As a cat parent, all you want is for your favorite feline to be happy and enjoy a long, healthy life. So, of course, you provide the proper diet and exercise, as well as regular visits to the veterinarian.
Ideally, these visits are quick and relatively painless, your cat or kitten gets a clean bill of health, and everybody’s happy.
However, what happens when the road to good health isn’t quite so smooth? If your cat develops a serious illness or suffers an unexpected accident, you may find yourself facing costly treatments and bills that are much more than you ever bargained for.
In this scenario, cat health insurance can be a true lifesaver — both financially and physically. Here’s everything you need to know about pet insurance for cats, so you can choose the best cat insurance company, provide your kitty with the best care possible, and manage pet health care costs at the same time.
Pet Insurance for Cats: Do You Need It?
Just like healthcare insurance for humans, cat insurance helps make the cost of medical care for felines more affordable. Yet, despite the rapid growth of the pet insurance market in recent years, cats still accounted for less than 20 percent of insured U.S. pets in 2021, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).
Some cat parents may assume that because their pets spend most of their time indoors, they’re less likely to suffer unexpected accidents or illnesses. Others may think that because medical care typically costs less for cats than it does for dogs, cat insurance isn’t worth it.
However, the numbers tell a different story:
- Even indoor kitties are at risk of exposure to common household toxins, which the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center reported were on the rise in 2021.
- Some cat-specific diseases can be quite costly to treat, not to mention more common than you think. According to Cornell University, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) could afflict up to 15 percent of cats and feline leukemia up to 30 percent.
- Over 50 percent of cats may suffer from health complications related to being overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
In addition, many veterinarians recommend pet insurance as a way to save money on essential (and sometimes costly) health care for cats.
“With the rising costs of veterinary care, pet insurance offers an affordable way for pet parents to pay for this care,” says veterinarian JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM.
“Cats can develop expensive diseases like chronic kidney disease, as they age,” she adds. “Pet insurance can help cover the costs of diseases that require lifelong management. It can also help pet parents avoid ‘sticker shock’ when paying for services at their veterinarian’s office.”
How Cat Insurance Can Save You Money
If your cat becomes injured in an accident or needs treatment for an illness or medical condition, cat pet insurance can help cover a portion of the cost of veterinary treatment. So you never have to choose between the care your cat needs and what you can afford.
Here’s a real-world example of how pet insurance for cats works.
If your cat ends up swallowing a large chunk of their favorite chew toy, that may require an after-hours visit to a veterinary emergency clinic, which could cost as much as $2,000.
Without cat insurance, you would have to pay the full amount all by yourself. However, if you had a standard comprehensive coverage plan with a 90 percent reimbursement rate, like those available from Lemonade Pet Insurance, after your deductible and claim approval, your bill would amount to approximately $200. That’s a big difference!
But cat insurance isn’t just for emergencies. It can also help you manage the cost of illnesses, including hereditary or congenital issues which can become very expensive later in life.
For example, Siamese cats are often diagnosed with asthma and hip dysplasia, while ragdoll cats tend to develop bladder issues. Depending on the insurance plan you choose, cat insurance could help you cover the cost of treating these issues.
In these scenarios, Pendergrass advises enrolling in cat insurance when your pet is a kitten, long before any conditions arise. “Pet insurance companies may not provide coverage for a condition after the diagnosis has been made.”
Types of Pet Insurance Plans for Cats
When you decide to enroll your cat in a pet insurance policy, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. One is what type of pet insurance coverage your cat needs.
You’ll find a wide range of coverage options from different pet insurance providers. But most cat pet insurance companies offer some version of the following plans:
Comprehensive Pet Insurance
Comprehensive pet insurance is one of the most popular pet insurance plans because it covers the broadest range of accidents and illnesses for your cat’s health care. Most comprehensive pet insurance plans will include any accidents, illnesses, broken bones, diabetes, cancer, ear or eye infections, as well as many other medical conditions. Further, these plans typically also include the diagnostics, such as X-rays, lab work, ultrasounds, and more.
Accident-Only Pet Insurance
Accident-only coverage typically covers only accidents like a hurt paw, insect bites, or if your cat swallowed something. While the cost of an accident-only plan is lower, this type of coverage will not cover any illness or disease that your cat might develop. Accident-only coverage is a good option if you have an older cat who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for insurance coverage. (Which is why you should start pet cat insurance early in your cat’s life!)
