than go to a shelter,” said Leigh.
In the past, she had always preached how important spaying and neutering, vaccinating and investing in pet health insurance was. She volunteered at an animal shelter and considered herself fairly knowledgeable on pet health. “But when I started dating my boyfriend,” Leigh said, “he refused to get his dogs fixed.”
One day, when her boyfriend was out of town, he called and asked how everyone was. Leigh started to say how the dogs were fine and playing in the back yard, which was completely fenced-in. When she went to the window to look outside, she was shocked to find a strange male dog in the yard with their dog Abby. The two were mating.
“I stood there watching, telling him over the phone what was happening and resisting the urge to say I told you so,” said Leigh. “Even I had started to believe it was OK not to spay because I knew we were responsible pet owners. But this stray dog wanted in to our yard and found a way in.”
Sure enough, puppies were soon on the way. Leigh had to swallow her guilt and take control. She was releived they had purchased dog health insurance for their own dog, but now she had to focus on finding the best homes for the new pups.
The only thing in Leigh’s control now was making sure that these puppies didn’t further contribute to pet overpopulation. All the puppies were spayed and neutered before leaving her care. Although spaying females and neutering male dogs does not come without risk, it does offer some pet health benefits and reduces the urge to roam, like the male dog who found his way into Leigh’s fenced-in yard.
To help ensure that the puppies found good homes, the ads stated that the puppies would be fixed and an adoption fee was set at $50 per puppy. She screened all adopters and was able to keep in touch with them all, receiving pictures as the puppies grew.
When her boyfriend’s older dog developed a large tumor on her uterus, she was spayed, too. It was then his turn to feel guilt, as he could see that the surgery was much harder on a senior dog to recover from than it was for the puppies. From then on, he became a proponent of spaying and neutering, as well.
If you have a pet, it’s a safe bet that you love animals in general and enjoy seeing wildlife. But pets and wildlife can be a lethal combination.
It’s important for you to keep your pets safe from dangers they might encounter from wild animals. Injuries and bites from wildlife have a serious impact on pet health care. Most pet health insurance includes coverage for those injuries, but it’s best to prevent them.
Dangers From Wild Animals
Many wild animals present a danger to our pets. As humans are increasingly encroaching upon wild animals’ natural habitats, wildlife has become more adapted to living in populated areas. Because of this, wild animals, especially predators, come into contact with domestic animals more frequently. There are a number of things you can do to protect your pets from harm by wild animals.
• Don’t leave you pet outside unattended – This is dangerous to pets on many levels. They can get lost, ingest things that make them ill, get hit by cars or injured and killed by wild animals. Many predators and even animals that aren’t considered predators, like raccoons, are nocturnal. So be careful, even when letting your dog out at night while you’re with him.
• Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies – While cases of humans getting rabies are now rarer, animals continue to be bitten by rabid wild animals. Some pet health insurance companies will even provide limited coverage for vaccines.
• Take measures to ensure that wild animals don’t have access to your home. Pets can be bitten by bats and other animals that come into your home. Be sure to look around your foundation, chimney and attic for areas that might allow an animal in.
• Do not leave pet food outside – Your pets’ food is like a buffet for wildlife. Keep their food bags in covered containers inside. Be sure that your garbage cans are closed and in an area that is inaccessible to wild animals.
• Notify local wildlife extension service agents – If you see a dangerous wild animal in your yard, notify the authorities.
• Clear debris and tree limbs from near your house – Snakes pose a very real threat to pets because they hide in woodpiles and underbrush. Pets will often not have any warning before being bitten. Clear the vegetation around your house. Keep tree limbs from your roofline to prevent tree-climbing animals from access to your home.
But no matter how conscientious you are about protecting your pet from wild animals, it’s a good idea to have pet insurance in case of unforseen attacks.