Cat Insurance Guide

Why do you need insurance for your cat, and what features and exclusions are usually found in this type of pet insurance? Read our guide to find out more.

What's in this guide?

What is cat insurance?

Pets truly become part of the family, and any injury or illness to them creates a difficult and stressful time for you as the owner. It can also be an expensive time: vet bills for serious conditions suffered by cats can quickly escalate and amount to thousands of pounds.

Cat insurance helps provide you with peace of mind by covering the cost for vet fees if your cat becomes sick or suffers an injury. It can also provide other benefits to make your life as a owner less stressful, such as covering the cost of advertising if your cat becomes lost or is stolen, or care for your pet should you be taken ill.

Do I need cat insurance?

It is important to provide good day-to-day care to keep your cat in the best health, such as a nutritionally balanced diet, regular grooming, and protection against disease through vaccinations and regular health check-ups at your vet’s.

However, it is preparing for the unexpected that is most crucial to ensuring your cat has the best chance of a long and healthy life. Especially if you have an adventurous, outdoors-loving moggy who likes to roam around the neighbourhood, the cover provided by cat insurance means you can rest easy, knowing should any harm befall your pet you have a way to help.

This still applies if your cat or kitten is currently happy and healthy. In fact, this is the ideal time to insure – before it suffers an illness or injury, which is expensive to treat and will be excluded from any future cat insurance policy.

What does cat insurance cover?

Different levels of cat insurance policies exist, providing varying benefits, so make sure you choose the right one for your pet. Some of the most common features available are:

Vet fees – Cat insurance covers you for veterinary bills for illness and injury, up to a certain sum yearly or over the life of your pet (depending on your policy).

Advertising and recovery costs – When your cat becomes lost or is stolen it can be particularly stressful time. Cat insurance can help by covering costs for an advertised reward and promotional materials.

Cattery fees – If you, or a member of your family permanently living with you, are hospitalised on medical advice and unable to look after your cat, you can gain cover to keep your pet safe in a cattery until you are able to care for it again.

For the best cat insurance, insure your pet when it is young and healthy, without pre-existing injuries or illnesses that would be excluded from your policy.

Holiday cancellation costs – If you have to cancel your holiday because your pet has fallen ill and you have to remain at home to care for it, cat insurance policies can include cover for costs incurred. 

Overseas travel – Policies can be extended to cover a period when your cat is abroad in a listed country or territory under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

Multi-pet insurance –If you have more than one animal, you can usually also purchase multi-pet insurance, covering all your pets under one policy.

How much does cat insurance cost?

The price of a cat insurance policy is based on a variety of factors:

    • Cat pedigree and breed –– because some pure-bred cats are more likely to suffer specific injuries and illnesses, premiums can be higher for these breeds. For example, polycystic kidney disease resulting in chronic kidney condition has affected over 50% of Persian cats in the past.

    • Age – the chances of cats becoming ill increases as they age, while young cats are more likely to get into difficulties if they are roaming around the neighbourhood.

    • Location – your location will influence the prices charged by your local vet, and insurers will set premiums accordingly. London vets will likely charge more due to increased ground rent charges.

    • Level of your cat insurance cover – The more restrictions and limitations to your cover, the less the insurance is likely to have to pay out, and vice versa. For example, accident only coverage will simply pay out for accidents and would not cover ongoing illness treatments.

Cat Insurance Exclusions

Routine cat healthcare – Most policies will exclude standard healthcare such as flea control, vaccinations and spaying.

Age limits – Cat insurance providers usually have a maximum age above which you cannot begin a policy. However, if you have already insured your cat before the maximum age, cover will usually be renewable for your cat’s remaining lifespan. Also, some policies have a minimum age limit, meaning you cannot insure kittens until they are a few weeks old.

Pre-existing injuries or illnesses – Cover will not be offered for illnesses or injuries your cat suffered before you took out the policy. This means if the same problem occurs again, your cat will not be covered.

Also, if you have started claiming for a particular injury or illness suffered by your cat using one policy, but then change to a new one or a different insurer, that condition will be considered as pre-existing and will not be covered by your new policy.

Waiting period – There will typically be 10 to 30 days between when you take out your cat insurance policy and when your cover begins. During this period, you will not be able to claim for any incidents, and if your cat suffers an injury or illness, it will count as a pre-existing condition and not be covered by your policy.

Things to consider when choosing your cat insurance policy

Think of your cat’s long-term health – Insuring your cat when it is younger and healthier means it is less likely to have pre-existing conditions, and will there therefore be better protected.

Maintain your cat’s day-to-day healthcare – This is vital to both help look after your cat and give it the best quality of life, and to ensure you have filled your policy requirements. Ensure your pet has received any vaccinations required, and you have taken all reasonable steps to maintain your cat’s health and avoid injury, illness, loss or theft.

Don’t forget dental – Dental treatment is not usually covered by cat insurance, but most policies will require your pet to undergo a dental examination annually, and any preventative treatment your vet recommends subsequently to reduce the risk of injury or illness.

If in doubt, ask – There are a range of different policies available, and you should make sure you have the one that is right for you and your pet’s needs. If you need guidance, you can speak to one of our specialist advisors.

Cover your cat

Every cat is individual, so the insurance that’s right for them, and you, needs to be equally unique. Healthy Pets can cost a bespoke insurance policy tailored to protect your cat, providing you with peace of mind so you can just enjoy their company.

Call for a quote on 01730 230 564 or get an instant quote online. Alternatively, read more about Healthy Pets' cat insurance. Healthy Pets and Towergate are part of the Ardonagh Group.

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