Cat insurance can cover things like routine vet visits, treatments, and surgery for accidents and illnessesover your cat’s lifetime.
Pet insurance companies typically don’t pay for services associated with pre-existing conditions, therefore it’s best to register your cat for pet insurance before these conditions appear.
Most providers offer optional add-ons to enhance your plan with coverage for wellness, upkeep, and dental coverage in some cases.
At a minimum, we recommend opting for Accident & illness coverage as it can save you money in the long run thanks to its ample protections.
To find the best cat insurance plan, we recommend getting quotes with a comparison tool. They can find customized plans from multiple providers and help you easily filter through several options at once.
Whether you have a cuddly kitten or a grumpy 15-year-old who rules the house with an iron paw, it’s important for your cat to see a vet regularly.
With routine care, it’s possible to treat minor illnesses before they turn into life-threatening ones. As your cat gets older, it may develop some age-related health conditions, making regular exams even more important.
Over time, the cost of seeing a veterinarian really adds up, but not everyone has enough cash on hand to cover exam fees, diagnostic tests, medications and other veterinary expenses. That’s why it’s so important to purchase a good pet insurance plan. A comprehensive cat insurance plan covers many of the expenses associated with giving your cat a long, happy life.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
An overview of cat insurance and how it works
What cat insurance typically covers and what is often excluded
How much you can expect to pay for a cat insurance plan
How to choose the best cat insurance plan for your needs
If cat insurance is worth the money
With this understanding, you’ll be able to find the right pet insurance to suit you and your cat’s needs.
So without further delay, here are our top picks for the best pet insurance for cats.
Embrace offers highly customizable plans and ample discounts to customers with multiple pets (10% off) or who are military members (5% off). Embrace offers an accident & illness plan with optional wellness coverage as an add-on to ensure that your cat is covered on all bases. This also includes optional coverage for exam fees and prescription drugs.
Their plans can be tailored for up to unlimited coverage, which is what we recommend opting for. With the unlimited option combined with 90% reimbursement, you could save thousands of dollars over your cat’s lifetime or if your cat ever develops a serious illness.
In case of an emergency, you’ll also get access to 24/7 virtual assistance via telemedicine calls which can help you diagnose if it’s necessary to rush your cat to an in-person emergency vet. This feature alone could save you hundreds on vet bills, which is another reason we love Embrace.
With Embrace’s accident and illness plan you’ll have a two-day waiting period for accidents and a 14-day waiting period for illnesses. There is a six-month waiting period for canine orthopedic conditions, which can be reduced to 14 days if you complete an orthopedic exam and waiver process.
Paw Protect is a relatively new provider but has taken the market by storm. One of its main draws is that it offers customers a $2,000 interest-free charge card that can be used to pay the vet directly, so you have no out-of-pocket expenses when taking your cat or kitten to the vet. Most other providers require you to pay upfront and be reimbursed.
Paw Protect offers an accident & illness plan as well as an optional Wellness plan available as an add-on. Like some other providers, it comes with 24/7 telemedicine coverage which allows you to speak to a vet in case you have an emergency and aren’t sure whether to take your cat in for a visit. It also offers considerable discounts if you have multiple pets (10% off) or are a military member (5% off).
We recommend opting for the unlimited plan with 90% reimbursement. However, if you are tight on cash, there are several other plan limits ($5,000, $10,000 & Unlimited) that offer great coverage at a more affordable price.
Paw Protect accident and illness plan has a two-day waiting period for accidents and a 14-day waiting period for illnesses. There is a six-month waiting period for canine orthopedic conditions, which can be reduced to 14 days if you complete an orthopedic exam and waiver process.
Healthy Paws has excellent customer reviews and is one of the few providers on the market that can pay the vet for you directly. This is a huge draw for many cat owners as it means next to no out-of-pocket costs to you. The only caveat is that you must call and request a simple authorization before the vet treats your cat. Otherwise, you can pay and be reimbursed.
Healthy Paws also offers lots of choices for coverage levels and deductibles, which is great for those wanting to tailor a plan to fit their budget. Healthy Paws offers only an accident & illness plan with unlimited coverage and no wellness options. Apart from paying the vet directly, with Healthy Paws, you’ll get the highest level of inclusions and peace of mind that all vet bills for covered illnesses will be reimbursed regardless of the cost.
