Study Reveals Cat Owners Spend As Much As $45,000 During a Pet’s Lifetime

Nearly half of cat owners underestimate the cost of caring for their pets according to a new study entitled “Lifetime of Care” where seven out of ten pet parents consider their pets as members of the family, yet nearly half underestimated the lifetime cost of care, which ranges from $15K-$45K for cats and from $20K-$55K for dogs.

Additionally, approximately half of all pet owners who thought they were financially ready for unexpected pet expenses, were not, and would consider a financial solution dedicated to financing care for their pet.

The study is based on findings from 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians and provides consumer insights, verified by veterinary practices, into the lifetime of care cost of cat or dog ownership. The research, conducted on behalf of Synchrony’s pet and vet financial solutions, CareCredit and Pets Best Pet Insurance covered an exhaustive list of cat and dog expenses, from first-year expenses (spaying/neutering, vaccinations, pet supplies) to food and health insurance, to end-of-life expenses.

According to the American Pet Products Association, 90.5 million U.S. homes now include a pet, and in 2020 alone, $103.6 billion was spent on pet care. The Lifetime of Care research revealed cat owners can expect to spend between approximately $960 – $2,500 in the first year alone.

“Cats are beloved members of the family.  They bring so much joy to a household and as pet parents, it’s important to return the favor by making sure they have the care they need to live happy healthy lives,” said Jonathan Wainberg, senior vice president and general manager, Pet, Synchrony.  “There are millions of cat parents in the U.S., yet the true cost of caring for a cat has historically been a little vague. Our Lifetime of Care study serves as a helpful tool to prepare prospective and current cat parents, and includes an exhaustive list of cat expenses, from first-year expenses (spaying/neutering, vaccinations, pet supplies) to food and health insurance, to end-of-life expenses.”

“We want cat parents to have a deeper understanding of what to expect financially, and knowledge of the flexible and affordable payment solutions that are available to help them provide a Lifetime of Care for their pet, from pet insurance like Pets Best, to pet care credit cards like CareCredit.

“Veterinarians often see pet parents struggling to balance the care their pet needs with what they can afford,” said Peter Weinstein, owner of PAW Consulting, author and veterinary industry leader. “This new study provides us a comprehensive look at the true costs of pet care so we can arm our clients with the information and financial solutions they need to care for their pets for a month, year and an entire lifetime.

For more than 20 years, CareCredit has been a valuable financing option for all types of veterinary services, treatments, and diagnostics, giving pet owners peace of mind that they are ready to care for their pets throughout their lifetime. CareCredit is recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association and is a Preferred Partner for the American Veterinary Medical Association. CareCredit is currently offered in more than 24,000 veterinary practices across the U.S.

Pet parents looking for a flexible way to pay for their animal’s care can quickly see if they prequalify for the CareCredit credit card in real time (with no impact to their credit score) and apply on any smart device, in a veterinary practice, or over the phone. A credit decision is immediate and if approved, they can use their account to pay their veterinarian immediately. Pet owners can select from short-term and long-term financing options including deferred interest if paid in full within 6,12,18 or 24 months and reduced APR with fixed monthly payments for 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. Additionally, CareCredit offers a user-friendly online calculator that makes it easy for pet owners to quickly estimate monthly payments based on available financing options.

Four out of five pet owners will face an unexpected vet bill.  With pet insurance from Pets Best, pet parents can have peace of mind knowing they’re protected, taking the financial worry out of owning a pet, so they can focus on making the best decisions for their cat or dog. Pets Best policyholders can select from plans that can cover accidents, illnesses and routine care, all customized to fit their pet’s needs and their budget, as well as get treatment from any veterinarian of their choice with access to easy and accurate claim processing. Pets Best policyholders also have access to a suite of digital capabilities including a pet helpline, a 24/7 emergency helpline that gives policyholders access to veterinary professionals for pet health related questions and advice for free. Customers can also file claims using their smartphone, make adjustments to a policy, add pets and access claim status and details online or through their mobile app.

Together, CareCredit and Pets Best offer a complete financial solution that may suit your needs.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid promotion and we are not endorsing any specific company, but wanted to share this relevant and timely information.

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