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truInsights: Trupanion Data Reveals Trends in Feline Health

truInsights is a data focused initiative introduced by Trupanion and designed to deliver valuable health-related data and insights to pet owners.

With the onset of kitten season upon us in North America, many young cats will find their way into our households. As responsible, loving pet parents seek guidance on caring for these new companions, Trupanion, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRUP), the leading provider of medical insurance for cats and dogs, offers insights into feline health derived from over 20 years of their pet health data.

Cat Ownership on the Rise

Trupanion offers these insights at a time of rising prominence of cats within our households. According to recent studies1, the number of cats in North American households has been on the rise over the past 5 years, with 24% of U.S. households owning cats in 2023. Additionally, the number of households with two or more cats has also increased over that same timeframe, reaching nearly 50% of cat-owning households.

With the rise in cat ownership, more pet owners are turning to pet medical insurance to ensure they don’t have to make tough financial decisions. The 2023 NAPHIA State of the Industry report noted that the number of insured cats in the U.S. and Canada totaled over 1.3 million in 2023, up from less than half a million in 2019, steadily gaining share of the total insured pet population since 2018.

Trends in Feline Veterinary Visits

According to Trupanion data, dogs make 82% more unexpected visits to the vet than cats. Trupanion consulted with veterinarian and Trupanion General Manager, Stephen Rose, BVSc (Hons1) M Infotech CVA ACVCHM, for his insights on this trend.

“As Trupanion data highlights, cats are less likely to visit the veterinarian than their canine counterparts. While there are a multitude of reasons cats may be less likely than dogs to visit the veterinarian, one such reason is that cats tend to hide their pain and discomfort, which can mask signs of illness. This makes regular veterinary visits important for cats to ensure they receive the necessary care and health checks they might not show they need.”

While routine veterinary visits are not something that is typically covered by traditional pet insurance, these visits can help identify illnesses that would be otherwise covered.

Common Claims for Cats:

Despite their reputation for independence, cats are not immune to health issues. Our data highlights some of the most common claims made by cat owners, including dental problems, urinary tract issues, and digestive disorders. While the average cost of treating these conditions varies, it underscores the importance of being prepared for unexpected veterinary expenses.

The most common claims for cats are as follows:

  1. Renal failure
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Diabetes mellitus
  5. Hyperthyroidism
  6. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  8. Lymphoma
  9. Mass Lesion
  10. Gastroenteritis

According to Trupanion data, the average veterinary invoice for Lymphoma approximates $600, the average invoice for vomiting approximates $450 and the average invoice for a mass lesion approximates $400.

Fun Cat Facts

  • The most common cat names for Trupanion insured cats are Luna, Oliver, and Leo
  • Highest cat populations for Trupanion members are in Ontario, Canada and California, USA
  • In 2024, 35% of cat owners using Trupanion have 2 or more cats insured
  • In 2023, the most popular cat breed was Ragdoll with the Maine Coon following in second place. So far in 2024, Maine Coon is the most popular and Ragdoll is in second place.
  • Our record highest single invoice Trupanion has paid for a cat was in 2017 and totaled over $53,000 for the treatment of Peritonitis.

Conclusion:

As cat ownership continues to rise, it's important to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our feline friends. By staying informed about common health issues, being financially prepared for veterinary care, and scheduling regular check-ups, we can provide our cats with the care they deserve.

About Trupanion

Trupanion is a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico and Australia with over 1,000,000 pets enrolled. For over two decades, Trupanion has given pet owners peace of mind so they can focus on their pet's recovery, not financial stress. Trupanion is committed to providing pet owners with the highest value in pet medical insurance with unlimited payouts for the life of their pets. With its patented process, Trupanion is the only North American provider with the technology to pay veterinarians directly in seconds at the time of checkout. Trupanion is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol "TRUP". The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. Trupanion policies are issued, in the United States, by its wholly-owned insurance entity American Pet Insurance Company and, in Canada, by Accelerant. Trupanion Australia is a partnership between Trupanion and Hollard Insurance Company. For more information, please visit trupanion.com.

1 Packaged Facts, “Pet Population & Ownership Trends in the U.S., 7th Edition.” As of the Fall 2023 data release, based on MRI-Simmons data.

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