Author Topic: Cat love - at what cost?  (Read 4624 times)

Beard N Bones

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Cat love - at what cost?
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:01:35 PM »
My wife wanted to get together with some friends this up-and-coming weekend. Just the other day, one of her friends texted her and said the following:

Her cat is sick and she may not be able to get together as originally planned. The cat was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma  (caused by vaccinations in cats with prevalence of 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000!?) in November and had radical surgery to have it removed on January 5.  The lump and 3 ribs were removed. The cat got daily radiation treatments starting January 22 and is finishing up the last of the radiation treatments this week. This all happened in a city located almost 3 hours away (275km/175mi).  My wife's friend took at least 2 weeks off from her job to stay in the city with the cat for the first 2 weeks it got radiation.  Her parents took the cat to the city and stayed with it for the third week of its radiation treatment.  My wife's friend rented a fully furnished condo right next the the clinic the cat was being treated at. Apparently they've been traveling back and forth to the city with the cat (in the city a week at a time maybe). Because just the other day, the anti - nausea meds weren't working at the cat was vomiting. They took the cat into a smaller city closer by (100km/60mi), they did some blood tests, and it got some IV fluids. That happened again not long ago, but instead of coming home with the cat, it continued on the the larger city with my wife's friend's husband. They took some more blood to do further testing and then administered further fluids because the cat was dehydrated. Apparently the cat continues to vomit. They figure it is the stress or the anesthesia that is causing the vomiting. Apparently a full blood analysis and x-ray were in the works. And last I heard, the last three sessions of radiation were to start today. Once again, wife's friend was wanting to be in the city for that.

Costs (Approx Estimates) so far:
- Radiation: $6000 (conservative estimate)
- Surgery: $6000
- Condo Rental: $1200
- Medication: $400
- Tests (blood, x-ray): $350
- Other care (ie. re-hydration): $200
- Travel (1800km conservative estimate in Half ton truck) @ $0.50/km: $900
Approximate total:  $15,050


Are. You. Kiddinme?!
I don't understand and can't relate. I'm really curious to know how much the vet bills will set this couple back. Not to mention the crazy number of miles traveled to and fro!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:28:05 AM by Beard N Bones »

bacchi

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 07:17:11 PM »
The cat doesn't know what's going on and is hating life. I would've put it down a month ago.

As far as the $$, so what? It's better spent helping another creature than a stupid SUV or the iphone X or another piece of useless consumer garbage.

JLee

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 07:25:06 PM »
If they can financially handle this, what exactly is the problem?

Better someone who loves and cares for their pet than someone who says "fuck it, kill him" when he gets sick.

PoutineLover

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 07:46:35 PM »
That's so sad. I would spend limited amounts of money on my cat, if the treatment was likely to succeed and improve her quality of life and I could afford it. I would not go to extreme lengths to save her if she had a pretty much terminal illness with a low chance of survival and an expensive, damaging and time consuming treatment. I love my cat, but she's not going to live forever and I don't think she'd want to suffer through that.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 08:42:30 PM »
That's so sad. I would spend limited amounts of money on my cat, if the treatment was likely to succeed and improve her quality of life and I could afford it. I would not go to extreme lengths to save her if she had a pretty much terminal illness with a low chance of survival and an expensive, damaging and time consuming treatment. I love my cat, but she's not going to live forever and I don't think she'd want to suffer through that.

This, one of mine is 26 months post diabetic diagnosis.  Initially treatment was moderately expensive ongoing extra cost is $75-100 a month so reasonable.  The Fuzzy is happy and otherwise healthy.  I doubt I'd do what was described by the OP, unless discussions with my vet indicated that after a few months of treatment the fuzzy would go back to having a good life.

 

bugbaby

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 09:00:13 PM »
OP, sorry but without $$ figures to determine whether all this is anti-mustachian or not, hard to comment. A person cares for her sick pet. OK.

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AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 12:10:02 AM »
Pet insurance.

I would probably go to the same lengths for my cat, provided the vet was reasonably certain of a good outcome.

Rural

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 03:02:06 AM »
Poor cat. I'm treating my own diabetic cat, so I'll definitely go to some lengths when quality of life is there, but I wouldn't do that to one of my kitties if it was free.

snowball

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 08:23:30 AM »
That poor cat.  I've been through cancer treatment myself, and I would never do that to an animal I loved, who can't consent to it or understand it.  :(  I get that it's hard to let go, but...

