How pollution ran up a £3k bill for one woman

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Cat with asthma

The smog that loomed over much of the UK at the end of March and beginning of April caused irritation for many and inconvenience for others, but one Glasgow woman has warned that pollution left her with a £3,000 bill.

Her cat suddenly succumbed to feline asthma.
Stan, a six year old Snow Bengal cat from Glasgow was rushed to the vet by his horrified owner, June Leckie, who spotted that he was struggling to breathe.

He was sent for an emergency CAT scan, and the vet discovered that Stan was suffering asthma attacks. He eventually needed nine days in hospital and he will require two inhalers for the rest of his life.

The vets bill came to £3,000, although Leckie was covered by Petplan, which picked up the bill. She said the bill out of the blue would have been a financial disaster - let alone the ongoing expense of a lifetime of treatment.

It sounds far-fetched, but cat asthma is a growing problem: around 85,000 cats in the UK suffer from it. Brian Faulkner, Petplan vet said: "It is believed by many veterinary professionals that feline asthma is becoming more prevalent in the UK due to increased pollution and a rise of indoor only cats."

Weird cat claims

It's certainly one of the more unlikely consequences of pollution, but it's not the strangest thing to have happened to a cat. Here are five more unusual cat insurance claims:

1. Every year in the US a pet insurance company holds a competition to find the weirdest pet insurance claim. Last year one runner-up, Natasha the Siberian Forest cat, spent the entire wash cycle inside a washing machine - and lived to tell the tale.

2. The previous year, Baxter the cat from Seattle was up for the title after falling from the 11th floor of his apartment block - and making a full recovery.

3. Another runner-up that year was Pebbles, the cat from California, who got stuck in a car engine and went on a 15-mile road trip before being discovered.

4. Meanwhile, Furby the cat gains points for perseverance. She was first taken to the vets to have a piece of wool surgically removed from her stomach in January 2011. Then she was back for the same thing in January 2012 and again in January 2013. She still loves to chase string.

5. And as we reported in January, one homeowner in Chile had a claim to make after an encounter with a different type of cat. When she went downstairs for breakfast she found a Puma in her kitchen - which was busy dismantling the fixtures and fittings.