With the Healthy Paws accident and illness plan there’s a 15-day waiting period for accidents and illness and a 12-month waiting period for conditions linked to hip dysplasia or if your pet is under the age of six. These are some of the longest waiting periods in the industry, which could be a deal-breaker for some people. Otherwise, it makes sense to sign up as soon as possible.
Lemonade is renowned for its affordable accident & illness coverage and its plethora of customizable plans. They are one of the few pet insurance providers that offer dental coverage and have a convenient phone app that allows you to manage your cat’s policy online.
Add-ons from Lemonade include coverage for preventative care, vet visit fees, dental illness, physical therapy, behavioral conditions, and end-of-life care and remembrance.
Coverage limits can also be customized and are available at $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, & $100,000. However, for the most comprehensive coverage, we recommend opting for the $100,000 limit with a 90% reimbursement and a dental & vet fee add-on.
With Lemonade’s accident and illness plan, there is a two-day waiting period for accidents and a 14-day waiting period for illnesses. Additionally, there is a six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament events. While Lemonade offers excellent coverage at an affordable price, they don’t offer telemedicine, don’t cover spay/neuter costs for pets over 2 years old, and vet fees are extra unless you purchase the add-on. You may also face certain age restrictions for certain breeds.
CarePlus is one of the only companies that offer up to 100% reimbursement for prescription products. There is no maximum age of enrollment and it offers unlimited coverage limits. With all CarePlus accident & illness plans, you’ll get access to telemedicine via chat/video which gives you free vet consultations. This can save you time and money before bringing your cat into the vet’s office by ruling out whether something is an emergency.
CarePlus offers various levels of plans including their Accident Only plan, Value Accident & Illness plan, Essential Plus Accident & Illness plan, and the Complete Accident & Illness plan. You can also customize your plans with optional add-ons such as the Preventive and Preventative+ plans and the Wellness and Comprehensive plan.
We recommend the Value Accident & Illness Plan which is provided through Lemonade. The 2-day waiting period for accidents is very competitive and exam fees are included.
Depending on the plan you choose, you will have a 2-5 day waiting period for accidents, a 14-day waiting period for new illnesses, and either a 14-day, 30-day, or 6-month wait for cruciate ligament conditions. On the downside, dental disease and exam fees are not covered in all plans.
We love Pumpkin for its wide-reaching coverage and reimbursement level. Where other companies let you choose low reimbursement levels, Pumpkin ensures you get 90% back from covered claims and has no maximum age of enrollment so even senior cats can be covered. As an added benefit, owners with multiple pets get a 10% discount on policies. When it comes to coverage, what is offered as add-ons from other companies comes standard at Pumpkin.
Pumpkin has a standard accident & illness plan that covers exam fees, dental illnesses, behavioral issues, hereditary & congenital conditions, rehab therapies, and end-of-life services. You can also customize your plan with an optional add-on for preventative care.
We recommend opting for the unlimited coverage limit with a preventative care add-on.
With Pumpkin’s accident & illness plan, there is a 14-day waiting period. While this is longer than some other providers, Pumpkin has no extended waiting period for hip dysplasia or knee injuries making it a great option for animals prone to joint issues. On the downside, their add-on plan for preventive care doesn’t have a lot of coverage.
We like Pets Best as it offers competitively priced plans with a wide range of deductible options. This is great for people on a budget as it allows you to tailor your plan to what you can afford. There is also no age limit for sign-ups, meaning you can purchase coverage for your cat later in life, and accident coverage kicks in 3 days from sign-up. You’ll also get unlimited access to a 24/7 emergency vet hotline for quick consultations at all hours of the day.
Pets Best offers multiple plans including an Accident-only plan, as well as 3 tiers called Essential, Plus, and Elite. You can also opt for an add-on for wellness / routine care plans for an extra fee which offers good coverage versus other plans on the market.
Last, but not least, Pets Best is one of the few providers who can pay the vet directly for you. Simply download the reimbursement release form from their website, have your vet’s office sign and agree to receive payment directly from the provider, and Pet’s Best will handle the rest.
With Pets Best you can expect a waiting period of 3 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for cruciate ligament conditions. When choosing, note that exam fees are not included in the Essential plan, which is why we recommend opting for a higher-tier plan, such as the Elite plan, with a wellness add-on.
Figo is known for its fast claim processing which is a huge benefit to its customers as most providers require you to pay upfront and be reimbursed. Figo is also one of the few providers that offer 100% reimbursement (on plans with deductibles of $500+).
