Table of Contents:
- Health Risks for Indoor Cats
- What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
- How Does Pet Insurance Work?
- More Pet Insurance Considerations
- How to Find the Right Pet Insurance for Your Cat
There are many different species of cats, all ranging in size, color, and markings. Just as there are different species of cats, there are different kinds of cats. These can be classified in the following three categories: indoor cats, indoor-outdoor cats, and outdoor cats.
Indoor cats live in homes and spend all of their time inside the house. Indoor-outdoor cats live in the house, but may roam the streets as well. Finally, there are outdoor cats, who live in nature and don’t have much interaction — if any at all — with humans. If you have an indoor cat, you undoubtedly love your little feline friend and have concern for their safety, so you might come to ask yourself, “Is pet insurance worth it for an indoor cat, and, if so, what does it cost?”
Health Risks for Indoor Cats
Some health risks can occur for any cat, regardless if they are indoor, outdoor, or a little bit of both. Every pet has health risks that you as a pet owner have to try and avoid if you want your pet to live a long, happy, and healthy life. This is one of the challenges of being a pet owner. The health risks of indoor cats include boredom, stress, obesity, feline urinary problems, anxiety, and exposure to toxins.
To start, lack of exercise and boredom can lead to physical and emotional stress for your cat or kitten. A stressed cat can be unhealthy and they are often subject to stress more easily than other animals. Cats can show signs of illness when they’re stressed. Stress in a cat is a matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even when it comes to something simple like a common inflammatory disease, they will usually become healthier once their stress levels are reduced. It’s important to recreate a similar environment within your home that a kitty would typically encounter when in the wild. This will allow them to feel at ease, stress-free, and happy. This includes offering high places to hide, climbing towers, window perches, and scratching posts.
Obesity and diabetes are also common reasons that indoor cats begin to see a decline in their health. Lack of exercise can result in weight gain very easily, and once weight is gained, it becomes very hard to shed, especially as your pet ages. Making sure that your kitty stays active and has plenty of toys to run around and play with is important. Limiting the amount of time that they’re inactive is crucial to their health. Unlike outdoor cats, indoor cats have much less room to run around and play and hunt, thus expending less energy.
Another big health risk in indoor cats is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Feline lower urinary tract disease is the result of a variety of conditions that affects both the bladder and urethra in cats. Symptoms of this disease include difficulty and pain when urinating, an increase in the number of times they urinate, as well as a presence of blood in their urine. They also tend to excessively lick themselves and can be found urinating outside their litter box on cooler, smoother surfaces. While the disease can occur at any age, it mostly occurs in middle-aged, overweight cats that get limited exercise, have zero to little outdoor access, and eat a dry diet. A urinary tract blockage caused by a urethral obstruction is a life-threatening condition and affected pets must receive immediate treatment.
Separation anxiety is another factor that can affect indoor cats. As we all know, felines are usually the pet of choice for busier people, but they can become very attached to their owners and will suffer separation anxiety when they’re left alone. These cats are typically described as being needy when you are around, and then when you’re not, they can cause complete chaos around the house until you return.
Along with the health risks stated above, cats are also subject to indoor hazards. Always make sure to keep your home clear of potential hazards if you have a cat that spends a lot of time home alone. Houseplants, such as lilies, are toxic, so it’s important to be aware of what you can and cannot have around the house if you plan to leave your furry friend to their own devices. A good practice is to avoid using dangerous products or pesticides in your cat’s common areas. Doing some research on hazardous products can go a long way. It is also important to never use or give any medication to a feline that is meant for a human or canine. Some medications are extremely toxic to cats, even in small doses. Toxin ingestion can occur at any age but can be more common in young, curious kittens.
Diagnosis and treatment of the various feline health conditions noted above can range in costs from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the condition and response to treatment. These kinds of medical bills can really start to add up.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Maybe you just got a cat and you’re intrigued by the concept of pet insurance, but you’re not really sure what costs would be covered if your cat were to get sick or hurt.. So, you’re stuck wondering if pet insurance is worth it for an indoor cat, which really depends on a few different factors.
Typically, pet insurance covers medical costs if your pet becomes sick unexpectedly, or if they were to get into an accident, but unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance does not normally cover costs for routine care, such as checkups and standard shots. Pre-existing conditions are also not covered by pet insurance, so if you are looking into it for a pet that already has some sort of ailment, it may not really be worth it for you. Pet insurance is the best value when purchased before any medical conditions. This way, everything will be covered at the lowest possible cost.
There are four different kinds of pet insurance plans available, which are accident-only plans, accident and illness plans, insurance with embedded wellness, and endorsements.
