Affordable cat insurance

Cats are the perfect playful partners for your family, but can get into their fair share of mischief too. That is where cat insurance comes in, offering protection for your feline friend against accidents and illnesses. Several policies are available from a number of different providers we've covered the key things to look out for and our top picks for insuring your cat.  

Why cat insurance?

When your cat or kitten suffers an accident or falls ill and requires vet treatment it can be a stressful time for you as an owner. 

The expense is an additional cause of stress over and above your pet’s wellbeing, particularly if you don’t have cat insurance in place. Treatment costs can run into thousands of pounds which without pet cover you’ll need to cover from your own savings. 

Types of cat insurance

Accident only

Should your cat get into an accident, this covers you against vet fees as a result. In some cases costs of treatment can add up to a substantial number so protection could be worthwhile.

About accident only cover >

Time limited

Time limited policies cover vet fees caused by accidents and illnesses for a specific time period after the condition presents itself – this is usually 12 months. This is a common cover type for cat owners as it provides cover for the essentials.

About time limited cover >

Maximum benefit

Maximum benefit cat insurance plans provide protection against accidents and illnesses up to a specific amount, this allows you to claim for the same condition across multiple years.

About maximum benefit cover >

Lifetime

Lifetime cat insurance is the most comprehensive cover, it covers accidents and illnesses up to a limit which reset each year. If your cat has a chronic condition lifetime policies could be a great option to cover ongoing treatment.

About lifetime cover >

Pre-existing conditions

The newest cover level available for cats is to cover pre-existing conditions they suffer from. With this cover you can switch cat insurance provider safe in the knowledge that current conditions your cat may have can continue to be covered.

About pre-existing conditions cover >

What should I consider when choosing cat insurance?

The best cat insurance policies will be based on your specific pet’s circumstances but some of the key features to look out for when trying to compare policies are:

  • Cover typeAccident only cover will be the cheapest cover you can buy with Lifetime being the most comprehensive and most expensive on offer.
  • Vet fee cover – Different providers offer cover up to different limits. It depends upon your pets needs as to whether it’s not always the case that the highest cover level is the best as you might not ever need to claim up to that full amount. Also, beware of per condition limits and inner limits for specific conditions which could impact a claim pay out. Pet dental cover is a particular limit you’ll want to be aware of, especially knowing whether it covers your pet in the event of accidents as well as illnesses.
  • Pre-existing conditions – On standard policies your cat won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions, so if your cat suffers from one of these, and you would like to be able to cover the treatment of these then you might be better placed looking for a specific pre-existing pet insurance policy .
  • The excess – The excess is the amount that you need to pay each time you make a claim on your policy. Typically this is around £99 per claims, but this can change depending upon providers and even the age of your pet. It’s well worth knowing this excess payment before you take out your policy.
  • Coinsurance – In addition to your excess payment, some pet insurers also ask you to pay a percentage of the claim value. A coinsurance payment may be up to 20% of the claim amount, which can be a lot of money if the treatment needed is expensive.
  • Claims record – The purpose of insurance is to cover vet fee treatment that your cat may need through its life. As such, it is useful to know the likelihood of your claim being accepted and how long it takes to be settled. Usually anything from 95% upwards with the average claim being settled within 7 working days is seen as good. This information can be found on providers websites, if it isn’t you can ask them to share this. You can also find out if insurers can pay your vet directly and whether they can pre-authorise claims, this saves you paying out and waiting for the claim to be accepted.  
  • Optional extras – You should also think about extras when choosing the best pet insurance for cats. As well as cover for vet bills, some policies give you the option to offer cover in the event of:
    • Your cat being lost or stolen – This works as a one-off payment to you if your cat isn’t found, it can also cover any costs involved in advertising or a reward to help find your cat. Find out more about lost and stolen cover.
    • Your cat passing away by illness or injury – In the unfortunate event where your cat is put to sleep some providers offer cover for this. You can also get bereavement counselling as part of some policies which is run by Blue Cross and other pet experts.
    • Needing vet advice – Most providers will offer you free access to a vet advice line or access to an app like FirstVet. This allows you to get professional vet advice over the phone without needing to go to your local vet and without incurring a cost.  