It’s also great for elderly cats as it has no age limit for enrollment, and the waiting period for accidents is one of the shortest in the industry (1 day).
Figo has lots of plan options to suit all types of budgets. It offers several pre-set accident & illness plans but also allows you to customize your plan based on your desired coverage limits, deductible, and reimbursement level.
You can also opt for add-ons that offer continued wellness coverage and reimbursement for vet exam fees. All plans come with 24/7 vet assistance text-chat, however, video/phone telehealth consultations are also available as part of the wellness add-on.
With Figo, there is a 1-day waiting period for accidents and injuries and 14 days for illnesses.
For dogs, there is also a 6-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions. However, this can be waived if you get an orthopedic exam within the first 30 days of your policy and your pet is deemed healthy.
In some cases, Figo can also treat curable pre-existing conditions if your pets show no symptoms within 12 months of treatment.
Spot offers a wide range of annual coverage and deductible options to suit all budgets and is one of a few providers that offer a discount for owners with multiple pets (10%). They also tend to cover more things than other providers such as advanced care and alternative therapies.
Another benefit to Spot is that there is no maximum enrollment age, meaning even elderly cats can get coverage at any time.
Spot offers several plan options including an accident-only plan, an accident & illness plan, and 2 tiers of wellness add-ons (Gold & Platinum) which can cover things like teeth cleaning. Another benefit to Spot is that euthanasia and exam fees (for covered conditions) are included with their accident & illness plan.
Spot has a 14-day waiting period for accidents, illnesses, and ligament/knee conditions. Spot will also cover pre-existing conditions if they are considered curable and your pet has not had symptoms or treatments for at least 180
Fetch by The Dodo offers simple and straightforward plans with some of the most comprehensive coverage on the market. There is no age limit for enrollment and it covers things most other providers don’t offer. As an example, if your cat is lost, Fetch will cover expenses for lost pet ads and will even chip in to offer a reward.
If you are going on a trip, they’ll pay for boarding costs and reimburse you for non-refundable pet expenses due to a canceled vacation. They also offer a 10% discount to military members.
Fetch only offers their Standard accident & illness plan which includes TeleVet services and dental coverage at no extra cost. However, unlike other providers, there is no preventative/wellness plan option with this provider.
Fetch has a waiting period of 15 days for accidents & illness and a 6-month waiting period for injuries for knee & hip injuries. However, this can be waived if you get an orthopedic exam within the first 30 days of your policy and your pet is deemed healthy with no pre-existing orthopedic conditions.
Examples of inclusions
Emergency Vet Visits
Examples of exclusions
24/7 Vet Chat
Pays Vet Directly
What is cat insurance?
Cat insurance is a type of pet health insurance specifically for felines.
Depending on the type of policy you purchase, pet insurance may cover illness-related expenses, the cost of treating accidental injuries and/or expenses associated with routine care.
Here are some examples of common claims:
Kidney disease treatment: As cats age, they’re more susceptible to kidney disease. Pet insurance covers diagnostic tests and treatments for this condition.
Broken bones: If your feline friend falls and breaks a bone, your pet insurance policy should cover the cost of X-rays, casting and other necessary expenses.
Diabetes: Just like humans, cats can develop diabetes, causing high blood sugar levels. If your cat receives a diabetes diagnosis after your pet insurance policy goes into effect, the plan should cover the cost of oral medications, insulin or other treatments.
Cancer: Some cats develop lymphoma, bone cancer, mast cell tumors and other forms of cancer. If you have pet insurance in place, your plan may cover the cost of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer therapies.
How does pet insurance for cats work?
Cat pet insurance protects you financially in case your vet has an accident or illness requiring treatment by a vet.
Some plans require you to pay vet expenses upfront, submit a claim and wait for the insurer to reimburse you. Others pay your vet directly, eliminating the need to file your own claims. Most policies have waiting periods, exclusions and other restrictions, so it’s important to read your plan documents carefully.
Here are some of the most important terms to know:
Waiting period: If your plan has a waiting period, coverage doesn’t begin until the waiting period ends. For example, if your policy has a 14-day waiting period, it won’t cover any expenses incurred until at least 14 days after you sign up.
Per-condition limit: Some companies limit the amount of money they’ll reimburse for specific health conditions. If you reach the limit, you’ll have to pay any additional expenses out of pocket.
Per-incident limit: Some pet insurance policies limit the amount of money paid out for claims arising from a single incident. For example, if your cat is involved in an auto accident, your insurer may not cover the full cost of treatment.
