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Cats are a lot harder to train than dogs, and they can be unpredictable. That can lead to accidents, illnesses or injuries – which means unexpected vet bills for you.
Pet insurance can help cover the cost of healthcare if they get injured or fall ill.
If your cat has a recurring health problem, it can be covered by a pre-existing conditions policy, as long as it hasn't had any symptoms for 24 months.
It really depends on the age, size, breed and health of your cat, plus your own personal information like your address.
A young, fit moggy living at a postcode well away from busy roads is likely to pay less than an elderly Persian in a built up city location. Find out more about how your pet insurance price is affected by where you live, and the cost of insuring older pets.
To find out exactly how much your cat will cost to insure, you’ll need to get a quote – it only takes a few minutes.
The cost of treatment varies, depending on the type of injury or illness, whether it’s a chronic condition, the breed of your cat, where you live and which vet you use. But you could be looking at a bill in the thousands of pounds for broken bones or pet hospital stays – could you afford to pay that yourself?
Pet insurance can cover a large part of the cost. The type of pet insurance you choose will depend on how much you can claim for, and how long.
For example, a fractured leg means expensive x-rays, surgery and physiotherapy, which would be covered by a time-limited policy.
But this could easily lead to longer-term costs: more surgery for the removal of stabilising pins and treatment for joint stiffness or lameness resulting from the original fracture – if that continued for more than 365 days, your time limited policy would stop paying out, but you could continue to claim on a lifetime policy, as long as you keep renewing it.
As your pet grows older, your pet insurance costs will probably increase. But so does your pet’s chances of needing to see a vet for an illness or injury.
This is usually the cheapest option because it only covers your cat for treatment due to accidents.
If you’re worried about your pet developing an illness, then this might not be the best option for you.
A time-limited policy covers new illnesses or conditions that develop in the 12-month cover period. Each condition is covered up to the policy limit for 365 days from when it first shows signs, as long as the policy is still active. After that period is up, you’ll have to cover the treatment costs yourself.
Any pre-existing conditions won’t be covered when you renew your policy. There might also be a cost limit per condition.
This type of policy covers your cat’s illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition.
If your pet’s health condition becomes long term, and you reach the maximum amount, you’ll have to pay the rest of the treatment fees yourself.
Lifetime cover insures your cat for injuries and illnesses up to a fixed amount per year. Limits can be per condition, or an overall limit for all conditions for the year, or sometimes both.
For example, you’d be covered if your policy limit is £8,000, and you need to claim £5,000 for the cost of asthma treatment for your cat.
If you renewed the cover at the end of the year, your pet would continue to be covered as the asthma limit would reset to £8,000.
You could also claim up to £8,000 each year for any other insured condition it develops.
Insurance for your cat will probably have upper and lower age limits – usually older than eight weeks, but the maximum age will vary between insurers. As long as you keep paying your premiums, it will be covered even when it passes the maximum age.
If you make a claim, you’ll need to pay an excess. On some policies, you might have to pay a contribution or co-payment towards your cat’s treatment too, particularly when they reach a certain age. It’s usually a fixed percentage. Check policy docs, and make sure you’re comfortable with how much you’ll need to contribute towards a claim.
Third party claims aren’t usually covered by cat insurance as they're considered ‘free spirits’, meaning their owners can’t be held responsible for their actions.
Standard treatments, like worming, flea control and pet vaccinations are rarely covered, so you’ll need to pay for these yourself.
You might be offered extra cover for lost or stolen cats, emergency boarding fees, dental care or accidental damage in your own home.
Pedigree cats are likely to be more expensive to insure as purebreds are more prone to certain illnesses.
Cover varies from one policy to another, but it’s not just veterinary cover you should look out for. Cat insurance usually also covers:
Straying and theft – covers the cost of advertising for lost and stolen pets and sometimes a reward. Some policies pay out a proportion of your pet’s value if they sadly can’t be found
Cattery and boarding fees – pays for your cat to be looked after if you need an emergency stay in hospital
Travel related cover – insurance if your cat accompanies you abroad, or even if you need to cancel your holiday because your cat’s taken ill
Death – cover for the cost of euthanasia. Some policies also pay out some of the value of your cat if they sadly pass away
No, it’s not currently required by law, but it’s highly recommended by most vets and is being considered by the Environment Secretary.
Vomiting, feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTD), tapeworms, eye problems and fleas are some of the most common conditions, but this depends on the breed of your cat, as well as it’s ancestry.
It can be more expensive to insure an older cat and some insurers will have an upper age limit they can cover, but it is possible.
If insurance proves difficult to find, consider ‘self-insuring’ your older cat – this is where you put a set amount of money aside each month in savings so that you build up an ‘emergency fund’ for veterinary treatment for them instead.
You’ll need to tell us a few details to get a quote:
As of February 2022, there are 21 active pet insurers on the panel at Stickee Technology.