- Accident only insurance plans will cover incidents and various types of injury such as the ingestion of foreign objects, poisoning, bite wounds, or if your pet was hit by a car.
- Accident and Illness insurance plans are the most frequently used type of plan. This plan covers accidents, plus illnesses and conditions such as digestive issues, infections, urinary problems, allergies, and cancer.
- Insurance with embedded wellness is a comprehensive plan that covers both accidents and illnesses, as well as wellness coverage. Wellness plans cover things such as flea and tick control products, spay and neuter surgeries, annual wellness examinations, heartworm prevention, vaccinations, dietary consultations, and/or dental products and dental cleanings. Also, alternative therapies such as acupuncture are covered by some plans. Many company policies even cover cremation,burial, and food.
- Insurance endorsements include cancer or wellness add-ons. Wellness plans are usually only purchased as an add-on to an existing plan.
When it comes to the four types of pet insurance, 98 percent of insured pets are covered by either accident or illness insurance, or insurance with wellness add-on. The remaining two percent are covered by accident-only coverage.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
The terms “premium,” “deductible,” and “coverage limits” may be confusing for many pet parents seeking an insurance plan. There are over a dozen companies in North America offering pet insurance and each company offers something slightly different, which can add to the confusion. Here is how pet insurance works and what you really need to know.
There are 4 parts a pet insurance policy that include:
- Premium: This is the amount you pay to the pet insurance company for your pet’s insurance. This can be paid monthly or annually. There may be a discount with annual payments or auto-pay with some companies.
- Deductible: The deductible amount is the amount of the vet bill you must pay before insurance benefits “kick in.” This is similar to the deductible on your homeowners or car insurance policy. You may have a $500 or $1000 deductible, which means that you pay $500 or $1000 before the policy starts. It is important to note that some insurance companies have an annual deductible and others have a per-incident deductible. This means that if you have a policy with an annual deductible, once you reach that amount, you are cost-free for the rest of the year. The other option is a per-incident deductible, which means you need to meet that deductible every time you have a health problem with your cat.
- Maximum Coverage Limit: This is how much money an insurance company will pay out per health issue, per year, or lifetime. Each company varies slightly with their coverage limits.
- Reimbursement: The reimbursement is the amount of a bill, after the deductible, that will be paid by an insurance company. There are different options with most companies from 70%, 80%, 90%, to 100%. The very best coverage policy would be a $0 deductible with 100% reimbursement. This means the insurance company would pay for everything but also means you will have the highest premium. Another example of a plan is one with a $500 deductible and 90% reimbursement. With this plan, you would need to pay the first $500 then the pet insurance would kick-in. After that, they will pay 90% of the veterinary bill.
The deductible and reimbursement variables that you choose are the primary factors that influence the cost of your pet insurance policy. Other factors that impact the cost of your coverage are the age and breed of your pet, as well as your location in the country. Another factor that impacts costs are discounts. Discounts are available with many companies, which can help save you money on your policy.
More Pet Insurance Considerations
There are several things to consider when choosing a pet insurance company.
Commonly asked questions include the following:
- At what age can you I purchase pet insurance? You can obtain insurance for kittens, young, and middle-aged cats from most companies. Not all companies will insure senior cats. Premiums are least expensive for younger cats and become more costly (higher premiums) as pets age.
- What happens when we visit the vet? Ultimately, you want to know what happens when you visit the vet. Pet insurance can be used at any licensed vet clinic nationwide, including veterinary emergency and specialty hospitals. Generally what happens after services are completed is that you pay your vet and then submit the claim (receipts) to the pet insurance company. The insurance company then reviews the claim and pays you directly.
- Does the insurance company dictate care? You choose the diagnostic and treatment plan that works best for your situation. Pet insurance companies do not determine which tests your veterinarian will conduct, which conditions they will treat (unless there is a pre-existing condition), or which treatment your cat will receive. That is up to you and your vet.
- How do I submit a claim? You submit your claim by mail, fax, or online. Most providers generally service claims in as little as 24 hours to a couple of weeks.
- Are hereditary conditions covered? Hereditary or genetic conditions are covered with some policies, but not all. If you have a concern over a particular condition, ask before you sign up for a policy.
- What is the easiest way to get a quote? Getting pet insurance quotes is easy. You can get a quote by calling a pet insurance company directly, going to their website, or enrolling at PetPartners for a free quote. Most pet insurance company websites allow you to choose the coverage variables that work for you and will provide you with an immediate free quote. You can see how your quote will vary by changing the coverage variables. There are discounts depending on the company, including multi-pet, military, paying annually, auto-pay, and more.
