Horrible life decisions
Not going to be a happy thread this one, and possibly me thinking out loud.
One of our cats was hit by a car tonight, and is currently en route to the overnight vet/hospital for observation after an initial check by our local vet. He’s apparently in shock, with a pretty mangled jaw, and now sedated pending further assessment should he make it to the morning.
We’ve got two cats, rescues from the same litter about 13 years ago, so not young, and for the past few years we’ve not insured them as monthly costs were escalating. This is where the horrible decision comes in.
The bill is already at £600+ with the overnight to be added on to that, and whilst technically our policy of ‘self-insurance’ in theory mitigates against this, with general life costs what they are we do not have the cash just idly lying around. How do you even begin to quantify such a decision? We’ve had the cats for 13 years, and have children aged 9 and 6, so they’ve never not had him around, and we’re all understandably a bit broken at the thought of losing him like this, but I can’t put us in financial jeopardy as a family by potentially spending any safety net we had on fixing him up. Can I?
Rubbish start to the holidays. If anyone has had the misfortune to find themselves in a similar position I’d be interested in your thoughts, as at the moment I feel destined to make a really bad decision whatever I do.
CheersPosted 2 months ago
Ours got really sick back in March and I had to make the decision to put her down. Hit the kids quite hard, as like yours, they’ve never not had her around.
Ours had kidney failure though, so she was never recovering, and I think that made it a bit easier. My decision was firmly based on her quality of life, as whilst she could have had another couple of months, they wouldn’t have been good months for her.
Much as I thought she was a pain in the arse most of the time, I do miss the little furry sod.Posted 2 months ago
If they’re not life ending injuries then I’d be spending all that I could on him. Sadly one of mine died from his injuries after being run over last year, as I was racing to the vets with him I was thinking what I could sell and what my credit card limit was so I could pay for his treatment.
Hopefully tomorrow he’ll perk up a bit and the vets can give a good prognosisPosted 2 months ago
Depends what the Vet says. 13 year old cat? If the future involved multiple operations with an uncertain outcome it may not be in the best interests of the cat to put it through it regardless of cost.Posted 2 months ago
We had one suffer a broken jaw in an RTA years ago.Posted 2 months ago
The operation was a success and he lived a normal, happy life for ages afterwards, despite being diabetic.
A broken jaw isn’t a massive problem, some discomfort for a couple of months once sorted.
Sell a bike or two or three, it’s your job to care for him as best you can, that’s what being a pet owner is all about.
Harsh as it sounds my families finances would come before a pet, especially if it meant financial jeopardy.
The bill won’t be just the initial operation there will be months of ongoing follow up visits.Posted 2 months ago
My cat was terribly ill earlier this year . Feline infectious peritonitis. He’s young and survived after 2/3 days where it didn’t look good. The vets were excellent and the bill was high. Into the 0000s Could not have paid it without insurance. Like you I was sceptical about the value of insurance and I had considered not insuring or getting a cheaper policy but the premiums were’nt that much. Premiums are higher now but I’m so glad I kept him insured.Posted 2 months ago
My BIL & his partner have a cat that must’ve cos thousands. It’s a rescue cat that had fallen from height & had suffered internal injuries.Posted 2 months ago
It pisses all over the house & sometimes gets constipated, resulting in a visit to the vet.
While they lived in London it was costing about £600 a pop. Now they’re more civilised & live in North Yorkshire it’s only about £200 a time.
I LOVE animals but would’ve drawn the line before now.
Thirteen is a good age.
Not many cats live that long.
It’s not kind to make a pet suffer and so there’s nothing wrong in saying, enough is enough.Posted 2 months ago
That said, can the PDSA help here ?
I probably wouldn’t pay that (depending a bit on exactly what the costs and prognosis are of course). You’ve given them a great life, they’ve been happy, we all die eventually. You’ll have the opportunity to give another cat a great life. The great mass of cat won’t be any worse off for one of their number being put down humanely.
We foster rescue cats and have held on to a couple for several years now, but already chose not to spend unknown hundreds on a wild goose chase checking up on a heart problem in one of them that could either require permanent medication or be incurable. 4 years later the cat is still happy, if it drops dead, it’s had a happy life and there are plenty more needing homes.