What is not covered by cat insurance?

Routine treatment

The vast majority of cat insurance policies in the UK won’t provide any coverage for routine treatments, such as de-worming, dental check-ups, spaying and neutering.

Vaccinations

Cats will need to be vaccinated regularly against diseases such as feline leukaemia and cat flu. Unfortunately, most cat insurance providers won’t cover the costs associated with these important vaccinations.

In some cases you might find that conditions which are preventable will be declined. For example, if the cat does not have up to date vaccinations and then contracts a condition that could have been prevented if the vaccinations were up to date, then the claim for that condition may be declined. 

Pregnancy

If your cat falls pregnant then most insurers will not cover related treatments or conditions that arise from the pregnancy as part of your cat insurance policy.

Pre-existing conditions

Any conditions that your cat has suffered from before your take out your insurance policy will be excluded from cover as they’ll be classed as pre-existing. This can also be the case for conditions which require regular treatment or recur sporadically like joint pain for example.

How much does cat insurance cost?

Our most recent price review (06/05/2021) revealed the cheapest cover for a cat you can get is with Animal Friends for £3.01/month*.

Obviously, the cost of cat insurance in the UK will depend on the type of policy that you opt for. For example, accident only cat insurance will be much cheaper than comprehensive lifetime cover.

Although there are other factors that determine your price, which are explained below.

 

*This is based on a 30 month old male moggie living in Kent. Cover on an accident only policy with cover of at least £1,000.

Where you live

The cost of vet fee treatment, and the risk of illness and accidents is different across the country. If you live in an area prone to more accidents or in a place where vet treatment is more expensive then your cat insurance premium will be more expensive as a result.

Age of your cat

The older your cat the more expensive your insurance premium will be. This is because as cats age the likelihood that they will develop health issues will increase. It is generally recommended to insure your cat whilst they are young. Though you can find senior cat insurance cover.

Your cat's breed

Pedigree cat insurance is more expensive to than insurance for moggies due to them being more susceptible to developing health conditions or having hereditary conditions passed down from their parents.

Pedigree cat insurance

Pedigree cats will be more expensive to insurance the the typical moggy because they will be more likely to suffer from various health conditions and when that happens the likelihood of a claim increases. Insurers increase the price to cover this. 

Within breeds you’ll find that some are more expensive than others as they each have specific conditions they are more susceptible to. For example Ragdolls carry a gene that makes them more likely to suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart condition), while Persian cats have a higher likelihood of needing treatment for Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Bengal cats are known to be more likely to suffer from eye problems and digestive disorders.

Keep up to date

Latest cat news and views

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Cat insurance FAQs

Can I cover more than one cat on the same policy?

Yes, most providers offer multi-pet policies allowing you to insure more than one pet on the same policy, which saves time and effort in taking out different policies as you only need to keep one set of documents and manage one set of payments.

The other good news is that often you can receive a discount for insuring more than one pet with the same insurer. 

Can I get insurance which covers my cat’s pre-existing medical conditions?

On standard plans pre-existing medical conditions are excluded from cover. There are a few select providers who do offer cover for pre-existing conditions should you need them. You won’t find these policies on price comparison sites so take a look at our guide to pre-existing pet insurance for the full details of available policies.

Should I get lifetime or annual cat insurance?

If your budget allows then lifetime cat insurance is best particularly when your cat is younger as it’ll cover them against any future chronic conditions that occurs as they get older. 

Time limited policies are cheaper as they cover conditions for a limited time up to the policy limit once the time limit or the policy limit is reached for the condition then it is classed as pre-existing and will no longer be able to be claimed for. Meaning that if your cat develops a chronic condition you may struggle to cover this long term.

Can I get pet insurance for my older cat?

Yes, but the premiums will be a lot more expensive due to the likelihood of the cat requiring treatment. 

There could also be more conditions or restrictions attached to the policy – for example some providers remove death of pet benefits, and others increase the excess you’ll be asked to pay on each claim when your pet reaches a certain age.

Some insurers do not offer insurance for older cats at all, whilst others have an upper age limit for their lifetime policies, so check this over before you buy.