- Once I have a pet insurance policy, when does it start? Once you have a pet insurance policy, when it becomes active depends on the type of coverage and the company. Many plans will immediately cover wellness and accidents while illnesses and genetic problems may have a waiting period of days to weeks.
- Is wellness coverage included with my policy? Wellness can be included with your pet insurance plan, but is more often an add-on service that comes at an extra cost.
- What is the best thing about pet insurance? The best thing about pet insurance is how it can help pay for costs related to unexpected illnesses or injuries. It can be a real struggle to pay for veterinary costs. Veterinary medicine has many sophisticated options that can treat a variety of medical problems, including cancer and other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and kidney problems.
- Is pet insurance worth it for an indoor cat? This depends on your financial situation, budget, and desire to provide your cat the best possible care. You will never be able to predict an accident or illness. Pet insurance is a good way to protect your budget from high veterinary bills, while allowing you to give your cat the best possible care.
Read more 6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Fix the Issue
How to Find the Right Pet Insurance for Your Cat
It’s always best to research a pet insurance provider’s credibility. You will want to be sure that they’re reputable, offer what you’re looking for, and have good customer feedback. After doing so, you’ll want to consider how much coverage you need. If your pet has pre-existing conditions, find out what is covered and what is not. Adding additional insurance coverage may be worth it, depending on your cat’s activity levels and proneness to getting hurt or injured. Make sure to always read the fine print when signing up for a plan. An incident you thought might be covered, may not be. Finally, visit your vet to seek their advice on pet insurance. They can give you some guidance as to how you should approach pet insurance and what kind of specific plan would be smart, based on your situation.
— Update: 12-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article 6 Reasons Why You Need Pet Insurance for Your Indoor Cat from the website www.petsbest.com for the keyword do i need pet insurance for an indoor cat.
You may think that outdoor cats are more likely to get sick or injured, but indoor cats have their own share of illnesses too. Indoor cats can incur serious and expensive health care problems as well. Here are five reasons your indoor cat or kitten needs pet insurance just as much as your outdoor cat.
1. Indoor cats can get injured
Cats and kittens are curious by nature. They love to hunt, pounce, and claw, as well as jump up, down and onto things they shouldn’t. They also eat things they shouldn’t, and ingesting non-food items (like string or hair ties) can result in serious health conditions like a GI obstruction or even perforated bowels.1 Landing on something unstable or causing something to crash onto them can cause sprains, dislocations and broken bones (to name a few). These conditions are both costly and scary for you and your kitten.
Average Treatment Costs for Common Cat Injuries
|Foreign Body Ingestion||$2,419|
2. Indoor cats can get sick too
Indoor cats can get sick, just like outdoor cats. Being indoors doesn’t protect them from common cat health problems, including cystitis, digestive upsets, cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease, leukemia, kidney failure, heart disease and more.
There is quite a bit of evidence showing that indoor cats are actually more prone to illness. A study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery suggests that an indoor lifestyle actually creates an increased risk for certain diseases in cats.
It has been shown that cats who are strictly indoors are at much greater risk for idiopathic cystitis and inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, hyperthyroidism and even dental disease.2,3
3. Indoor cats gain more weight
Indoor cats are much more prone to obesity, and in turn, obesity increases the risk of many chronic diseases in cats such as diabetes and arthritis. 4
The cost associated with treating chronic diseases such as diabetes can be cumulatively staggering. Having Pet Insurance to help defray these costs can sometimes be the difference between appropriately and effectively managing diseases or not.
4. Cats can incur the same amount of medical bills as their canine counterparts.
It is true that cats are often much smaller (but not always!) than their canine counterparts, but the cost of treating cats is just as expensive as other animals. It is true that cats tend to have fewer veterinary visits overall, but when they do have an illness or injury, the veterinary costs can still be exorbitant.
According to studies, cat owners with pet health insurance are able to spend 81% more annually for veterinary care than owners of medicalized cats without pet health insurance.5
5. Cost of care increases with age
As your cat ages, it will become more likely that it will need veterinary care. Many older cats develop chronic conditions that need management, like arthritis or hyperthyroidism.6 Insuring your cat at a younger age can reduce the chances of a future condition being considered pre-existing. However, pet insurance for older cats is still an option, and at Pets Best, there is no age limit and a policy can cover many other future conditions that your cat may develop.
6. Your cat’s wellness can increase their lifespan
Keeping your kitty healthy with regular check ups can increase its lifespan.7 Money doesn’t have to be a barrier to getting your cat the medical and wellness care they deserve.