BTW a bit late now but keeping cats indoors does save them from getting run over, as well as getting fleas, decimating the local wildlife, and crapping in your neighbours’ gardens.Posted 2 months ago
I’m too much of a coward to make that sort of decision, so I’ll keep insuring my dog no matter what the monthly cost…
Sorry, doesn’t help the OP but I’m a firm believer in insurance. Can’t afford the insurance? Don’t get a pet…
(NB: that’s just my general outlook, not targetting the OP so please don’t take it personally OP)
(This will come back to bit me in the arse one day but I already receive quite a bit of value back from my dogs insurance premiums as he has allergies and a heart mumour so we regularly claim for everything we can…)Posted 2 months ago
I’m glad we still have a cat but sometimes I’m a bit resentful that we had to cancel the family beach holiday to pay the vet’s bill when he got sick.Posted 2 months ago
Mums cat has had a life of it.
Got him off a neighbour as a kitten the runt of the littler.First accident was aged only 6 months when he tried to jump from one kitchen cupboard to the other, missed, fell that height and broke his leg at the ball of the femur, which was amputated, so the top of his leg has no ball joint on it.
Accident 2. Managed to snap a rear tooth biting the bars of a cage.
Accident 3. The worst. Arrived home near dead, covered in oil. Vet examination believes some large dog got him, and must have bit him hard across his lower back destroying the nerves in that area. A large patch a few inches above the tail from one flank to the other wont grow fur.
Accident 4 -ongoing from 3. He didnt seem to recover, his tail drooping and he couldn’t wag it. Discovered the nerves in his back also control the tail, and it is pretty much dead. Tail amputated.
Accident 3-4 was over 2 years of back and forward to the vet, a couple of operations,
He wore the cone of shame for a long time.
Currently, you can tell he’s ‘damaged goods’ psychological damage for sure. But that hasn’t seemed to stop him. Mum in her late 70’s at the time, undertook care pretty much 24h. We all did our bit.
Mum has kept him going on chicken, lots and lots of chicken. He weighs nearly 7kg but he’s not a fatty, just a big cat.
Costs -Horrific. Pretty much a season ticket holder for about 5 years to the vet. Thank God we insured him early, the bill must be close on ten thousand.
Mum is getting on now. 81. Cat brings anywhere up to three mice as gifts in the summer months. Not every night, but must average about a dozen over those months, I think he realizes shes old and must need fattening up. She stays in bed mostly, the cat lives beside her during the daytime.
He’s family.Posted 2 months ago
This is going to sound awful, but as a 53 year old, there was a time when a lot of pets couldn’t be saved due to medical knowledge at the time and/or lack of money. Pet insurance as it currently exists is a relatively new phenomenon.
I’m pretty sure a lot of decisions couched as “it was the kindest thing” were actually “it was the most cost effective solution”.
Yes it’s sad – I remember losing our dog after 12 years, the same way it was sad when my kids lost their guinea pigs, but it’s circle of life stuff.
If my family can’t afford to care for me, put me to sleep. It will be the kindest thing for all of us.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks for your input folks – bit of an anxious night ahead and if he comes through then a morning assessment of injuries. Fingers crossed.Posted 2 months ago
“Sorry, doesn’t help the OP but I’m a firm believer in insurance. Can’t afford the insurance? Don’t get a pet…”
If you rely on Insurance to look after your pet, Don’t get a pet! There’s a bit more to looking after another creature than simply having access to the funds to patch them up (and being encouraged to do so) year after year without any consideration of their quality of life.Posted 2 months ago
I know a guy who canceled his honeymoon to Mexico to afford a 5k vet bill. Not a rich chap either, think UK median, maybe a bit less. Not sure I’d have done that I must admit but each to their own.Posted 2 months ago
As an aside I don’t you’d be a bad person at all for decided the cost was too high/other expenditure was more importantPosted 2 months ago
Friend of mine has so far spent £21,000 on his 4 year old spaniel following an eye operation and fractured leg.The dog is one of the main things in his life and its not the first time he’s spent £1,000’s when his previous dogs were ill.Posted 2 months ago
Just remember, if the tables were turned, your cat would have already moved in next door…Posted 2 months ago
🤞 hope it’s positive news in the morning. Only you know what’s best and whatever the decision is it will be the right one.Posted 2 months ago
Good luck to you and to him. We had a rubbish time with our last cat back in February. I won’t go into details now as it won’t help but let’s just say I know how you feel going to bed this evening.
Re the money and insurance….it’s a minefield with the emotional and financial, head and heart all thrown in. We insured our first cat – 18 month old old rescue that died just shy of 20. She was such a healthy girl that we didn’t claim on it once. The only things wrong with her were not covered. They did pay us the £30 initial RSPCA donation which was listed as her ‘valuation’ when we made the decision to have her put to sleep and cancel the policy which felt like a bit of an Insult at the time. It obviously went straight to the RSPCA. But if I was paying out, I guess there would have to be some sort of monetary limit, but the main thing I’d want to satisfy myself with was that I was not agreeing to spend it for me/our benefit but because it was genuinely the best thing for the cat. We can play god at times which is both terrible and sometimes kind too.
