What is cat insurance?

Published 19th July 2021

Despite the old saying, ‘cats always land on their feet’ sometimes they need us to provide them with care due to illness or injury.

Unfortunately, the NHS doesn’t extend its services to our furry friends, so if something unexpected were to happen, we’re usually left with a bill for Tiddles to receive the treatment he needs. Sometimes that bill can run into the hundreds or thousands of pounds.

That’s where cat insurance comes in! With a pet insurance policy, you can provide your cat with cover towards their vet fees without necessarily breaking the bank when it comes to monthly premiums.

Types of cat insurance

With four main types of cat insurance policy to choose from and countless differences between individual policies, the process of finding a product that suits your pet and your budget can be much easier when you compare cat insurance policies in one place. But before you do, it might help to understand which of the four main policy types might be the most suitable.

You can typically choose between accident only, time limited, maximum benefit or lifetime pet insurance policies. We’ve summarised the main differences between them below, but for more information please read our guide to the different types of pet insurance.

Accident OnlyTime LimitedMaximum BenefitLifetime
Policy renewable every 12 monthsYYYY
Covers vet fees for sudden or unexpected injury or illnessYYYY
Covers vet fees for each injury or condition up to a maximum amount following initial claim YYY
Vet fees for each condition are covered for 12 months following initial claim* Y
Vet fees for each condition are covered without any time limit following initial claim* YY
Vet fees for each condition are covered up to a maximum amount, without any time limit, and the maximum amount resets every policy year** Y

*You will need to renew your policy if the condition extends beyond your current 12-month policy

**Insurance providers may refuse or limit cover to exclude existing conditions at the renewal date

What does cat insurance cover?

The main reason for taking out a pet insurance policy is to help your feline friend receive the treatment they need in the event of illness, injury or a medical problem, so the basis for most cat insurance policies is to offer a level of protection you feel is sufficient and affordable.

But beyond this, cat insurance can sometimes offer much more, depending on the policy. This can include the likes of:

  • Your cat’s dental health

    Just like us, cats can have problems with their teeth and gums, so it might be worth looking into the policy wording to see if dental treatment is included.

  • Death by illness or accident

    In the sad event that your moggy passes away, some policies will pay out either a lump sum that covers the price you paid when you bought your pet or the current market value. Age limits may apply, and you could need proof of purchase.

  • Hospitalisation

    We mean you this time! Some policies offer cover towards your cat’s boarding or cattery fees should you become too poorly to care for them and need to go into hospital. Be sure to check the policy wording and look into the maximum payout available to make sure it meets your requirements.

  • Have you seen this cat?

    Missing cat cover is sometimes included in pet insurance policies, meaning you could recover some of the costs of advertising for their safe return. Some policies will also cover a small reward for the heroic neighbour who reunites you with your pet.

Should I get cat insurance?

There is a lot to consider when you’re thinking of buying cat insurance, including your budget, the age and breed of your cat and whether they have any pre-existing or ongoing medical conditions.

While it is crucial to remember that pet insurance does not cover the likes of vaccinations, routine treatments, grooming or housing your pet while you jet off on holiday, we cannot predict what may or may not happen in the future, even if your cat is in perfect health today and largely stays out of trouble.

So, considering the potential costs of vet fees, pet insurance could offer peace of mind that should something unexpected happen, those medical expenses won’t seem quite as daunting.

How can I save money on cat insurance?

Get your cat chipped

While not yet a legal requirement for cats, microchipping your moggy can be seen by some insurance providers as a sign of responsible pet ownership and in turn, some will offer lower premiums based on this. Further to this, the information stored on your cat’s microchip can make it easier for them to be returned to you if they’re found wandering a nearby village.

Keep on top of vaccinations

By keeping your cat’s vaccinations up to date, you’re not only helping your cat out in the long run by doing your bit to keep certain illnesses at bay; you could also save money on your pet insurance premiums as some insurance providers may see your pet as a ‘lower risk’ for becoming ill.

Insure your cat while they’re young

Insuring your kitty while they’re still young and healthy could be cheaper than trying to get insurance when they’re old. This is because your cat is more likely to need veterinary treatment when they’re getting on a bit. You may also find it difficult to find a provider who will take on your pet once they’ve reached a certain age.

For more information on pet insurance, please visit our guides page.

Once you have a good idea of the cover level you require and the types of policy available, you’re ready to compare pet insurance quotes!


Other Guides


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What is dog insurance?

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