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Veterinary Care Affordability Information & Resources

Free Cat Is Never Free

A cat (or any pet) is a big commitment, both personal and financial.  Welcoming a pet into your life and family also entails costs for:

  • desexing, microchipping and initial vaccination/s,

  • food,

  • pet essentials such as litter, collars, bowls, beds, toys, and so on,

  • flea and worming treatments,

  • regular vet expenses such as annual vaccinations and health checks,

  • other services such as grooming, training, boarding and so on.

Cat Resting
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All pets need routine prevention and maintenance care.


Providing your cherished pet with good routine care can save money in the long run by stopping little issues from becoming big issues (and big costs!).


Most vet clinics do not offer internal payment plans.  No-one wants their pet to suffer because resources are out of reach.  Where possible, plan ahead for how to handle an unexpected or emergency vet visit.

Options for high or unexpected vet bills


SA Cat Rescue does not provide veterinary expense assistance but suggests the following steps and options:

  • Seek a second opinion

Seek a second opinion from another vet.  Costs vary from clinic to clinic, and another vet may suggest an alternative approach to your pet's treatment method.

  • Discuss generic brand medication

Ask your vet if there is a generic version available of any medications.  Human pharmacies or online pet pharmacies sometimes have the same medication prescribed for your pet at a lower price.  Discuss with your vet if it is possible to have a prescription written for your pet's medication to purchase it via alternative methods.

  • Pet Insurance

There are many pet insurance providers in Australia with many different cover options.  Be aware that pet insurance may not cover pre-exisiting conditions, dental work, and certain other injuries and illnesses.  Many pet insurance policies also have a waiting period.  Before selecting a pet insurance plan, read the product disclosure documents to determine if it is right for you.  Pet insurance generally requires that the invoice is paid in full before processing a claim.

GapOnly™ works in conjunction with pet insurance.  GapOnly™ enables same day claims processing in-clinic, meaning owners can claim on the spot and only pay the gap (the difference between the eligible vet’s invoice and what’s covered under their pet insurance policy).

VetPay is a payment plan that lets you pay for your pets treatment over time - a credit line for veterinary care.  You pay your vet an initial deposit, and VetPay direct debit the balance in fortnightly repayments from your nominated bank account.  Finance is subject to a credit check.  Fees and charges do apply.

Some veterinary clinics accept "buy now pay later" payment platforms such as AfterPay, ZipPay, etc.  These platforms allow you to spread the cost of purchases over time, rather than paying large amounts of money upfront.  Finance is subject to a credit check.  Fees and charges do apply.

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides safe, fair and affordable loans to people on low incomes of up to $1500 with no interest, fees or charges.  A NILS loan may be able to be used for veterinary costs.  Eligibility criteria apply.

The Pet Guardians Charitable Trust provides assistance to holders of an Aged Pension Concession Card in meeting the costs of veterinary services for their cherished domestic pet cats or dogs.  Eligibility and assistance is assessed on a case by case basis, please contact Pet Guardians for further details.

Important Information:

This information is provided as a resource only and is not intended to provide specific advice. 

SA Cat Rescue is not affiliated with and does not endorse any of the above service providers.

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