You’ve got no money, and your cat needs to see the vet. It’s an all too common situation.
I’m not talking about expensive surgeries or emergencies. Sometimes, I see posts in cat Facebook groups like these:
- My cat has fleas, but I can’t afford to take him to the vet.
- The cat has a tapeworm or other worms. What are natural treatments, as I have no money for the vet?
- The cat stopped using the litter box. We don’t have money for a vet visit to rule out a medical problem.
- The cat’s eyes are crusty or have goop in the corners. How can we help the cat without a visit to the vet?
- This feral cat needs TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), but I can’t afford it.
These issues are not expensive emergencies or significant health problems. And if you can’t afford an office visit at the vet, you likely have more money problems.
If you are consistently short on cash, consider starting a side hustle, learning more about money, getting a higher-paying job, and making changes that will lead to you being able to afford the vet. Also, you can use this cat cost calculator to find out the average monthly cost of your cats, not including emergencies.
What Can You Do To Have Money for the Vet?
I’m not a financial adviser and can’t promise what I’ve done or my suggestions will work for you. My goal is to encourage you to learn more about money and finances to have cash when your cat needs care.
I have two suggestions that may help you, besides the obvious of finding a hiring paying job and saving more money. Doing one will help; doing both will increase the chances that you will have the money to cover your cat’s expenses.
Start a Side Hustle
My side hustle is blogging; however, blogging can take a lot of work and time before making money.
There are many choices for side hustles that only cost a little to get started. I recommend listening to the Side Hustle School Podcast for inspiration. It’s free! It’s a short daily podcast with the story of someone’s side hustle making at least $500 a month. If you prefer reading, the 100 Side Hustles book is excellent, too!
There are also many side hustle ideas if you search online. There may be ideas for something you are already interested in.
Learn More About Money
There are different approaches to money, including:
- Dave Ramsey – have a budget, do the debt snowball, and spend less than you make
- Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich – make more so you can spend more. I learned about automating savings from his book (the book is targeted toward young adults, but I still found it helpful
- Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) – save all you can and be frugal. Mr. Money Mustache was my introduction to the FIRE movement. There are many other blogs and podcasts for becoming financially independent.
You can research to see what will work for you and whose advice you connect with. Read books to get different perspectives.
I’d like you to DO SOMETHING to improve your financial situation to reduce your chances of being the one on Facebook who can’t afford a trip to the vet. Changing habits will take time, and building up your savings will take time, too. So, the sooner you can start making progress, the better.
I do understand that life circumstances change as my family’s income is significantly less than it was a year ago. However, I’m doing the best I can to make financial improvements, such as taking on freelance work.
When You Need Money Now
What can you do right now to get the money to get your cat the care it needs?
- Ask your friends and family for help. You may have a cat lady or guy who will help you out, especially if the support isn’t a repeated pattern.
- Sell something quickly. It’s unlikely that you are a minimalist with only a cat and only a few household items (if you are, you probably have $100 for the vet and treatment). Many people buy stuff and resell it at higher prices for their side hustle.
- Care Credit or other credit cards. Care Credit may be a good option if you struggle with credit use, as it can only be used at the vet and other medical places (for humans).
- Vet payment plan. Some vets do not do payment plans. I suspect this is due to people getting help for their pets and not making payments. This may be dependent on your relationship with your vet.
- Local groups. Check for organizations in your area that can help with expenses or offer services at lower rates
- Crowdfunding. Sites like GoFundMe can be used to raise money for your cat’s care. You’ll need to tell a good story to get donations.
When you can set aside money in savings, there will be much less stress for you when something comes up and your cat needs care.
I made a video about Care Credit, which I used when my cat needed surgery which may help you decide if it’s a good choice for you.