One of the greatest joys in pet ownership, for the patient, for the client, and for the vets and nurses, is to be able to treat the patient to the fullest extent without the cost restraints that can reduce the level of care a pet receives. In fact, over 40% of pet owners surveyed cited having pet insurance for their cats helps them to avoid the need to make painful choices about care based on finances.5
Veterinary medical advances have given far more treatment options than ever before, but these often come with a high price tag. Optional routine care coverage offered through Pet insurance helps by compensating you for those expected costly routine veterinary bills.
Pets Best Insurance for Cats
Whether you’re welcoming a kitten into your home, or easing into the golden years with an already established feline family member, always consider cat health insurance regardless of whether or not your cat goes outside. Pet health insurance allows pet owners to budget for their cats’ health care and provides peace of mind in the case of pet health emergencies and unexpected illnesses.
With cat insurance for your indoor cat, you’ll have peace of mind in the case of an unexpected accident, illness or emergency!
Learn more about cat insurance plan options at Pets Best.
1“My Ate String: Dangers, What to Do & Treatments,” Dr. Laci Schaible (05/20) Hills Pet https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/what-to-do-if-cat-eats-string, accessed October 25, 2022
2C A Tony Buffington. External and internal influences on disease risk in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. April 2002;220(7):994-1002. 119
3Defauw P., et al: Risk factors and clinical presentation of cats with feline idiopathic cystitis. J Feline Med Surg 2011 Vol 13 (12) pp. 967-75
4Nguyen P, Diez M: Obesity. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman ED (eds): Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine Expert Consult, 7th ed. Elsevier 2010 pp. 643-651
5John Volk. The Secret to Increasing Pet Health Insurance in Cats. American Association of Feline Practitioners. Brakke Consulting. 2017
6“The Special Needs of the Senior Cat,” Cornell Feline Health Center, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/special-needs-senior-cat, accessed October 25, 2022
7“11 Ways to Help Your Cat Life Longer,” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/11-ways-help-your-cat-live-longer, accessed October, 25, 2022
— Update: 15-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Do Indoor Cats Need Pet Insurance? Vets Say Yes, Here's Why from the website www.pawlicy.com for the keyword do i need pet insurance for an indoor cat.
Some clients wonder if cat insurance is worth it for indoor pets, and the answer is yes. Here are five reasons why:
- Kittens are highly prone to injury
- Indoor cats face many of the same health risks as outdoor cats throughout adulthood
- Indoor cats have a higher risk of certain health issues than outdoor cats
- The cost of pet care typically increases with age
- Indoor cat insurance promotes routine care that can increase longevity in pets
- Key takeaways
Kittens are highly prone to injury
Despite our best efforts, kittens can still get into plenty of mischief the second we’re not looking.
Cats may have a reputation for always landing on their feet, but this is simply not the case. Kittens are often excited to begin exploring the world around them, leading to a lot of climbing and jumping. However, this can end poorly if a kitten lands improperly because kittens have softer bones than adult cats.
Frequently, we see kittens for injuries where they’ve climbed onto a tall surface, such as a railing or curtain rods, and fallen or gotten their feet tangled up in the curtain during the fall. Both of these scenarios can result in fractured legs.
Apart from the pain, a broken or fractured leg in a young kitten can also disrupt their growth plates, which can require intensive corrective surgery and, in the worst cases, amputation. Treatment for fractured legs will also typically need several follow-ups to ensure that your cat is recovering properly.
Kittens are more susceptible to broken bones in certain parts of their body, such as their tail, which is an extension of their spine. Often, a kitten will accidentally get their tail trapped underneath a door, which can cause a severe injury. Kitten concussions are another pretty common accident caused by falls from high places or trauma.
Additionally, kittens commonly sustain soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles or sprains. While soft tissue injuries will often heal on their own, it’s recommended that your kitten still see their veterinarian to ensure they don’t have a more severe injury and are healing correctly.
It’s estimated that most pet parents will have at least one emergency veterinary bill that costs $2,000 – $4,000 during their pet’s lifetime1. Unfortunately, we just don’t know when this will happen. Many pet parents think that their cat won’t experience a serious medical condition until later on in life. Although your kitten may be in great health, they’re still highly prone to injuries that could stunt their growth and development without proper veterinary treatment.
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New pet parents who have recently adopted a young cat may not have enough time to save up for such unexpected vet bills. Some emergency vet visits can cost up to $5,000. Without adequate budgeting, many pet parents risk financial hardship to give their cats the critical care they need.
Hopefully, this doesn’t occur to your feline friend, but one of the reasons why pet insurance is worth the cost is for the peace of mind it provides, just in case it does. Rather than looking at thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses, you can pay a small amount each month — in some cases, as with Bivvy, as low as $9 per month — and know that you’ll be covered in an emergency.