Wellness and Preventative Pet Insurance
Wellness plans, also called preventative care plans, will reimburse you for the more common veterinary bills. Wellness plans among the pet insurance companies differ in what they offer. Some include vaccinations, spaying, and neutering, while others include dental. Wellness plans are typically an add-on to an existing comprehensive pet insurance plan and are not always necessary since the procedures aren’t that costly. Most do cover the annual vet visits, which some comprehensive pet insurance plans don’t cover.
Best Pet Insurance for Cats: Our Top Picks
Now that you know all the benefits of having a cat insurance policy for your kitty, the next question inevitably is…how do you find the best cat insurance for your cat? Not to worry, we’ve done the homework for you, researched the options, compared costs and benefits, evaluated the reviews, and come up with a list of top cat insurance competitors.
Below are our top 7 best cat insurance policies for you to consider.
- Best Overall Pet Insurance for Cats: Lemonade Pet Insurance
- Best Value Pet Insurance for Cats: Spot Pet Insurance
- Best User-Friendly Pet Insurance for Cats: FetchPet by The Dodo
- Best Pet Insurance for Older Cats: MetLife Pet Insurance
- Best Pet Insurance for Kittens: Pumpkin Pet Insurance
- Best Cat Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions: Pets Best Pet Insurance
- Best Cat Dental Insurance: Embrace Pet Insurance
- Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Cats: ASPCA Pet Insurance
8 Best Cat Insurance Companies to Consider
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Overall Pet Insurance for Cats
Our pick: Lemonade Pet Insurance
Lemonade is relatively new to the pet insurance market, having launched insurance policies for dogs and cats in 2020. However, the brand has been making a name for itself as an insurance innovator since it debuted in 2015 with policies for homeowners and renters insurance.
Lemonade first made a splash with its speedy claims processing powered by artificial intelligence and easy user interface. But what really caught our eye are Lemonade’s of-so-affordable premiums, which start as low as $10/month for cat insurance coverage.
We also love that the brand offers plenty of ways to customize pet insurance plans to fit your budget and your cat’s unique needs. Its standard comprehensive plan covers heart disease, cancer, injuries, food poisoning, and more. Plus, you can add on different preventative and wellness options that cover annual vet visits, dental care, wellness exams, and even some vaccines.
The annual benefit limits for Lemonade’s cat insurance policy range between $5,000 to $100,000. There aren’t any lifetime payout limits on their pet insurance plans which is very helpful if your cat develops cancer and needs ongoing medical care.
The online customer reviews for Lemonade Pet insurance are very positive and enthusiastic. Between the low cost and speedy, hassle-free reimbursements, cat owners are very happy with Lemonade.
- Simple sign-up and speedy claims payments.
- Easily file claims using the AI-powered Lemonade mobile app.
- Customize your coverage with add-on preventative plans tailored to cover everything from dental care to heartworm medication and even specialized care for kittens under two years old.
- Choose from co-insurance rates of 70, 80, or 90 percent and deductibles set at $100, $250, or $500.
- Short waiting period before benefits kick in — just 2 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses.
- Coverage is available for kitties as young as 8 weeks and cats up to 14 years old.
- Bundle pet insurance with Lemonade car, homeowners, or renters insurance and save 10 percent.
- Insure multiple cats and save 5 percent.
- Annual coverage up to $100,000.
Things to Consider
- Cat insurance is not available in every state yet.
- Real-time, live customer support is available by phone Mon-Fri from 9 AM to 8 PM. But you can always email email@example.com or contact Maya, the brand’s surprisingly helpful AI chatbot, available 24/7 on the Lemonade app.
Best User-Friendly Pet Insurance for Cats
Our pick: FetchPet by The Dodo
FetchPet is getting rave reviews as a user-friendly, quick-to-reimburse pet insurance company for cat parents. They boast an ‘excellent’ status on TrustPilot and require no enrollment fee.
When your cat gets sick or hurt, FetchPet reimburses policyholders up to 90 percent on unexpected veterinarian bills within 15 days of the claim submission. They cover what many insurances do not – including hereditary conditions linked to cat breed, disease, and injury.
Some of the many injuries and illnesses covered include surgeries, hospital stays, emergency veterinary visits, prescription medications and supplements, laboratory tests, and cancer treatment, to name a few.
