How Much Does Cat Insurance Cost, and What Does It Cover?

Written by Opal
Updated: June 15, 2022
© Red Bow Tie Photo/Shutterstock.com
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Having a cat is one of the greatest joys in this world. When it comes to pets, you won’t find many other animals that are as low maintenance as our feline friends. As a pet parent, taking care of your companion’s health should be at the top of your priority list. 

There’s no denying that trips to the vet can quickly add up. The average veterinarian trip for cat owners costs $178. If you’re feline experiences an emergency, needs an operation, or requires special medical treatments for a condition, you can expect to shell out quite a bit of cash. 

Thankfully, there’s cat insurance! Below you’ll find everything you need to know about what it is, what it includes, how much insurance costs, and more! Keep on reading if you want to save money without jeopardizing your furry friend’s health.

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Is Cat Insurance Worth It? 

Cats are a never-ending source of entertainment and intrigue, and they make fantastic companions, but they, like humans, may become ill and have mishaps. Fortunately, veterinarians can now do a lot to treat ill and wounded animals. 

There is, unfortunately, no national health service for pets, and pet parents are left uninformed about accompanying medical expenses. Cat insurance allows owners to budget for unforeseen veterinary costs in advance. 

This is the most common reason for cat owners to insure their pets, and it is becoming increasingly vital in the present economic situation. Cat insurance plans can also pay the expenses of a variety of other pet-related costs, including assistance in locating a lost or stray cat, reimbursement in the event of a cat’s death or loss, home healthcare or boarding facility fees if the owner is sick, and a variety of other scenarios that will be discussed further down in this guide. 

Keep in mind that not all cat insurance policies are created equal or function in the same manner. So, whether or not it’s worth it depends entirely on your budget, lifestyle, and the health of your pet. 

Cat Insurance Eligibility

Dogs and cats are covered by the majority of pet health insurance carriers. Specific carriers only insure cats who are of a certain age. According to many insurance carriers, kittens must be at least 6 to 10 weeks old to qualify. Some programs accept cats of any age, while others exclude old cats or limit first-time participation to kitties under a certain age. 

Most plans, on the other hand, will cover your pet for as long as you keep paying the premiums. Before they can give coverage, some insurance needs your cat to have had a recent vet appointment or completed an examination.

Veterinarian examining a kitten
Many insurance carriers require kittens to be at least 6 to 10 weeks old to qualify.

©iStock.com/BrianAJackson

Cost of Cat Insurance 

The pet owner is liable for a monthly or yearly fee for dog insurance. The cost varies according to the pedigree, gender, age, and region of the cat. Female felines are less expensive than male cats, and the older your cat is, the higher the premium. Insurance in big cities will be more expensive than in more rural places such as the suburbs. 

All of these elements have an impact on the cost of insurance coverage on a monthly basis. Insurance payments for cats can vary from $10 to $50 per month, according to NAPHIA. Most pet owners will pay $30 to $50 per month for a plan that includes injury and illness coverage. Accident-only insurance is frequently the most affordable choice, ranging between $10 and $20 per month.

The cheapest option isn’t always the best, which is why you should consider both your financial security and your pet’s health. If you’re willing to pay ahead for yearly wellness expenses, accident-only may be a viable choice for you and your cat. 

Cat insurance premiums will climb over time. Feline insurance companies, on the other hand, allow people to customize their policies to fit their finances. There are a variety of annual thresholds, premiums, copays, and optional add-ons to choose from. 

I recommend purchasing the most complete coverage you can afford at the time of sign-up, with the idea that you may adjust coverage as required to keep expenses within your limit if they exceed your expectations.

Different Types of Cat Insurance 

Insurers provide three basic coverage options: accident-only coverage, accident and sickness coverage, and wellness coverage. We examine pet insurance prices separately because the advantages and restrictions of each plan differ by company. 

Some businesses impose limitations, such as age restrictions. Other cat insurance companies have no limits for the same situations, which is why it’s so vital to shop around.

Accident and Illness Coverage

Though some insurers provide sickness coverage alone, it’s far more common to find it bundled with an accident policy. Accident and illness insurance, sometimes referred to as comprehensive coverage, covers a wide variety of issues. This includes ailments that aren’t as serious as diarrhea and vomiting. 

This form of insurance can also cover the unexpected, like cancer. They can also comprise hospitalization, treatments, procedures, and prescription drug expenditures, as well as any veterinary assessment and examination bills. The bulk of insurance policies will include your cat’s breed-specific genetic and congenital disorders. 

There is a catch: when you acquire insurance coverage, your veterinarian must locate the illness or specific health issue. Pre-existing illnesses are rarely covered by pet insurance companies. There are other policies that cover certain medical issues if they show up after a specified period of time has passed. 

For instance, you may need to have cat insurance for six months before they would cover some joint procedures. It’s also worth noting that certain medicines will not be included in plans, especially if they’re for behavioral disorders like separation anxiety. This policy covers the majority of severe and major diseases.

Orange cat wearing an Elizabethan collar
Accident coverage is often bundled with an illness policy.

©iStock.com/maxsattana

Comprehensive Plus Wellness Coverage

Wellness coverage can be added to some comprehensive policies. Alternative medicines, as well as psychiatric treatment, acupuncture, and pain medication. Light therapy and hydrotherapy may be included under wellness coverage. Nutritional supplements and meals are also included in other options to manage your kitten’s medical condition.

Wellness Coverage

Wellness insurance, often defined as “preventive care,” is available as an add-on or supplement to a wider policy or, in certain situations, as a stand-alone policy. The majority of standard veterinary procedures are often covered. Other services, such as grooming and coaching, are available occasionally. 

