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C2007-50

Dear Christopher Cat

I have been taking my cat to a specialist, and it’s getting expensive. How do other pet owners afford the high cost of veterinary care?

Christopher Responds

Increasingly, people manage veterinary medical expenses the way they manage their own medical care: with health insurance.

Pet health insurance is available through a number of companies. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Still, most people self-insure their veterinary bills. If you had set aside money every month, starting when your cat was a kitten, you could tap that fund now. And if you were fortunate not to need it, you could roll the money into your next pet’s fund.

Some people borrow to pay for unexpected pet health care expenses. Check with your financial institution, because some offer especially low rates on loans for veterinary care.

Care Credit, another alternative, offers interest-free credit that may be used for both veterinary and human health care. For information, visit www.carecredit.com or call 1-800-677-0718.

Finally, some humane organizations offer low-cost services and sliding-scale fees based on income.

My job as a columnist helps subsidize my care. Your cat is fortunate that you provide for her veterinary care.

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