Health coverage goes to the dogs


Cats represent only 10 percent of insured pets in America.

A recent special report from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) shed light on the disheartening fact that cats continue to be overlooked when it comes to medical care. The report showed that 33 percent of pet owners with at least one dog and one cat said it was more important to take their dog versus their cat to the veterinarian for a wellness exam. Perhaps this fact, paired with cats' natural talent for hiding illness, explains why cats represent only 10 percent of insured U.S. pets, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

What does this mean?

The NAPHIA says that insured cats certainly realize better health and wellness than those without insurance. The organization also states that pet health insurance provides cat owners the means to increase compliance with the recommendations of their veterinarian, including healthy pet and wellness exams, thereby improving overall lifetime health.

What you can do

Talk to all your clients-especially cat owners-about the importance of twice-yearly veterinary wellness visits and the benefits of pet health insurance. "Pet owners need to know that wellness visits aren't only about updating vaccines," says Dr. Jane Brunt, Chair of CATalyst. "Most importantly, a wellness visit with a healthy pet provides an important time to discuss any changes owners may or may not have noticed since the last visit. Assessing the cat's weight, its diet, and checking for any signs of diseases early can be life-saving and not only will be less costly to treat if caught early, but also is more likely to prevent pain and discomfort as the disease progresses."

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