Beard N Bones

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 08:31:30 AM »
So I've tried to put some numbers to the expenses this couple has incurred.  I've added it to my OP.  They are as follows:

Costs (Approx Estimates) so far:
- Radiation: $6000 (conservative estimate)
- Surgery: $6000
- Condo Rental: $1200
- Medication: $400
- Tests (blood, x-ray): $350
- Other care (ie. re-hydration): $200
- Travel (1800km conservative estimate in Half ton truck) @ $0.50/km: $900
Approximate total:  $15,050

I'm also very comfortable in saying that this couple is not FI.  They are young.  They like to spend their money.

Warlord1986

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 08:41:16 AM »
That's so sad. I would spend limited amounts of money on my cat, if the treatment was likely to succeed and improve her quality of life and I could afford it. I would not go to extreme lengths to save her if she had a pretty much terminal illness with a low chance of survival and an expensive, damaging and time consuming treatment. I love my cat, but she's not going to live forever and I don't think she'd want to suffer through that.

This. That poor fluffy is at the end. Better to gently let it go instead of blowing your retirement on it to make it hate life.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 10:06:08 AM »
For an average pet my price point would be lower, but if anything happened to the VSB I'd freak out and put her first, ahead of FIRE and just about everything. It's because we're bonded. I don't feel that way about every pet, but with the animals I've bonded with, if there's a chance to restore their health, happiness, or quality of life I can and do make ridiculous sacrifices. It's not that I won't put them down when the need arises-- I've done it several times-- but the emotional bond generally takes over with the decision making.

Sibley

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 11:07:43 AM »
Quantity of life without quality of life is cruel. Do your best to make the best decision for the cat, not for you.

MishMash

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 11:21:45 AM »
I dropped 1500 just this past week on my cat, and I'd do it again next week if I had (and may have to).  Dropped 1500 on a different pet last year, and she didn't make it through surgery.  I would still do it over to give her a shot.  You combine all our pets together and we are probably well over 15k over the years.  Don't care, they are a living creature, they are family, and you give them the best shot you are able to.  I would draw the line on things like non treatable cancer etc. 

Also had a friend whose cat had cancer, was given radiation, her litter was literally toxic waste, she lived another 12 years after treatment.

acepedro45

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 08:02:55 AM »
I understand the impulse to spend on a beloved pet and I'm sympathetic. Assuming it was within budget (which btw doesn't sound like the case for the couple here) I would mostly think about quality of life for the animal. 

I feel for all involved.

alanB

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 08:46:04 AM »
That is a sad situation.  Unfortunately I have heard of worse, people paying $40K+ and taking out home equity to keep a cat alive.  At a certain point your money should be used for something I guess... for some people maybe this is it.  I would say it is Antimustachian, but I don't know if it qualifies as Shame or Comedy.

I personally think that non-existence can be a better alternative to a long, drawn-out life of suffering.  That would be the primary reason to put down the cat, not just to save money.  Of course not everyone thinks that way.  "Why not just get another cat?" is the logical answer, since odds are you will probably love that cat just as much and it deserves to live too. Plenty of young, healthy cats are being put down because no one wants them, after all. 

Then again, I also think a cat is a horrible financial burden even when it is healthy.

barbaz

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2018, 09:10:16 AM »
Then again, I also think a cat is a horrible financial burden even when it is healthy.
Both my cats recently died. Over ten years, the average cost was below 400€ per year and cat, vet included. I’ve wasted more money on worse things and the impact on my FIRE date is negligible.

My MPP: letting the cat go when I could easily afford treatments (that would ultimately just extend the suffering)

alanB

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 01:05:38 PM »
Then again, I also think a cat is a horrible financial burden even when it is healthy.
Both my cats recently died. Over ten years, the average cost was below 400Ä per year and cat, vet included. Iíve wasted more money on worse things and the impact on my FIRE date is negligible.

My MPP: letting the cat go when I could easily afford treatments (that would ultimately just extend the suffering)

That is not too bad, ~$5000 (USD) total per cat.  I think most people do not realize that the pet they bought their kids costs as much as a used car.  I agree that it could be worth it, fortunately I know some well taken care of cats that I can visit any time at no cost ;)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 06:51:37 PM »


Then again, I also think a cat is a horrible financial burden even when it is healthy.

So are children, and cats are cuter. Besides which, a good cat can make itself quite useful around the place. For instance, I have chickens (pellets everywhere), a walnut tree just starting to drop (walnuts everywhere), a large compost heap (scraps for miles) and currently four dead mice on the doorstep. Just the hindquarters. He likes the heads.

Rural

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2018, 07:20:21 PM »


Then again, I also think a cat is a horrible financial burden even when it is healthy.

So are children, and cats are cuter. Besides which, a good cat can make itself quite useful around the place. For instance, I have chickens (pellets everywhere), a walnut tree just starting to drop (walnuts everywhere), a large compost heap (scraps for miles) and currently four dead mice on the doorstep. Just the hindquarters. He likes the heads.