Most FetchPet plans for cats average around $25 per month, with lower prices for kittens. The higher your reimbursement rate, the more you’ll pay per month. Members can cancel at any time without any fees or penalties.
Because FetchPet allows policyholders to use any veterinarian in the United States or Canada, there’s never a fear of claims not being paid for being out of the network. There are zero networks with FetchPet.
- Policyholders get up to $1,000 reimbursement for virtual veterinary visits – and members can use any virtual vet of their choice.
- Higher deductible plans have lower monthly premiums.
- Easy 15-day waiting period that begins on the effective date of your policy
- Services not typically covered by traditional pet insurers – i.e., physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and dental care – are covered in FetchPet’s plan for your cat.
- Unlike some pet insurance companies, young kittens are eligible for coverage.
- Members choose their reimbursement percentage from 70%, 80%, or 90%.
- Pet parents are eligible for up to a 10% discount if they adopted their cat or kitten from a shelter or rescue, have an AARP membership, are a veteran or active member of the military, have a licensed medical services pet, or work as a veterinarian or staff member at a veterinarian’s office.
Things to Consider
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
- Lack of flexibility versus other traditional pet insurance plans – i.e., no add-on coverage riders for preventative care.
- Routine care for things like spaying, neutering, teeth cleaning, flea and tick protection, and vaccinations is not covered.
- No multiple pet discounts.
Best Value Pet Insurance for Cats
Our pick: Spot Pet Insurance
Spot Pet Insurance is a great pick for cat parents who want flexible coverage options that won’t break the bank. In addition to one of the most comprehensive accident and illness plans on the market, Spot offers a budget-friendly accident-only plan to guard you against major financial risk.
Spot cat insurance plans cover a wide range of medical needs including medications, diagnostics, and alternative therapies. Spot also offers preventative plans that include flea medications and prevention as well as dental care.
Unlike other pet insurers, Spot has no cutoff when it comes to insuring cats past a certain age, which is great news for parents of senior cats. Although pre-existing conditions will not be covered.
The company also offers a wide range of choices when it comes to annual benefit limits. Some insurers cap just how much they’ll agree to pay out in benefits each year. But Spot lets you choose the limit, starting as low as $2,500 all the way up to unlimited annual benefits. Of course, that option costs more, but it makes sense if you anticipate a lot of claims over the course of the year.
The average premium when enrolling a young cat is approximately $15 to $20 a month, though your quote may vary, depending on the plan you choose, your cat’s breed, and where you live.
Spot offers cat parents deductible options that start at $100 and go all the way up to $1,000, so there’s a choice for every budget. The reimbursement rates are in line with most providers with a choice of 70, 80, or 90 percent.
The reviews for Spot Pet Insurance are very enthusiastic. Cat parents love the speedy claim reimbursement, pricing, and how easy it is to get an answer on their policy either online or on the phone.
- No claim or age limits.
- Covers alternative therapies.
- Flexible coverage plans.
- A 30-day money-back guarantee and the ability to cancel anytime.
- 10 percent multi-pet discounts as well as a 24/7 vet hotline.
Things to Consider
- Premiums are higher for older cats.
- A 14-day waiting period for accident coverage for cats; most policies are just 2 to 3 days.
Best Pet Insurance for Older Cats
Our pick: MetLife Pet Insurance
MetLife has long been a trusted name in insurance. However, until recently, you may have known its pet insurance division by another name — PetFirst, which had been providing pet insurance coverage for cats and dogs since 2004.
Now renamed MetLife Pet Insurance, the brand continues to provide excellent coverage for pet health expenses, especially when it comes to older cats. MetLife earned our top spot because the brand has no upper age limits and will cover hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions.
As an added bonus, if you sign up through your employer and are switching from another provider, MetLife will cover any pre-existing conditions that were covered by the previous plan! In the world of pet insurance, this perk is positively unheard of.
MetLife premiums start as low as $9 a month for cats, depending on your cat’s age and the plan you choose. They do not offer a bare-bones accident-only plan, however. And most plans average around $15 to $25 a month.
You can choose a deductible ranging from $50 to $500, and reimbursement choices are from 65 to 100 percent of covered expenses, which gives cat parents a lot of flexibility.
Enrollment in MetLife is quick and easy. They do not require a veterinarian exam, and accident coverage starts in 24 hours which is faster than most other pet insurance companies.