Compare Cat Insurance Rates
Many cat insurance providers offer flexible plans that allow you to select your desired degree of coverage. Accident-only coverage can reimburse you up to 100% for out-of-pocket veterinary costs related to accidental injuries, such as broken bones or swallowed foreign objects, once your deductible has been met.
These plans are less comprehensive than those that provide Accident & Illness coverage, but they’re a great way to save money while still having ensuring your cat has access to affordable care in case they ever hurt themselves indoors.
Indoor cats face many of the same health risks as outdoor cats throughout adulthood
Many pet parents think that outdoor cats face more health risks than indoor cats, but that’s not necessarily true — they just encounter them for frequently.
As adults, indoor cats are still susceptible to trauma and wound abscesses, which are commonly seen in pets who get into fights with other felines in the neighborhood. Indoor catfights are also common, however, and often occur when introducing a new four-legged family member. In many cases, this happens while pet parents are away, so you might not notice the injury until it turns into an abscess.
Trauma to your cat can also occur when your cat runs into sharp furniture in your home or catches a toy or claw to their eye. If this happens, I suggest taking your cat to the vet as soon as possible, because eye trauma can worsen rapidly.
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Indoor adult cats are also just as prone to ingesting something toxic as outdoor cats. For example, many plants around our homes, like lilies, azaleas, and holly, are poisonous to cats2. Your cat may love the smell of the plant, decide to give it a taste, and end up needing emergency veterinary care because consuming toxic plants can cause kidney damage, along with a host of adverse symptoms.
Viral infections can still be spread to indoor cats via exposure. For example, you may go over to a friend’s house and unknowingly come into contact with their pet, who has a viral infection. When you return home, close contact with your indoor cat could spread this viral infection to them, even though they never went outside.
Other risks to indoor cats include parasites and insects that come inside the home. Whether humans and dogs can both bring fleas in from outside; mosquitoes may get through screens or cracks and transmit heartworm in cats, and insects can cause painful bite wounds that may require medical attention. If your cat is shying away from you, hiding, or tense, contact your veterinarian immediately for your next steps.
While respiratory diseases may be more common among outdoor cats, indoor cats can still experience respiratory problems, such as feline asthma, which is often caused by cleaning products, essential oils, air fresheners, dust, and more. Other issues, like pneumonia, can rack up significant veterinary care costs, especially if your cat needs to be on a ventilator and hospitalized. In fact, the highest cat insurance payout of 2020 was $24,545 for a domestic shorthair with pneumonia.3
Indoor cats have a higher risk of certain health issues than outdoor cats
Indoor and outdoor cats are both susceptible to urinary issues, especially male cats whose urethra is so tiny that it can end up getting plugged by mucus, inflammation, or blood. Both male and female cats are at a heightened risk of urinary issues and blockages, especially when compared to dogs who have a much larger urethra.
A true blockage can easily cost upwards of $3,000 to $5,000 because the affected cat will need to be hospitalized and have the blockage removed. Then a urinary catheter will be placed, and time given to allow the inflammation to go down. Urinary issues are so common that some patients even come into my clinic every few months because their cat is having another flare-up.
I’ve even had male kittens experience their first blockage as young as two to three weeks old, with one notable case of a six blockages before he was three months old. This puts a significant financial burden on the pet parents who need to take their cat in to have the blockage removed repeatedly.
At this time, vets aren’t entirely sure what causes this issue, known as idiopathic cystitis, but it’s believed to be connected to stress and a lack of stimulation, which indoor cats are more susceptible to.
I’m not sugges, because there are many health risks for outdoor cats too — including everything from ear mites, to getting lost, and being attacked by another animal. However, it means that pet parents should try to provide as much stimulation and exercise as possible for indoor cats so they can release stress, stay active, and prevent medical issues.
Cats may also have an intestinal blockage from a foreign body, such as eating a string, hair tie, etc. The string can get stuck on your cat’s tongue and eventually end up pulling their bowel loops together, causing the cat pain as the string scrapes and cuts along the sides of their intestines. Unfortunately, this is very dangerous because strings and hair ties can cut a cat’s intestines and get stuck in various places.
Indoor cats are also more likely to become obese due to a lack of activity, which increases their risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis, and many other health problems.
All cats, indoor or outdoor, are also highly predisposed to dental problems. Research shows that anywhere from 50% to 90% of cats four years or older struggle with some kind of dental disease4. Dental disease is especially prevalent in cats who are switched to wet food and don’t have preventative dental care, such as teeth cleanings and regular at-home teeth brushing.
