In general, pet insurance covers medical issues, illnesses, and accidents for animals. However, pet insurance is slightly different for cats and dogs.
In this article, we’ll examine what cat *pet insurance looks like and covers.
(*I researched three pet insurance brands—Pets Best, Petplan, and Embrace—to get the following general information about cat pet insurance. If you’d like to review these plans in-depth, as well as study four other pet insurance plans, visit our comprehensive pet insurance guide.)
What all pet insurance has in common
My research revealed no pet insurance covers an animal’s pre-existing conditions, also known as an ailment an animal developed before getting insurance. However, some companies will evaluate if your pet’s illness history is truly chronic or not.
Some options do not cover congenital issues or hereditary conditions. Most pet insurance policies will only cover accidents or illnesses a pet has yet to experience or develop. However, many insurance companies provide wellness policy “add-ons” that provide some coverage for a pet’s health maintenance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also adds that some policies “will not accept pets after a certain age” and that “consumers also should be aware of policy waiting periods,” otherwise known as the time before benefits start.
Pet owners interested in insurance also should note that each pet insurance company’s reimbursement method is different— “Some companies use a benefit schedule, which reimburses policyholders based on the illness or injury and the coverage level chosen. Other companies reimburse percentages based on the amount spent by the policyholder.”
If you want more information about what makes a good pet insurance policy, the American Veterinary Medical Association has a comprehensive list of points people should consider while researching pet insurance.
Cat pet insurance
In general, cat pet insurance and dog pet insurance are the same, but the following are some of the specific things cat owners should consider when looking for cat pet insurance:
- Make sure you find a pet insurance policy that will cover any hereditary or congenital issues your cat may have.
- Consider finding cat pet insurance that will cover a cat’s potential behavioral issues. Although many pet insurance options do cover behavior issues, it’s unclear if all brands cover cats. For example, PetsBest mentions that it covers behavioral conditions for all pets. Embrace does not explicitly state that it covers cat behavioral issues but does for dogs. Cat behavioral care is essential, especially because many behavioral problems cats exhibit (urine marking, aggression, litter box problems) are destructive.
- Some cat insurance policies include wellness add-ons, which typically include some coverage for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
- In general, cat pet insurance is less expensive than dog pet insurance, but of course, this isn’t always the case.
- When considering cat pet insurance, think about the potential accidents your cat could have if they:
- Go on walks (It’s rare, but some people have their cats leash-trained!)
- Is indoor/outdoor
- And don’t underestimate the number of accidents that could happen inside your home. For example, a cat could get into something they shouldn’t (a plant, mouse bait, etc.) and need medical assistance.
This article is not comprehensive, but the points covered here will hopefully allow you to start mentally listing things to consider if you are thinking about getting insurance for your cat.