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C2005-50

Dear Christopher Cat

Given the high cost of medical care, health insurance is a must for humans. What about animals? We recently adopted two young adult cats from the humane society. Should we buy pet health insurance for them?

Christopher Responds

Pet health insurance is a good way to budget for unexpected illness or injury.

Most plans cover emergencies, lab work and medications.

Veterinary Pet Insurance, a large national company, also offers wellness coverage, including spay/neuter surgery and teeth cleaning. For more information, see www.petinsurance.com.

An alternative, if you are well disciplined, is to deposit money every month into a separate account for your pets’ medical needs.

If you put money aside on a regular basis, it will be there when you need it – and it will still be in your account if your cats remain healthy.

Keep your cats healthy by housing them indoors, away from cars, diseased cats, fighting animals, poisons and other risks.

To prevent problems, and catch little problems before they become big ones, have your veterinarian examine the cats every year and boost vaccinations as needed.

Spay and neuter the cats to prevent behavior problems as well as cancer and infection of the reproductive organs.

Feed high quality dry cat food to keep their teeth clean. Ensure that your cats maintain a healthy weight, because overweight cats are prone to diabetes.

Mom uses these techniques to keep the five cats in our family healthy – and to save for those times when one of us gets sick.

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