Without preventative dental care, some indoor cats may end up needing teeth extractions to remove teeth that are heavily covered in tartar. Even cats as young as two to three years old can experience heavy tartar and gingivitis. Fortunately, preventative dental care can reduce these risks, and cat insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that if your cat does need dental cleanings or teeth extraction, you’ve got a financial backup plan.
The cost of pet care increases with age
Many feline diseases develop due to age. Regardless of whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, they are still at an increased risk of age-related diseases, such as kidney disease, lymphoma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), hyperthyroidism, and many more.
Unfortunately, these diseases are chronic conditions that can be expensive to treat over time. For example, kidney disease often requires special diets, ongoing bloodwork, medications, and more. Blood work for kidney disease may even be recommended as frequently as every other month, which can quickly add up cost-wise. Other conditions, like hypothyroidism in cats, may require medication for the remainder of your cat’s life.
Diseases like lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can require extensive testing to figure out which condition your cat ultimately has. For example, your veterinarian may recommend complete abdominal ultrasounds and switching your cat’s diets to help them identify the root problem. Then, long-term steroids, medications, and even chemotherapy may be needed to treat and manage your cat’s illness.
Cancer is another age-related disease. Unfortunately, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in cats over the age of six. The initial cancer diagnosis itself can cost between $1,000 and $2,000, with chemotherapy costs often costing between $3,000 and $5,000. If radiation is needed, it can cost up to $10,000 depending on where the cancer is located and where you live. These numbers can be scary. However, pet insurance can help offset these veterinary bills if these illnesses were not pre-existing conditions.
If you have a middle-aged cat in perfect health, this is a great time to choose a pet insurance plan that can act as a financial safety net for future health issues in senior cats that commonly occur. Even if you have a young cat or kitten, illness can strike earlier than expected. For example, inflammatory bowel disease can affect young cats, even as young as three or four years old. Having a pet insurance plan in place allows you to provide your cat with needed emergency medical treatment or ongoing care for a developed chronic illness.
Find Pet Insurance For Older Cats
Indoor cat insurance promotes routine care that can increase longevity in pets
Pet insurance helps pet parents feel comfortable taking their cat to the veterinarian when they suspect something is wrong and feel less concerned about the cost of necessary diagnostic testing. Taking your cat to their veterinarian when you suspect they aren’t feeling good allows your veterinarian to catch illnesses or injuries earlier on.
In turn, this improves your cat’s prognosis and enables your veterinarian to alleviate symptoms and pain expediently, rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen. Catching illnesses in their early stages will usually be less expensive to treat and prevent the worst-case scenario that your cat’s condition is beyond intervention, as some can no longer be treated after a certain point.
In addition to pet insurance, many veterinary providers offer supplemental wellness packages that can promote your cat’s optimal wellbeing. This can include special cat food, vitamins, heartworm supplements, and more to help your cat feel their best now and promote a healthier future for them.
Are Pet Wellness Plans Worth It?
All in all, I would strongly recommend pet insurance to all cat owners, whether you have a young kitten or an older cat. Life is unpredictable, and we never know when an illness or injury can strike. Pet insurance gives you a safety net so that you can rest easy knowing that your cat will have access to gold-standard veterinary care whenever they need it.
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— Update: 16-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How Much Is Pet Insurance For A Cat, And Is It Really Worth It? from the website cats.com for the keyword do i need pet insurance for an indoor cat.
On average, it costs about $27.70 per month or $332 annually to insure an adult cat in the United States.
Premiums are highest for older cats, especially those insured later in life, and those living in expensive zip codes. You can lower that premium by adjusting your policy. Leaner coverage, higher deductibles, lower annual payout caps, and lower reimbursement percentages all translate to paying less month-over-month.
Is Pet Insurance For Cats Worth It?
I asked veterinarians for their opinion, and the answer was a resounding “yes”. Dr. Jennifer Coates, who serves on the advisory board for Pets Digest, proposes a simple question to determine whether or not you need insurance. She encourages you to “Ask yourself if you could cover all the costs associated with a major pet illness or injury right now. If the answer is ‘no,’ pet insurance could literally save your pet’s life.”
With emergency medical bills in the thousands or higher, knowing you can afford to save your cat’s life could make insurance worth it.
But insurance is always a gamble, and the average cat owner will spend more on insurance than they’ll save. You’ll typically have to pay $5,000 or more on your cat’s healthcare throughout their lifetime to start seeing benefits—and that doesn’t include routine care like checkups and vaccinations.
Read more Conjunctivitis in Cats (Cat Pink Eye)
So is it worth it for you? Read on to get a full pricing breakdown and learn if pet insurance is right for you and your cat.
Why Should You Trust Us?
