Just looking at the two old cats (14 and 10) and it’s apparent that they, like most things, don’t age well.
Or to be more specific, they don’t age cheaply.
I have two cats. Cat One has been with me ever since I graduated college and moved into my own apartment (with a roommate). I think of her as the one companion I’ve had since becoming an actual adult person 🙂
She was healthy for most of her life, with her only trips to the vet consisting of the requisite exams and check-ups.
The last couple of years, though, I got some blood test done which is standard given her age, and it revealed that her kidneys are starting to lose function. This is pretty common in cats, as kidney disease and failure is pretty much the top ailment in felines.
Still, our vet suggested some stuff to slow the progression of the kidney failure, and depending on the cat, can extend their lives for years. The two step process involves: First, changing her diet to food that is low in protein (as protein and failing kidneys don’t mix) but still provide adequate nutrition. Second, I have to give her an IV injection three times a week to give her supplemental fluids that will take the strain off her kidneys.
All of this stuff (the food and the IV stuff) has to come from the vet. On top of that, I have to take her every four to six months for a blood test to make sure that the amount of IV she’s getting is still in line with what she could be getting.
Cat Two has had weight and constipation issues for many years, so his regimen has been in place for years. He gets a liquid fiber added to his meals, and I also have to buy special food that contains high fiber but doesn’t contain a lot of calories, since he used to be, well, fat. Really fat.
This has worked pretty well, but together, I’m dropping around $150 per month between the food, the IVs, the medicine and the additional vet bills. That adds up!
They’re worth it (except when they jump on the counter or find food that they can get into) but the lesson is that when the cats are young, playful, and healthy, start putting a little bit of money away for when they’re old and need lots more medical attention. Even better, make sure to save up before you start looking around to find pets for sale.