MetLife also has a healthy pet discount for every year you don’t make a claim…an added incentive for keeping your cat healthy, at any age!
- Plans are available in all 50 states.
- Many deductible options.
- Very customizable.
- Healthy pet discount.
- Pre-existing conditions covered when switching to their policies.
- Coverage for accidents starts right after you sign up.
Things to Consider
- They don’t offer unlimited benefit options like other providers.
- There isn’t an accident-only policy.
Best Pet Insurance for Kittens
Our Pick: Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Launched in late 2018, Pumpkin is another pet insurance newcomer that quickly emerged as one of the top providers in the industry, particularly for pet owners with kittens (or puppies).
Pumpkin offers a comprehensive accident and illness plan similar to most pet insurance providers. What makes Pumpkin the best pet insurance for kittens is that they offer a stellar preventative care plan called the Preventative Essentials Pack.
This package is specifically catered for kittens from 8 weeks to 6 months old. The Preventative Essentials Pack will reimburse cat owners for 4 vaccinations, fecal exams for worms and parasites, as well as the routine annual vet wellness visit.
For basic coverage, the average premium for cats is around $20 to $25 per month, depending on your pet’s age, breed, and plan choice. The Preventative Essentials Pack adds another $12 per month on top of that. But happy customers say that it’s very much worth it.
Pumpkin offers deductibles for your cat policy of $100, $250, or $500. The annual benefit maximums offered for cats are $7,000, $15,000, or unlimited annual benefit payouts. Pumpkin only offers one reimbursement option of 90 percent.
- Includes a robust wellness package for kittens from ages 8 weeks to 5 months old.
- Microchipping is covered in their standard plan.
- No upper age limit for cats.
- Coverage for prescription food.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Quick reimbursement.
- A 10 percent discount for multiple pets.
Things to Consider
- Customer service is not offered on the weekends.
- They don’t have a mobile app.
- Only one reimbursement rate of 90 percent.
Best Cat Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions
Our Choice: Pets Best Pet Insurance
Pets Best is a staple in the pet insurance industry and has been in business since 2005. They have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Pets Best is a top pet insurance company for cat insurance not only due to their comprehensive coverage, but also their range of different cat plan options. While no pet insurance companies truly cover pre-existing conditions, Pets Best offers generous coverage options for cats prone to heredity or congenital issues. So if you know your cat is likely to develop a certain condition, it’s best to sign up for a Pets Best policy early in their life, before they are diagnosed or begin to show symptoms.
Pets Best allows for easy customization, which can range from deductible and copay options to wellness coverage.
Pets Best offers many deductible options from $50 up to $1,000. Like the best cat insurance companies, they offer reimbursement rates of 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses. The annual maximum benefit limit choices are either $5,000 or unlimited. While unlimited benefits are a great option, some other pet insurance companies offer more far more choice when it comes to benefit caps.
Pets Best offers three levels of coverage: Essential, Plus, and Elite. These plans typically cover accidents, illnesses, emergency care, and non-pre-existing hereditary conditions. All plans also include prescription coverage which is a nice bonus, as not all companies provide this option.
Pets Best also offers two preventative care plans if that is of interest to you. The more basic plan has a stipend of $305 annually and the more comprehensive wellness allows up to a stipend of up to $535 per year.
You can enroll your cats starting as young as 7 weeks old and there are no upper age limit restrictions.
The starting monthly premiums for cats is $16 a month or if you opt for the accident-only policy, the price can be as low as $10 a month. This could be a great option for those cat owners who want to insure their cats against just-in-case scenarios.
- Cats can be enrolled as young as 7 weeks old and no upper age limit.
- Very inexpensive premiums for basic plans.
- Flexible packages and many deductible options.
- Accident coverage kicks in after 3 day waiting period, which is very quick.
Things to Consider
- Only three choices for annual benefit limits.
- Additional fee for vet exams.
Best Cat Dental Insurance
Our Pick: Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace pet insurance is always on the list of the best insurance providers for good reason! They have been in business since 2003 and have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Embrace cat insurance is a top choice among cat owners who are looking for cat insurance because they not only have a standard plan that covers the typical accident and illness conditions, but also treatments that most insurers don’t, including alternative treatments, behavioral therapy, and prosthetics.