Payout limit: Your plan may have a payout limit, which represents the total amount of money your insurer is willing to pay over the life of the policy. If you reach that limit, your plan won’t cover any more of your cat’s vet bills.
Exclusion: An exclusion is a condition or service that isn’t covered by your plan.
Vet restriction: Your insurance company may require you to see a specific veterinarian in your community rather than choosing a vet clinic on your own. Additionally, some vets don’t accept direct-pay pet insurance, so you may have to choose a new provider if you want to use insurance to cover your cat’s vet bills.
How much does cat insurance cost?
How much you pay for a cat insurance plan also depends on the level of coverage you choose.
A plan that covers both accident-related and illness-related expenses usually costs between $20 and $50 per month. Accident-only coverage may cost as little as $10 per month. Wellness plans have an average monthly cost of $22.
These are the main factors that impact how much you’ll pay:
Age: As cats age, they’re more likely to develop health problems. Therefore, insurance companies typically charge more for older pets. Some policies even have an upper age limit.
Breed: Certain cat breeds have a higher risk of developing serious health problems. If you own one of these breeds, cat health insurance is likely to be more expensive. Therefore, kitten insurance is cheaper than coverage for adult cats.
Location: Due to differences in the cost of living, insurance companies have to charge higher rates in some locations than others.
Reimbursement rate: Some plans have a 70% or 80% reimbursement rate, while others cover a much higher percentage of your cat’s vet expenses. The higher your reimbursement rate, the more expensive your policy is likely to be.
Out-of-pocket costs: If you choose a low deductible, be prepared to pay a higher premium. Insurers charge more for low-deductible plans since they have to cover more of each cat’s vet expenses. Conversely, a plan with a high deductible should be cheaper than a plan with a low deductible.
Coverage limits: If your plan has low coverage limits, it should cost less than a plan with better coverage.
Remember that your plan won’t cover pre-existing conditions or other excluded services, no matter how much you pay for coverage.
Which cat breeds are the most expensive to insure?
Siberian Forest Cat: This type of cat has a heightened risk of developing kidney disease, heart disease, gum disease and hereditary cancers, making it more expensive to insure.
Bengal: The Bengal cat is prone to allergies, irritable bowel disease, urinary disorders and luxating patellas, leaving their pet parents with high vet expenses.
Persian: Persian cats have flat faces and long coats, putting them at risk for skin disorders and breathing problems. These health issues are expensive to treat, so insurance companies charge more to insure this cat breed.
Ragdoll: If you have a ragdoll, be on the lookout for urinary disorders, polycystic kidney disease and heart disease. These conditions are more common in ragdolls than in other types of cats, making this breed one of the most expensive to insure.
Abyssinian: Abyssinians have a heightened risk of feline asthma, kidney disease and disorders of the digestive tract. Your pet insurance cost may increase accordingly.
Which cat breeds are the cheapest to insure?
It’s cheaper to insure cat breeds with a lower risk of developing health problems that are expensive to treat.
These cat breeds are the least expensive to insure:
How to pick the best pet insurance for your cat
Follow these steps to find the best insurance for your cat:
Check whether your cat is eligible.
Some insurers have age limits or other restrictions that exclude your cat from certain policies.
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Decide which type of insurance and how much coverage you want.
Choosing the right coverage is one of the most important decisions a pet parent can make. Before you compare plans, determine if you want a comprehensive plan, a plan just for accident-related expenses or a wellness plan. Then decide how much coverage you need to make pet insurance worth it for your cat.
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Understand reimbursements and deductibles.
Your reimbursement rate and deductible have a big impact on the cost of your policy. Review plan documents carefully to determine how much you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance reimburses you.
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Look for exclusions and waiting periods.
Most plans have waiting periods, so be prepared to wait at least 2 weeks before using your coverage. It’s also important to understand exactly what your plan excludes. Otherwise, your insurer may not reimburse a significant portion of your cat’s expenses.
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Examine extra costs.
Many companies offer add-ons to ensure that your cat has as much coverage as possible. Before paying for one of these extras, compare how much it costs with how much it’s likely to benefit you and your cat.
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The LA Times online comparison tool provides a side-by-side comparison of several plans. Use this tool to compare costs and benefits before signing up for coverage.
As with dog insurance, the amount of coverage available depends on whether you purchase an accident-only plan or a comprehensive accident-and-illness policy. Some pet insurance companies also offer wellness insurance or optional add-ons.