At Cats.com, we’ve put hundreds of hours into pet insurance research. We’ve published guides on the best pet insurance in the United States, Canada, and the UK, along with several reviews of specific providers.
Since writing the original version of Cats.com’ guide to the best insurance providers a couple of years ago, I’ve spent uncounted hours getting quotes, analyzing coverage, talking with insurance companies, and reviewing various providers.
To write this article, I spent over 25 hours studying what insurance companies consider when pricing their coverage. I generated over 100 unique quotes and compared prices across different age groups, locations, genders, and more.
Cost Of Pet Insurance For Cats By Age & Provider
After gathering 108 quotes from 12 different providers, I found that monthly pet insurance premiums ranged from as little as $12 or less for kittens in cheaper areas to over $258 per month for geriatric cats in pricey areas.
How Much Pet Insurance Costs For A Cat Depends On Several Factors
When you’re choosing pet insurance, several factors will determine both your monthly premiums and your savings at the vet.
Some are things you can’t control—the cost of living in your area, the age of your cat, their breed, and any existing health issues.
Other factors are within your control. You can adjust your policy to raise or lower premiums in exchange for more or less coverage. In general, the more you’re saving at the vet, the more you’re spending each month.
If you have a little extra money saved and are willing to take the risk, opt for less coverage to save on those monthly bills. If you have less saved and are willing to spend a few extra dollars each month for more protection in an emergency, beef up your policy and spend more every month.
Pet insurance policies come in two flavors—accident and illness plans and wellness plans.
Usually offered as the default when you sign up, accident and illness plans cover unexpected bills for things like poisoning, injuries, and diseases. You’ll usually have a deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual deductible.
Wellness plans are usually tacked on to accident and illness plans and will cover your routine care expenses like exams, dental cleanings, vaccines, bloodwork, and medications unrelated to an accident or illness. Most don’t have any deductible, so you can start getting coverage as soon as your plan is active. Limits are either annual or on a per-procedure basis.
Deciding which kind of coverage is right for you can be tricky—a wellness plan covers expenses that most people will encounter year after year, but you’re almost guaranteed to lose money on it unless you’re normally spending over $120 per year on this type of routine care.
Wellness plans are best for those who go in for multiple wellness visits each year, who just adopted a kitten, and cats who get dental cleanings every year.
Consider activating or deactivating your wellness add-on depending on your needs that year.
The deductible is the amount you pay before the pet insurance provider will reimburse you.
If you have a $250 deductible, you’ll have to spend $250—either in one bill or over multiple visits—before the insurance will kick in. Once you’ve hit that deductible, the insurance company will reimburse you for everything afterward. For example, before you’ve reached your deductible, a $150 procedure will come out of your pocket. Spend $100 more, and the company will start covering subsequent bills.
If you have an annual deductible—the most common pet insurance deductible type—this will reset each year, and you’ll have to hit that deductible again before getting paid. If you have a per-condition deductible, you’ll have to reach that number for a single condition before the insurance company pays for anything. After you’ve reached the deductible amount on a particular condition, the medical bills related to that condition are covered for life with no renewing deductibles.
Most pet insurance companies allow you to choose from several annual deductibles, usually ranging from $100 to $500. A higher deductible saves you money on monthly premiums, but it also means you’ll have to spend more before you can start getting money back at the vet.
In general, high deductibles are a good choice for people with some money saved for unexpected vet bills, who don’t go to the vet very often, and who are willing to take a bit more risk to save in the long term. Lower deductibles are the right choice if you don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected bill and would rather spend a little extra each month to play it safe.
Unlike health insurance for people, most pet insurance providers reimburse you after you’ve paid for your cat’s vet bill. While some cover 100% of the bill, most providers cover a percentage of the bill rather than its entirety—the typical percentage covered ranges between 70% and 90%.
Lower reimbursement rates translate to lower monthly premiums, but you’ll have to pay more at the vet. A low reimbursement rate is a higher-risk choice that saves you money every month. If you have some money saved to cover unexpected bills and just want to offset huge bills, a lower reimbursement rate combined with a high deductible may be the right choice.
Your annual limit is the amount of money that the insurance company is willing to pay out each year. After you reach that limit, all subsequent vet bills are your responsibility until the policy period ends. Providers allow you to choose unlimited payouts or an annual limit, typically ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
A lower annual limit means that you’ll spend less per month, but there’s a greater chance that you’ll be on the hook for big bills. Higher annual limits cost more each month but provide some security when bills add up into the tens of thousands.
Remember that these limits don’t roll over. If you were $5,000 below your coverage limit last year, that amount will not be added to this year’s budget.