We made the decision not to insure the two that followed her and just self-insured. Sadly they had quite short lives with us so never got to see if that was a wise choice. We have just taken on a rescue pair of sister 3 year olds. Indoor cats (that we are not sure about as a concept) and debating if we should insure them once the SPCA complimentary 4 weeks runs out. Ultimately those policies don’t cover everything and the price it covers up to per condition is pretty modest but I guess it gives you breathing space.
Again, good luck tonight.Posted 2 months ago
I’m an animal lover. I’m a cat person. My old girl was 18 when I had to make the final decision and it about destroyed me. But it was the right thing to do.
Conversely, we have a 9-year old who had a leg amputated at an early age. Her previous owners couldn’t afford vet bills, the vet took it upon themself to operate anyway and then rehome her, which is how she came to us.
What’s right for you I cannot say and I don’t envy your position. I think it’d hinge on what the prognosis was.Posted 2 months ago
Tough decision, and likem others the reason I pay large insurance premiums, so the financial decision isnt the deciding issue.
One other point though – the (potential or near) loss of a pet is an opportunity to talk to your kids about death etc – they all take it differently, but it is definitely a life lesson that is better learnt young.Posted 2 months ago
Listen to what the vet thinks, if it’s major injuries, then best to let the cat go, insurance or not.
Got 4 cats here, and had 4 before that, one killed by a car. We are insured on 3 of the 4 as the ‘rescue’ has cat flu, so we have to bear that in mind with any illness. No issues so far – young and fit, but I no doubt when he is much older (only 5 now) it will cause him issues.Posted 2 months ago
We self insure and a few years back one of our fell ill – turned out to be an exceptionally rare intersusseption in an adult cat. He didn’t react well to surgery so they went in again thinking it hadn’t worked out, but all fine. Ended up feeding him via a syringe for a few weeks at home down an esophageal tube. In the end, all OK and right as rain. Bill was £4k!
Had we known that at the start, not sure what we’d have decided, as it was you’ve spent £500 before they know what it is, then £1k for the 1st op, then 2 weeks in the vets, a 2nd op, esophageal tube, lots of meds and it just keeps creeping up..
Was he worth it, yes (but and a big but – we could afford it).Posted 2 months ago
We put our older Springer down last month, burst tumour on his spleen – not insured but we’re ‘insulated’ so not really about the money.
I just asked our Vet what they’d do if he was their dog, and took their ‘recommendation’.Posted 2 months ago
A work colleague has just spent many thousands getting their dog pretty much rebuilt after an accident. They were insured but went over double that limit. From what they tell me the dog is alive but is severely impacted, absolutely life changing to the extent it can’t go on walks, sits in one place all day, has to be encouraged to eat and drink.
That choice, from the outside at least, appears for their benefit not the dogs, and it isn’t one I could have made. I’ll qualify that by saying if I am ever in a position where my life has massively changed to the extent I take even even basic pleasures I’d rather be allowed to die.Posted 2 months ago
As above. I have been in the position and asked my vet what would you do if it was your pet?Posted 2 months ago
Sadly in the end it wasn’t a decision we had to make, as he succumbed to injuries during the night.
Starting to hit hard now, miss the daft bugger already.Posted 2 months ago
RIP cat dude !Posted 2 months ago
As per bensales… Daisy went to sleep a year ago yesterday after developing kidney problems, she was 16 so had a good life.
All very sad but it was the best decision for her. 🙁Posted 2 months ago
Sorry for your loss MeshPosted 2 months ago
That sucks 🙁Posted 2 months ago
Sorry to hear that!
RIPPosted 2 months ago
Sorry for your lossPosted 2 months ago
Oof. Sorry to hear that.Posted 2 months ago
A woman I know had her dog took ill 2 weeks ago. 2 years old rescue dog, it appears the previous owner knew it has a serious condition(s). It has had blood transfusions and now some immoglobin last night, along with a lot of tests to see what it has.Posted 2 months ago
The bill was £7000 last sunday night, and it has been in 3 times since, with one of the transfusions, so the bill must be close to £10k now.
I said last week that it was time to cut your losses, and put it to sleep, as, clearly, the dog has some serious issues that are unlikely to be cured. She’s still trying to save it.
She set up a crowd funder last week, asking for £7k, she has around £900 in the pot now. She’s going to be in debt for years to come, and the dog will be unlikely to survive for another month.
Sadly in the end it wasn’t a decision we had to make, as he succumbed to injuries during the night
Very sorry to hear that. Best wishes.Posted 2 months ago
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