My first present on my 21st birthday was half a squirrel on the doorstep at 6 am. I felt so special.


Current cat likes everything but the head of mice (squirrels are too much for this one). He leaves the little eyeballs staring up at you. Frankly, I prefer squirrel butt.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2018, 07:28:49 PM »
Mine usually brings them inside and has a lovely time hunting WITH mummy at 4am. No real drama, because he'll get the ones I can't find... eventually.

I found his serial killer stash under my bed not long ago. A dozen dried out wings and a few bird feet. Hard to say how many victims.... He was not impressed that I cleared out his stash.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2018, 04:37:22 AM »
When I was living in the the South, mine would alert me that a Cockroach had made it into the house.  He wouldn't kill it, just flip it over on it's back so it could be collected and flushed.

obstinate

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2018, 08:00:59 AM »
If they can financially handle this, what exactly is the problem?

Better someone who loves and cares for their pet than someone who says "fuck it, kill him" when he gets sick.
No . . . In this type of situation, the cat is often better off dead. Not unlike many humans who undergo radical, painful treatment for a tiny amount of life extension.

Mezzie

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2018, 10:46:49 AM »
A friend did similar things for her cat. Shortly after, the cat died. I held my tongue, but I got the feeling my friend did it mostly for herself (to stave off the impending separation) than for her cat who was obviously miserable. My friend had also recently lost her father, and I think she was exerting what control she could over mortality. Grief is powerful, and I certainly felt for my friend.

My husband and I have an agreement about what quality of life our dog must maintain before it's time to put her down. We've agreed we wouldn't pursue cancer treatments. We'll see when the time comes if we can stick to it. I think I will if only because I live with chronic pain and know how much it sucks; I couldn't wish that on my pup who has fewer outlets to make a meaningful life despite pain. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2018, 07:00:39 AM »
I've had friends die of cancer and 3 pets die of cancer.  Dogs and cats generally hide their illnesses so well that by the time you know they are sick they are really sick.  They cannot understand that painful treatment might (most likely not) have them healthy again.  They just know they are suffering.  The best we can give them is a painless death before their suffering gets any worse.  I just hope that if this happens to me that our laws will be such that I can give myself as easy a death as I have given to my pets.

EricEng

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2018, 08:12:15 AM »
I have never understood the argument that spending thousands to save a pet just because it is a living animal makes sense.  Hundreds, if not thousands of animals are put down in shelters everyday.  If you goal is to keep happy, healthy animals alive, you can keep dozens alive for the cost of one pet needing extreme, risky surgery.  We drug out dogs last year or two with lots of expensive surgeries and a great deal of pain for him and I regret that.

That said I've had lots of pets come and go over the years.  The first few hurt, but after a while you learn how to let them go when it is time.

Just Joe

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2018, 09:06:29 AM »
I've had friends die of cancer and 3 pets die of cancer.  Dogs and cats generally hide their illnesses so well that by the time you know they are sick they are really sick.  They cannot understand that painful treatment might (most likely not) have them healthy again.  They just know they are suffering.  The best we can give them is a painless death before their suffering gets any worse.  I just hope that if this happens to me that our laws will be such that I can give myself as easy a death as I have given to my pets.

That's our attitude as well. When our very loved old dog came to us hurting and unable to lay comfortably b/c of cancer, we knew her time was over. Vet's office was super and patient with us. We cremated her and sprinkled her ashes during a family hiking trip.

Frankly, I would want the same gracious exit as a human with a fatal sickness. Alot easier than people I've heard of or known that had to take their own life to avoid a painful ending.

RWD

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2018, 09:20:44 AM »
We spent $10k to diagnose and treat cancer in our cat. It prolonged his life by a little over a year and was completely worth it. Other than the cancer he was still young and healthy, which is why we opted for that route. Our net worth at the time was also already at a quarter million, so it didn't impact us as much financially as it would have earlier in our careers.

barbaz

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2018, 12:19:03 AM »
We spent $10k to diagnose and treat cancer in our cat. It prolonged his life by a little over a year and was completely worth it. Other than the cancer he was still young and healthy, which is why we opted for that route.
It really depends on many factors, including age and how the animal handles being at the vet. I don’t even know what one of my cats died of. 19 at the time and always in full rage mode at the vet. We agreed with the vet that even doing a diagnoses would be unnecessary stress and we would not seek treatment anyway, so instead I went to the store and bought a collection of the finest foods I could find. One was left in the end.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cat love - at what cost?
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2018, 03:33:46 AM »
I'd Like to say that I'd make a decision based on the animal's quality of life, not price. I haven't been in this situation, so hard to say. My cat is insured, though, so hopefully anything he needs in the future will be covered.