Many of us are by no means rich. If you find yourself in a dire financial situation and your cat (or other pet)needs care, there are some organizations that help pay for veterinary bills or give you credit cards specifically for veterinary bills:
First, an article on how to budget for and afford vet care:
The list of Organizations (Alphabetical):
American Animal Hospital Association
"The heartbreak happens all too often — a pet owner is unable to afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price.
If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook. Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship — making it too difficult to afford pet care. And some animals, brought to clinics by Good Samaritans, don't have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured animals are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer. Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."
Angels 4 Animals
"Angels4Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need."
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"CareCredit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget."
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP) http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
"The NEED & The HELP: Seniors, People with disabilities, People who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion."
The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.
"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. For lonely seniors, physically/mentally challenged individuals and children of working parents, pets represent much more than a diversion."
Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged."
The Pet Fund
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or emergency vet visits. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost."
United Animal Nations
"The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."
UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills
"Most of us can cope with the financial commitment involved in the day to day care of our pets. However, how many of us come out in a cold sweat when our pet is ill or injured and we know we have to take it to the vet? Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford it but, some of us who love our animals dearly cannot. Unfortunately we do not have a PDSA or a RSPCA Centre within our area, but there are a few charities who may be able to help."
Other Groups Who are Breed or Injury Specific:
Dachshunds Needing IVDD surgery
"From time to time, HandicappedPets.com recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal families that they give up a little more than they can afford."
LabMed: Rx For Rescued Labs