When deciding on which limit is right for you, consider your cat’s age, personality, and how much you spent on vet care last year. For most cats, an unlimited or very high annual benefit is not necessary. Veterinary costs seldom reach over $5,000 in a single year.
While you usually can’t change pet insurance mid-term—before your policy renews for the year—consider getting a lower annual benefit when your cat is young and healthy and upgrading to a higher limit as they age.
Age, Breed, And Gender
Because older cats are more illness-prone than younger ones, your cat’s age is one of the biggest things affecting how much their insurance costs month-to-month.
Young cats and kittens have lower premiums than senior cats, and most insurance providers increase your cat’s rate as they age. Insurance premiums are highest if your cat opens their first policy when they’re getting up in years.
Certain breeds, like Bengals and their predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), are more prone to health issues that could send them to the vet. While there aren’t any breed exclusions in cat insurance, companies will ask about your cat’s breed and adjust your monthly premium accordingly.
Gender also makes a difference. Compared to female cats, males are slightly more expensive to insure. For example, it would cost a 5-year-old male cat from Atherton, California $34.20 per month to get insured through Figo. The company would charge his sister a $27.85 premium for the same coverage.
Where You Live
Your cat’s insurance premium will cost more or less depending on where you live, how much veterinary bills cost in your area, and other factors.
The state you live in seems to be the biggest determinant, with premiums in New York—the most expensive state for pet insurance—costing 30% more than the national average. Meanwhile, the cheapest plans, sold to cats in Louisiana, cost 28% less.
Most insurance companies provide discounts for multi-pet homes, and you’ll also find discounts available for special cases. You may be able to get a percentage off of your monthly premium if you adopted your pet from a shelter or work at one, have a support or therapy pet, or are an active or former member of the military. Check to find out if you’re eligible for any additional discounts before activating a new policy.
So, Is Pet Insurance For Cats Worth It?
On average, pet insurance becomes worth it if you’re spending $4,980 over the course of your cat’s lifetime. Of course, there’s no way of knowing if or when your cat will encounter a health problem that costs thousands in treatment, and insurance is best bought early. It’s a gamble in most cases, but so is going without.
Assuming you open a policy within their first year, the average cat’s pet insurance will cost around $5,000 over the course of a 15-year lifetime (based on 2022 prices).
The ASPCA’s 2021 estimates put the average owner’s veterinary spending at $160 per year. Add one emergency—urethral blockage, for instance—and that lifetime vet cost goes up by $1,500. If your cat develops diabetes, insulin injections might set you back $180 to $540 each year.
With one emergency and three years of a health issue requiring regular treatment on top of routine care, that’s $4,400 over 15 years—about $600 less than the lifetime cost of insurance premiums. Remember that a standard accident and illness policy won’t cover routine care, anyway, so you’d still be paying for that out of your pocket.
Of course, big bills do happen, and you may run into an exceptionally hefty bill of $5,000 or more. In its list of their most expensive claims, Southern Cross Pet insurance mentions an $11,902 bill for traumatic skin injury and skin disease in a 2-year-old cat and a $9,471 treatment for lower urinary tract disease and skin infections in a 1-year-old Devon Rex.
The biggest payoffs of pet insurance come from emergencies and long-term illnesses, which can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. The best approach is to act early and get your cat insured when they’re young and no pre-existing conditions have shown up in their records.
Pet Insurance Isn’t Right For Every Cat.
Many cats have already received treatment for long-term conditions by the time they reach middle age, and the more time your cat has spent in a vet’s office, the more likely it is that your claim will be denied.
If your top priority is paying for something like already-diagnosed chronic kidney disease or diabetes, pet insurance can’t help you. Alternative services, like Pet Assure’s discount club, might be a better choice.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It For Cats With FIV?
Remember that cats with FIV are more likely to get sick, and your insurer will consider any related illnesses a pre-existing condition. Since pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, all claims will be denied. If you open a policy before your cat is diagnosed, you will be able to get coverage for related treatment.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It For Indoor Cats?
Pet insurance can be a good choice for indoor cats. Cats who live indoors can develop serious health issues like urethral blockages, poisoning, cancer, and more—and those come with hefty bills that make pet insurance a great choice.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It For Senior Cats?
It depends on whether or not your cat has been diagnosed with health issues. If your cat has a lot of pre-existing conditions that still affect them today, they may run into so many denied claims that pet insurance simply isn’t worth it anymore.
Your premium will be significantly higher than it would be for a younger cat, too, so it might make more sense to put aside as much of a savings account as you can. If your cat is a senior and doesn’t have any existing health issues, though, pet insurance can be a good investment to help with common late-life health concerns.