Tesco Bank pet insurance, in the UK, usefully provide us with the top five health claims made by owners of Maine Coon cats. It is interesting to me because it points to the kind of health problems that need veterinary intervention for this very well known and popular breed of domestic cat. Years ago I wrote about Maine Coon health problems which referred to the typical health problems that this cat is predisposed to developing. I also asked if the Maine Coon is healthier than the Persian.
The breed has some inherited health issues which is typical of purebred cats. It is nice, however, to look at the health aspects of a cat breed from a different angle. In some ways the Tesco bank pet insurance information is more accurate because it is based on actual claims rather than theoretical possibilities due to genetic research and information. There may be regional differences due to differences in breeding.
They say that the information comes from data collected over the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. The health conditions appear to point to internal organ diseases of some sort or another. We don’t know the ages of the cats who received treatments for these diseases. I suspect that some of them are quite old because hyperthyroidism affects elderly cats, for instance. I hope that you find the information useful.
Tesco do say, by the way, that the Maine Coon “may be susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)“. This, as you may know, is a disease of the small and large intestines which become inflamed. Some years ago I wrote about this and possible home treatments for it. I have also written about the typical health problems from which this breed may suffer due to inherited diseases.
Tesco also refer to a common heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). My research indicates that Maine Coons are not predisposed to this disease. What Tesco are saying is that purebred cats or even random bred cats in general might suffer from this disease and therefore they receive claims. It affects middle-aged cats and young cats sometimes. The heart grows bigger and it is believed that it is hereditary. The symptoms are shortness of breath and reduced appetite.
In common with other domestic cats Maine Coons can suffer from kidney disease particularly in old age. My research indicates that they can suffer from hip dysplasia resulting in abnormalities in walking and lameness and the reluctance to jump. This is not listed by Tesco as you can see which is quite interesting. It points to a difference between a theoretical predisposition to inherit this disease compared to what is happening on the ground in reality.
Whether a cat owner goes down the route of pet insurance is purely a personal preference and is linked to a certain extent to risk aversion. Some people are naturally risk averse and want the peace of mind that pet insurance brings. I completely understand that. They will find pet insurance useful. Arguably, pet insurance is more effective for the purebred, pedigree cats because they, in general, live shorter lives and might be predisposed to certain health conditions warranting a pet insurance claim. My personal choice is what is called “self-insurance”. This is saving money on a monthly basis and putting that money into a specific savings account which can be called a call to pay for a large veterinary bill when required. My calculation is that this might be cheaper in the long run. I believe that the pet insurance companies should be more competitive with self-insurance. The reason why take-up of pet insurance in the UK and in the USA is lower than it might be is because it is uncompetitive. That must be the bottom line reason.
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