Tag Archives: Cost of Catcare

Class Action Lawyers See Something Fishy In Prescription Cat Food

Your cat may demand a crystal dish, but she won't want it filled with prescription food.

Class action attorney Mike McGlamry always thought there was something fishy about prescription cat food.

Although you can buy it only from a vet, and it costs a lot more than nonprescription food, some of those nonprescription foods available at pet supply stores seem to have the exact same ingredients.

McGlamry and lawyers in California, North Carolina and Minnesota have filed a class action antitrust complaint in the US District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that prescription pet food is no more than a marketing scheme designed to boost profits.

Prescription Cat Food – One Big Corporate Family

Defendants in the complaint are names you’re sure to recognize: Mars PetCare, Nestle Purina and Hills Pet Nutrition. PetSmart, the nation’s largest pet food retailer, Banfield Pet Hospitals and Blue Pearl emergency and specialty hospitals are also named in the complaint.

Mars PetCare owns the Royal Canin brand and Banfield Pet Hospitals. It also has an ownership stake in Blue Pearl and has plans to acquire VCA later this year. VCA owns animal hospitals, Antech Diagnostics; Sound, a global imaging company; and Camp Bow Wow, dog daycare and boarding facilities.

What’s In That Prescription Cat Food?

Prescription cat food is formulated to address specific conditions, like obesity, kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract issues, food sensitivities and even hyperthyroidism. The food contains no medicine; it’s the ingredients that are said to be therapeutic. It all comes with the admonishment that the cat has to stay on it for life.

But most prescription foods contain inferior ingredients. And cats, who are notoriously careful eaters, often recognize a bad product when they see it and refuse to eat it. The hunger strike could go on indefinitely, or until “Mom” caves and buys something else.

The cost of the food, along with the stress of trying to get cats to eat something they don’t like can become a real burden for loving humans who are just trying to do what the doctor ordered.

Alternatives To Prescription Cat Food

For most cats, there are alternatives to prescription food that are less expensive and more likely to pass the taste test. For instance, many obese cats will lose weight on an all-wet-food diet, and an all-wet-food diet will help control a diabetic cat’s blood glucose levels.

Several manufacturers make food with novel protein sources, so cats with food sensitivities have no need for prescription diets.

If you have a cat with a medical condition that could benefit from a special diet, talk to your vet about alternatives to prescription cat food. And if there’s no help there, join a disease-specific email list. List members can recommend food that will help your cat’s health while pleasing his palate… and your bank account.

Fat Cats Are Getting Even Fatter

Obese Orange Cat
© katrinaelena – Fotolia.com

Pet Insurance has some disturbing news for cat caretakers. For the
fourth year in a row, claims for obesity-related illnesses have gone up. VPI policyholders filed for more than $52 million
in claims for conditions and diseases that can be related to obesity in
both cats and dogs, up 7.3 percent from the previous year.

These were the top 10 obesity-related illnesses in cats.

  1. Bladder/urinary tract disease
  2. Chronic kidney disease
  3. Diabetes
  4. Liver disease
  5. Asthma
  6. Arthritis
  7. High blood pressure
  8.  Heart failure
  9. Gall bladder disorder
  10. Immobility of the spine.

are our cats getting so fat? Their sedentary, strictly-indoor lifestyle
is partly to blame. But the main culprit is those high-carb,
all-dry-food diets.

If your cat needs to shed a few pounds, read up on the Catkins Diet. And if you want to help him kick the dry food habit, these suggestions should help.

Pet Insurance Goes To Work

Does this kitten have pet insurance? She just might since a growing number of companies are offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit.

Is the cost of kitty’s health care making you feel a bit sick? If you’re lucky, your employer is one of a growing number of companies that offers pet insurance as a voluntary benefit.

According to Nationwide Insurance, the owner of VPI Pet Insurance, health care coverage for companion animals is one of the fastest-growing voluntary benefits in the U.S. More than 5,000 companies and organizations now offer Nationwide, and other pet insurance companies have corporate clients, too.

Pet Insurance Posts Record Growth

If you’re looking for a growth industry, check out pet insurance. 

In 2014, the latest year for which statistics are available, the number of gross written premiums increased 12.8 percent on 10.6 percent additional animals. That makes it one of the fastest growing categories in the insurance industry.

In all, 1.4 million companion animals had insurance, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association says. Their humans paid $660.5 million in premiums. 

Pet Insurance At The Office

Many companies now offer pet insurance as a benefit to cover kittens like this one.
While some companies pay 100 percent of their employees’ pet insurance premiums, most offer it as a voluntary benefit. That means employees’ animal companions are covered at discounted group rates, with the company taking care of administrative costs.

Among the companies that offer pet insurance as a benefit are Deloitte LLP, Edelman, Caterpillar Inc., Walgreen Co, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Hewlett-Packard, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Xerox, Adidas and Yahoo!.