Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Five Most Common Cat Illnesses That Insurance Companies Process

Cats are poor step-cousins to dogs when it comes to regular veterinary visits.  While people take third dogs in to see the veterinarian, far fewer owners take their cats. It's essential that cats get proper, regular veterinary care, whether you take your cat to the veterinary hospital or if you opt for a veterinarian who makes house calls.

August 22nd was Take Your Cat to The Vet Day which was a nice reminder but, really, any day is a good day to take your cat to the veterinarian. Cats need regular check-ups, core vaccinations  and everything you would expect if you had a dog.  Pet Insurance is available for those owners who want to buy into it.  There are several companies selling pet insurance.  You want one that your veterinarian will accept.  One pet insurance company, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC has recently produced a list of the five most common cat illnesses that their customers have filed.  It's a good reminder for owners that any one, or more, of these can occur in your beloved feline companion.  These claims represent about 30 percent of the company's claims filed across the United States.  Being aware of those often difficult to identify because cats are masterful at hiding their symptoms so the owner can be blissfully unaware which doesn't bode well for the cat.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Slaney

1. Chronic Kidney Failure - The symptoms can include anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, depression and weight loss. There are additional warning signs including increased thirst, acute blindness, seizures and comas, blood in the cat's urine, increased frequency of urination and an increased amount of urine. Chronic Kidney Failure represents 8.5 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

2. Hyperthyroidism - The common symptoms are a voracious appetite, weight loss, increased thirst and urination. Vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness. Hyperthyroidism accounts for 7.1 percent of Pets Best Feline Claims.

3. Allergies - Skin allergy symptoms often include raised, thickened raw skin, small scabs, face and ear itching, and bald spots.  Food allergies tend to include scabs and other signs of itching around the face and neck.  Although not life-threatening, allergies can be painful and irritating to cats, as well as costly to treat. The represents 6.5 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

4.  Cancer - Cat owners should watch for symptoms like lumps and bumps on the skin, lack of appetite, lethargy, excessive salivation, difficulty chewing or swallowing, rapid weight loss and abnormal discharges.  Other warning signs include abnormal odors, abnormal defecation and urination, vomiting and diarrhea. All types of cancer, including lymphoma, mammary, oral, thyroid, and lung account for 5.6 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

4.  Diabetes - Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, unusual appetite and rapid weight loss. Diabetes accounts for 3.6 percent of all claims received by Pets Best.
Photo Courtesy of Claire Clayton

While indoor felines are not as subject to injuries and disease as outdoor cats, indoor cats can still develop any of the above illnesses. Keeping your cat safely indoors with environmental enrichment certainly keeps them safer but please don't think this means that you can avoid veterinary visits. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sooner your veterinarian can find an illness the more quickly it can be treated which means a much more likely better outcome. It's really no different from people.  Wellness is important and that includes regular medical check-ups.

Pets Best is offering feline specific insurance policies. Whether or not other companies do this is part of the research the pet owner must undertake when investigating health insurance and various policies and companies. In total, Pets Best's plan covers 21 illnesses and starts at under $5. a month.

Dr. Jack L. Stephens is the founder of Pets Best which was founding in the United States in 1981. You can find out more by pointing your browser to:

NOTE: I was not paid for this article. The information came from a press release and I thought it was important enough to bring the information to the attention of my readers.

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