Reviewed by Amy Flowers on February 16, 2012

Sources

Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH. Director of Medical Services. Atlanta Humane Society. Drew Weiner, DBM, ABVP. The Cat Doctor. Roswell, GA.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: Whiskers is a lucky cat. She has a loving family, is well fed and cared for, and has a pal that she can play with when she decides to stay in the house.

: Cookie what are you doing?

Narrator: Cookie is even luckier. She has many of the same perks as Whiskers yet will likely live longer AND cost her family less money because she's strictly an indoor cat.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP: They are not exposed to many diseases, they are not run over by cars, they are not getting in fights. Statistically, they live up to five years longer than cats that go outside. It's a huge difference.

Narrator: Fewer diseases and fights mean fewer trips to the vet for the indoor cat. And there's other cost savings benefits…

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP: Inside cats don't need to be vaccinated to the degree that outside cats do—they're just not exposed to many diseases.

Narrator: But don't eliminate those yearly visits to the vet….

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP: We do see issues with people that don't take their cats to the veterinarian regularly, don't do the preventative care that they need and we see them practicing crisis medicine instead of preventative medicine, far more expensive…

Narrator: What if you find yourself unable to afford the basic medical needs of your cat?

Miguel Abi-Hassan: One great contact for finding low-cost or subsidized service is going to be your humane societies, generally because we're non-profit as well. We're well- connected with the non-profits in our area.

: Four feet on the floor

Narrator: Gloria Dorsey is the medical director of one of the oldest and largest humane societies in the U.S.

Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Depending on the need, we have a food bank, we can provide medical services We can provide a low-cost spay and neuter. Many times we can provide those services at very modest fees.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP: Spaying and neutering is a very important part of caring for your cat on a budget. Cats that are spayed and neutered tend to get in fights less, they tend to roam less. But as well, there are certain diseases like breast cancer that are greatly reduced by spaying and neutering your cat.

Narrator: And there are other ways to save money on your cat. Take toys and treats, for instance:

Mailey McLaughlin: There are all sorts of things you have lying around your house that could be a great cat toy. Ping-pong balls are great toys. Rolling aluminum foil in a ball and tossing it.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP: Treats, particularly with so many cats being overweight that truly are not only unnecessary but are harming your pet's health. So, those are not necessary to give to your cats and not necessarily to spend the money on.

Narrator: Consider using cat food coupons or visit pet supermarkets and warehouse suppliers to buy in bulk, but don't skimp on the quality of your cat's food…

Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: I do believe that when you focus on paying a little bit more for better quality foods. Then you ultimately save money in the long run….

Narrator: To keep your cat healthy and happy don't forget to lavish them with love and attention. It costs you nothing, but to your cat it's priceless. For WebMD, I'm Sandee LaMotte.