What are the top reasons for feline health insurance claims?

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According to Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), policyholders spent more than $46 million in 2011 treating the 10 most common medical conditions afflicting their pets.

These are the top medical conditions for cats:

• Bladder Infection
• Chronic Kidney Disease
• Overactive Thyroid
• Upset Stomach
• Periodontitis/Dental Disease
• Diabetes
• Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
• Ear Infection
• Skin Allergies
• Lymphosarcoma (Cancer of the Lymph Node)

Pet owners should familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness. In addition, regular semiannual physical examinations by a veterinarian can help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly. February is National Cat Health (and Dental) Month, so you can use it as a reminder.

If you think your cat may be sick, but aren’t certain whether your cat needs a visit to the vet, here are some guidelines. Take her if you see:

• Abdominal pain: If she’s pawing, crouched or just refuses to let you touch it, she could be suffering from a urinary tract infection, organ disease, a blockage of his digestive tract, or internal bleeding.
• Bleeding.
• Blindness that comes on suddenly: She could be suffering from a detached retina or glaucoma.
• Difficulty breathing. She could be having an asthma attack, heart problems, or anaphylactic shock (life-threatening allergic reaction). Get to the vet right away.
• Difficulty urinating. It could be a Urinary Tract Infection or, especially in male cats, these can be signs of a potentially fatal urinary blockage.
• Lameness or inability to put weight on limbs. Cats instinctively try to hide pain, so it’s pretty serious when you can see it.

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