We’ll take a quick look at the types of coverage below. For more in-depth information, check out our guide on what pet insurance covers.
Accident-only coverage is just what it sounds like: pet insurance that only covers expenses associated with accidental injuries. For example, if your cat accidentally gets out of the house and has a harrowing encounter with a stray dog, pet insurance will cover the cost of treatment.
Accident and illness coverage
Accident-and-illness plans provide coverage for a much broader range of veterinary services. It covers veterinary expenses associated with covered illnesses, accidents, and sometimes even dental coverage. Because this type of pet insurance is so comprehensive, it’s often called “nose-to-tail” coverage. If your cat came down with an upper respiratory infection, treatment would be covered under an accident and illness plan.
Several pet insurance companies offer wellness plans, which are designed to cover preventive care and other routine expenses. If you purchase one of these pet insurance plans, it may cover exam fees, dental cleanings, cat vaccination costs and spaying or neutering.
What isn’t included?
Pet insurance companies typically exclude these services from their policies:
Routine care: Unless you purchase a wellness plan, your insurance company is unlikely to pay for your cats annual exams, dental cleanings, vaccinations and other routine expenses.
Pregnancy/breeding: Many pet insurance companies refuse to pay for veterinary expenses associated with pregnancy and breeding. If you plan to breed your cat, you may be able to purchase an add-on that covers additional services.
Death: Although a few pet insurance companies offer death benefits, most plans don’t cover cat burial expenses. However, pet health insurance may cover the cost of euthanasia or other end-of-life services.
Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions are health problems discovered before your pet insurance coverage begins. For example, your cat has a pre-existing condition if it was diagnosed with diabetes before you purchased a pet insurance policy.
Boarding: If your cat has to stay at a kennel while you’re out of town, your pet insurance plan probably won’t cover the cost. Fetch pet insurance is one of the only providers that does include this.
Food: Some pet insurance companies cover prescription food, but they don’t cover the cost of regular cat food.
Grooming: Even if your cat requires regular grooming due to its long coat, you can’t use pet insurance to cover the costs.
Elective procedures: Most pet insurance plans exclude elective services. These services may improve your cat’s appearance or its quality of life, but they’re not medically necessary. For example, pet insurance companies typically don’t cover ear cropping since there’s no medical reason to perform it.
Non-veterinary expenses: This type of insurance only covers services provided by a veterinarian. It doesn’t cover taxes, finance charges and other non-veterinary expenses.
Compare coverage from different pet insurance providers
Breaking even means that you spent the same amount on insurance premiums as you would have spent on vet expenses. It’s even more worth it if you pay less for insurance than you would have paid in vet bills.
Here’s an example of why you should purchase insurance for your cat.
You pay $27 per month for a comprehensive policy. Three years in, your cat develops a serious illness requiring emergency treatment. Your vet charges you $3,500 for lab tests, X-rays, medications and surgery. In this scenario, you would have paid just $972 for your cat’s health insurance. If you subtract that from $3,500, having insurance would have saved you $2,528.
That’s well worth the cost of maintaining coverage.
Is it worth it to get pet insurance for a house cat?
In many cases, it’s worth it to purchase insurance for your cat. Having a policy in place could prevent you from having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket in the event of a serious illness or accident
How much per month does cat health insurance cost?
Pet parents pay an average of $10 to $50 per month to insure their cats. Remember that your plan may cost more if your cat is older or prone to serious health problems.
Is it cheaper to insure a kitten?
Yes, it’s cheaper to insure a kitten than an adult cat. This is because a kitten is less likely to have serious health problems.
How do I get the cheapest cat insurance?
Before purchasing a policy, shop around to determine which company offers the most benefits at the lowest cost. For a closer look, check out our guide on finding cheap pet insurance.
Does cat insurance cover neutering and spaying?
Standard insurance plans don’t cover spaying or neutering, but these services may be covered by a wellness plan or add-on designed to cover exam fees and other routine veterinary care services.
Leigh MorganFinance Expert
Leigh Morgan is a personal finance writer with 15 years of freelance experience. She specializes in topics like zero-based budgeting and emergency fund development. Before writing, she managed a real estate portfolio of rental properties worth $34 million.
In the last 5 years, she’s authored over 300 articles for credit unions, digital banks, and financial professionals. Morgan is also the author of “77 Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” a book focused on helping caregivers protect the elderly from financial scams.
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