Accident-Only Coverage

Accident-only coverage pays for the costs of treating illnesses and injuries caused by accidents, regardless of whether the animal was to blame or the owner. While claims for accidents caused by such conduct will not influence your monthly rates, the cost of accident insurance and comprehensive plans that include the coverage could change. 

Accidents that may be traced back to the pet owner, such as deliberate injuries or those arising from the use of the pet in professional fighting or contests, will not be covered, nor will any accident caused by a pre-existing condition.

What Does Cat Insurance Include 

Not every cat insurance provider is the same. Some of them cover everything you might possibly encounter, while others are a little more restrictive. Here are some of the most frequent conditions, surgeries, and goods that cat insurance will cover. Keep in mind that you should contact the specific provider to learn more about their coverage options. 

Implantation of Microchips

A microchip may seem little, but it may make a big impact in terms of being able to monitor your cat at any time. Many pet insurance companies cover microchip implantation because they recognize how important it can be in reconnecting you with your furry friend. 

Medication and Prescription 

If your pet is sick or injured, prescription drugs may be needed to help with pain treatment, inflammation management, or infection prevention. They may also need medication to manage chronic illnesses such as thyroid problems. Cat insurance policies usually include prescription medicine coverage for qualifying conditions. 

Chronic Illnesses 

Diabetes and cancer are two examples of disorders that need therapy over a long period of time. With pet insurance, you shouldn’t have to worry about an ailment being rejected for treatment simply because it is reoccurring.

Alternative Medicine 

Alternative therapies for cats healing from accidents or ailments are now readily available. Some of the therapies include reflexology, swimming, chiropractic care, rehabilitative therapy, and mild laser therapy. When a pet insurer pays for unconventional treatment to help treat a covered illness, you are reimbursed. Some providers may not offer this option or only sell this coverage as an add-on.

Foods and Supplements on Prescription 

Your veterinarian may recommend prescription food or supplements to help your pet with certain health issues. Some insurance companies may reimburse you if you use these things to treat an illness. Other providers may not provide this coverage or only provide it as an add-on. Some businesses may impose a time limit on how long you are able to use this service.

Accidents

If your pet has an injury, accident insurance can help you provide for them appropriately without worrying about the cost. Among the injuries and crises mentioned are ripped tendons, open wounds, breaks, fractured bones, swallowed objects, and deadly overdoses. 

X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, blood work, sutures, medications, hospitalization, and surgery are among the various things covered.

Illnesses

If you have sickness coverage, you may be eligible for reimbursement for the costs of serious and mild ailments such as cancer, diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, skin disease, digestive problems, and urinary tract infections. 

It can cover anything from diagnosing your pet’s sickness to the therapies needed to help him or her recover. When you’re dealing with the financial strain of caring for a sick cat, getting this financial assistance can be extremely beneficial.

Behavioral Issues

Consistent licking, fur tugging, agitation, and aggressive biting are all signs of behavioral issues in your pet, which can be unpleasant and harmful. They can also damage your home and disrupt your family’s daily routine. 

Only a few insurance companies will pay the expenses of diagnosing and treating these issues. This coverage isn’t offered by all pet health insurance companies, although it is occasionally available as an add-on. 

Beautiful silver tabby Maine Coon kitten girl with large golden eyes on white background.
Behavioral issues are rarely covered by cat insurance.

©iStock.com/EdithRum

What’s Not Included With Cat Insurance?

Because every cat insurance provider is different, we’d like to go through some of the things that most plans don’t cover. Make sure you thoroughly grasp the restrictions of any coverage you’re considering to prevent unpleasant surprises later. 

Pre-Existing Conditions  

Pre-existing conditions can occur before or during the coverage waiting period. If your pet has a pre-existing condition prior to insurance starting, it will not be covered. If the sickness is curable, however, coverage under our plans may be available in the future. 

An injury or illness that has been cured and free of treatment and side effects for 180 days is no longer viewed as pre-existing, with the exception of knee and ligament disorders. Any future knee or ligament issues that emerge before the insurance start date or during the waiting period will not be covered.

How to Choose a Policy

It can be difficult and even intimidating trying to find the right policy for your four-legged companion. To make it a smidge easier, this buyer guide details what you should look for when shopping for insurance for your cat. 

Know the Policy 

Although a provider may provide the sorts of coverage you need for your pet, you should ensure that you understand how it works. There might be restrictions or exclusions that have a significant influence on your reimbursements. 

Some insurance companies, for instance, cover prescription food, but only for specific diseases or for a limited period. It would be inconvenient to believe you had this insurance only to find out it had expired after a few weeks.

Insure Them Young 

You may think your cat is happy and healthy right now, and that nothing could possibly go wrong. However, now is the best time to insurance – before your cat becomes ill or injured, incurring the associated costs and maybe being excluded from future coverage.

More Than Cost 

All pet insurance policies are not created equal. The type of veterinarian services covered by a policy is the most significant variation between them, and it might affect the price. The many sorts of covers will be discussed later. 

Know What’s Covered

While the cover’s financial worth is significant, a bigger sum is not always preferable. You should consider the cover’s length and what will be covered in the future as well as today. 

Ask Questions 

If you’re not sure if coverage will satisfy your needs, phone the provider and inquire – it’s frequently quicker than sifting through a slew of websites or pamphlets.

Up Next

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Cat sitting next to an easel with
Pet insurance can defray the cost of your cat's medical care.
© Red Bow Tie Photo/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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