We ranked Embrace as the top provider for cat dental insurance because their policies cover non-routine dental treatment, trauma to the teeth, and tooth extractions, as well as trauma to the face and jaw. They also cover treatment for dental injuries, crowns, and root canals, if necessary. Embrace cat insurance even offers dental toothbrushes and toothpaste, annual dental checkups, and professional teeth cleaning/brushing by a groomer or vet in their wellness program.
Embrace offers deductibles ranging from $200 to $1,000, plus reimbursement rates at 65, 70, 80, or 90 percent (more choices than most insurers offer). Their annual benefit limits range from $5,000 to $30,000. They do offer an unlimited benefit option, but only if you enroll over the phone.
The average monthly premium for cats is $25 to $30, depending on the breed, where you live, and the plan that you choose.
Embrace’s Healthy Pet Deductible program is another nice bonus because it decreases your annual deductible by $50 every year that you don’t file a claim.
- Their wellness plans are robust and include many dental procedures.
- $50 healthy pet discount.
- 24/7 pet helpline.
- Coverage is very well-rounded.
- Flexible plans.
- $50 off the next policy year for a healthy pet.
Things to Consider:
- Cat plans can be a little pricey.
- Maximum age limit is 14 years old for cats.
Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Cats
Our Pick: ASPCA Pet Insurance
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), founded in 1886, has long been known for protecting animals’ interests. And in 1997, the organization expanded on that mission by creating a pet insurance arm to offer insurance coverage for cats and dogs.
ASPCA offers different levels of coverage that can really cater to your budget and your cat’s (or cats’) needs. Yes, we’re bringing up cats (multiple) because the ASPCA offers one of the best discounts we’ve seen for insuring multiple pets: You can save 10 percent off the base plan premium when you insure more than one pet. This discount applies to every additional pet after the highest premium pet.
As we all know, when it comes to cats, the more the merrier. But now the more cats you have, the more you can save on their health care with an ASPCA pet insurance policy.
The average premium for cats is approximately $30 a month, and the annual benefit limits range from $3,000 to unlimited, depending on the plan you choose.
ASPCA offers four different coverage plan options:
- Level One Plan – Covers accidents only.
- Level Two Plan – Covers Illnesses and Accidents (their basic comprehensive coverage).
- Level Three Plan – Covers congenital and hereditary issues, behavioral issues, and alternative therapies.
- Level 4 Complete Coverage Plan – A very comprehensive coverage plan with no limit caps on congenital or hereditary conditions. It also goes even further than most comprehensive coverage plans and doesn’t have a cap or per-incident conditions.
Note: ASPCA’s basic plans only offer a per-incident annual benefit limit. Therefore, there is a limit on any new illness, injury, or ailment that your cat encounters. If your cat has a chronic disease such as diabetes, this plan would not be a great option for you.
ASPCA has three deductible choices: $100, $250, or $500. Their reimbursement choices are typical of most with 70, 80, or 90 percent of the total cost of the medical bill.
Claims are usually processed within two weeks and can be submitted online, via mail, or by fax.
- No breed or upper age limit.
- Four different coverage plans.
- ASPCA was voted “Best for Comprehensive Coverage” by Business Insider.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Can visit any vet or specialist in the United States.
- You can enroll your cat at 8 weeks old and there is no maximum age.
- 10 percent discount off monthly premium for additional pets you enroll.
Things to Consider:
- Their upper-tier plans can be more expensive than other providers.
- The per-incident premiums are too low for cats with long-term medical conditions.
How to Compare Pet Insurance Plans for Cats
Now that you have the basics of what to look for in a pet insurance plan, how do you choose the right one for your cat?
First, have a list of questions ready that are very specific to your cat or cats. For instance, if you have a specific breed or an older cat, find out what is covered and what illness might be considered a pre-existing condition.
Have a budget in mind. If you already have a pre-determined budget of what you can afford, this can be helpful when figuring out the cost of each plan.
Make sure to get a few cat insurance quotes. Not only will this help you find the best price for your pet insurance plan for your cat, but can help you determine if you like their pet insurance customer service or even if their online portal can answer all your questions.
In general, the best time to enroll your cat in a cat insurance plan is when they are younger. The premiums are less expensive, and they are generally at their healthiest.
If you have a budget in mind and do your homework, you can find the best cat insurance plan for your kitty and know that you and your kitty are in good hands.