Cat owners caught napping when it comes to cover

Monday 17 January 2011

Cat owners caught napping when it comes to cover

  • Only a quarter of cat owners insure their pet
  • Over 50s pet owners 50% more likely to insure dogs than cats
  • 65% of pet owners have no money saved for emergency treatment

Cat owners are relying on their pets’ “nine lives”, rather than taking out insurance for them, recent research shows. Saga Pet Insurance asked owners of both cats and dogs about their pet’s policies and revealed that dogs are twice as likely to be insured as cats; 52 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

With the average cost to treat a tumour in a cat being £274, pet owners are running the risk of a serious blow to their finances should their pet need unexpected care. Almost two in three owners of cats and dogs (65%) admit that they do not have any savings put aside to cover this – this is made up of 60% of dog owners and 70% of cat owners.

Buying a registered pedigree puppy can cost upwards of £400 but a kitten can cost as little as £20 or £30, lulling the owner into a false sense of security about their financial responsibility. However, most common medical conditions cost a similar amount for both animals.

Saga director-general Ros Altmann commented: “Buying a pet costs very little, but vets bills can run into hundreds of pounds. This seems to be a classic case of people insuring the purchase price of something, rather than protecting themselves against any potential consequences.


Top 10 most common medical conditions in cats and dogs (combined) and costs.


 Condition  Average cost for dogs Average cost for cats
 Lameness  180  178
 Tumour  319  274
 Cardiac problems  181  148
 Dermatitis      172  85
 Epilepsy  168  111
 Diabetes      184  153
 Arthritis  110  71
 Cruciate ligament damage  396  591
 Renal disease  188  129
 Skin disorders  168  93

For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.

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