Lack of Funds for Veterinary Care Reason for 40% of Cats in Rescue

The UK’s animal-loving reputation is wonderful thing. But do we really love our pets as much as we think we do?

This International Cat Day, Agria Pet Insurance, together with a busy cat rescue and one of the UK’s leading vets, explain why very often, love alone really isn’t enough.

Because however much we adore our cats, share them on social media and treat them as part of the family, their health risks and associated costs are often underestimated, leaving owners that are unprepared in a crisis.

It is estimated that there are 10.9 million cats in the UKi. Of these, just 1 in 6 is insured. That means that 9.1 million cat owners have no financial backup should their cat need veterinary treatment.

Katie, who runs busy cat rescue, Bradford Cat Watch, sees the consequences of uninsured cats first-hand:

“We have around 500 cats that come to us every year. Out of them, over 200 are surrendered to us because they need veterinary treatment that owners can’t afford. This is terribly sad because insurance would have covered the cost of the care they required.”

According to Agria Pet Insurance, their top 5 claiming cats have, between them, claimed over

£100,000 during their lifetimes. Ranging from treatment for a serious road traffic accident to hip disorders, these cats have required extensive treatment. But had they been uninsured, would their owners have had £20,000 spare to pay?

While these are examples of some of the biggest vets’ fees that a cat owner could face, Agria’s Senior Veterinary Advisor, Robin Hargreaves, explains how a very common cat condition, hyperthyroidism, can lead to large, long-term treatment bills:

“This common cat condition is fortunately is very treatable. However, the costs can vary depending on treatment option, and if you choose long term medication, managing hyperthyroidism can comfortably cost over £1,000 per year, possibly for several years.”

One example of a cat that was handed over to Bradford Cat Watch due being uninsured is Leo. Katie explains:

“He came to us incredibly ill with suspected poisoning from flowers. Due to Leo not being insured, his owners were not able to afford the vet care he so desperately needed. So he came to us, and we were able to get him back up on his paws, find him a lovely new home and send him off already covered with an insurance policy to get him started with his new family.”

“Having your cat insured means that if the worst happens and they suddenly need vet care, you don’t have to worry about ending up massively out of pocket, and your cat can get the care they need.

Robin concludes: “Complex conditions and serious injuries are increasingly treatable but, just as with human medicine, general practitioners at vet surgeries often benefit from the input of specialists.

“Referral to a specialist can be of immense benefit in complex or unusual cases – often saving or significantly improving the quality of a loved pet’s life. But such expert help, together with any specialist equipment that is required, is necessarily expensive.

“Having insurance means that your vet can call on the best expertise to help a pet that needs it – which, surely, is the best expression of love an owner can give.”

This International Cat Day, Agria Pet Insurance is supporting uninsured cats with 4 weeks free cover.

Partners of International Cat Day – and the only pet insurer to be recognised as ‘Cat

Friendly’ by International Cat Care – award-winning Agria Pet Insurance is known for being animal-only specialists with close ties with the rehoming and veterinary sectors.

Visit to protect your cat with 4 weeks free insurance*.

*Vets’ fees cover for injury begins immediately, cover for illness begins 14 days after the start of your free insurance policy

To find out more about International Cat Day, visit

Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 4258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW.

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3 thoughts on “Lack of Funds for Veterinary Care Reason for 40% of Cats in Rescue

  1. floridaborne says:

    What is appalling to me is that there are very few places where vet care for a pet is affordable. People who have to give up their pet because they can’t afford pet insurance or vet care aren’t the problem. If there were affordable alternatives, many poor people who would love their 4-footed families wouldn’t have to give up a pet so that someone with more money could afford to take care of him/her.

    My SIL has pets that are in far better health than many who take theirs to the vet all the time. She uses herbal remedies for worms and sicknesses and she makes their food. Their coats are shiny and they are very healthy. There is a spay/neuter clinic held each month so that people on social security and other government assistance can have their pet spayed or neutered at an affordable price. Other than that, no other care is needed for her pets.

  2. Rohvannyn says:

    Roughly ten years ago I had to make just such a heartbreaking decision… When I had adopted my cats, I had a good job and a stable home, and money for vet care. Then the recession hit, my job was outsourced to India, and the other job I got wasn’t enough to make ends meet. I lost my house. I lost pretty much everything. The only shelters in my area at the time were kill shelters. When my boy Orion got sick, no vet would take payments – they all wanted CareCredit and no pet insurance was low cost enough. I couldn’t get approved for CareCredit because I’d just been foreclosed on, no one would touch me. So I had to watch my boy die with nothing I could do about it. Trust me, I cared very much for him, and there wasn’t anybody who would care for him as I didn’t even have gas money to get him to the rather nasty animal shelter to give him a final shot.

    Plenty of people care about their pets, and start out with excellent intentions and enough money to care for them. However sometimes life just happens. It can happen to anyone.

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