Has a cat found its way into your heart and become part of your family? They have a knack for that — even while sleeping more than half the day away.
Sooner or later, you’ll need medical care for this new little member of the family — both routine wellness care and treatment for illnesses or injuries. The veterinarian’s bill could cost hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of dollars.
Pet insurance for cats and kittens can protect your family’s budget from unexpected veterinary bills. In this post, we’ll discuss the best insurance for cats and kittens so you can find the policy that works best for you.
7 Best Pet Insurance Plans for Cats and Kittens
As you shop for pet insurance, you’ll notice many insurance providers market their policies to dog and puppy parents. While most insurers do sell policies for both types of pets, we wanted to isolate the insurers with the best cat-specific insurance plans.
Here are the seven best pet insurance plans for cats and kittens:
Pets Best: Best for Flexible Coverage
Pets Best, one of the nation’s first pet insurance companies, sells wellness coverage as well as accident and injury protection for your cat. Many insurers sell only accident and illness coverage.
This wellness coverage could help you pay up to $535 annually for routine check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations for your pet.
Plans start at $9 per month, but these plans have the highest deductible and the lowest payout. Expect to pay $35 to $40 a month for more robust coverage — and even more if you’d like the most comprehensive coverage which includes accident, illness, and wellness coverage.
With a minimum enrollment age of 7 weeks for kittens, Pets Best is a great option if you’d like to get enrolled and begin the 2-week waiting period just in case your kitten’s curiosity causes a mishap sooner rather than later.
Facts About Pets Best
- Annual Deductible: Choose $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, or $1,000.
- Reimburses: 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Choose $5,000 or Unlimited
- Age requirements: 7-weeks minimum; no maximum age to purchase.
- Waiting period: 3 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses
PetFirst: Best for Affordability
PetFirst is unique among insurers on this list because it charges a per-incident deductible instead of an annual deductible for your cat’s medical coverage.
A per-incident deductible could cost you more out of pocket if your cat needs treatment for two separate injuries or illnesses during a single year.
But this policy structure can also lower your premiums, especially when you choose a higher deductible and a lower minimum annual reimbursement.
Budget-conscious pet owners who want some protection against unexpected vet bills like PetFirst, especially if they don’t plan to file claims for routine clinic visits.
Facts About PetFirst
- Deductible: Choose $50, $100, $250, $500 (per incident)
- Reimburses: 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Choose $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000
- Age requirements: No age limits.
- Waiting period: 1 day for accidents; 14 days for illnesses.
Healthy Paws: Best for Simple Policies
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance gives you more control over your policy’s details. You can set your own deductible, and your coverage will not cap reimbursements.
Compared to many pet insurance policies, Healthy Paws is easy to buy and use, especially if you’re an online shopper.
However, if your cat is 6 years old or older, you’ll need to take a medical exam prior to buying coverage. This is a hassle, but it helps keep costs down.
Facts About Healthy Paws
- Annual Deductible: Policyholder can set.
- Reimburses: Choose from 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Unlimited after deductible is met.
- Age requirements: 8 weeks to age 14 can purchase.
- Waiting period: 15 days.
Embrace: The Most Thorough Cat Insurance Program
Embrace is a fast-growing company that sells dog and cat insurance policies on its own, through Geico, and as part of employee benefit packages for large companies.
A cat policy with Embrace covers just about any illness or injury your cat could suffer as long as it’s not a pre-existing condition. (No pet insurance covers those.) Allergies, congenital or hereditary illnesses, joint care, X-rays, MRIs — Embrace offers whisker-to-tail coverage.
This level of coverage works only if your cat has had a physical within the past 12 months. If it hasn’t, you’ll need to make an appointment with a vet and get an exam before the policy will payout.
We also like Embrace’s diminishing deductible feature. Each year you go without filing a claim can lower your deductible by $50. This isn’t budget coverage, but if you want to remove some of the mystery about your policy’s willingness to pay, give Embrace a close look.
Embrace also has an add-on (endorsement) for wellness coverage.
Facts About Embrace Pet Insurance
- Annual Deductible: Choose $200, $300, $500, $750, or $1,000; deductible can decrease by $50 for each year you don’t file a claim.
- Reimburses: Choose 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Choose $5,000 or Unlimited.
- Age requirements: Max age 14; no minimum age limit.
- Waiting period: 2 days for accidents; 15 days for illnesses.
Nationwide: Good Choice for Comprehensive Coverage
Nationwide pet insurance — the same company whose car and home insurance ads you see on TV — has a unique approach to cat insurance: a single plan that includes wellness, illness, and accident coverage.
You won’t have as many ways to customize your cat or kitten’s coverage with Nationwide, but if your needs align with Nationwide’s plan, you can get quality coverage for your cat at a reasonable price.
Nationwide does have an illness and accident plan, but it does not compete well with the other insurers on this list.
Facts About Nationwide’s Whole Pet Plan
- Annual Deductible: Choose $0 to $1,000.
- Reimburses: 90% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: $10,000
- Age requirements: Max age 10 years for full coverage.
- Waiting period: 14 days for accidents and illnesses; 1-day waiting period for wellness coverage.
ASPCA: Best for Transparency
Any kind of insurance can be hard to understand when you’re comparing policies. There’s always a hint of subjectivity in any policy. What exactly is a pre-existing condition? Who gets to decide on that?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, provides a pet insurance plan designed to cut through the confusion and simplify your policy.
ASPCA isn’t an insurer, but it contracts with the American Fire Insurance Company to extend coverage to its members who own cats and dogs.
You could build a solid and simple policy to protect you from unexpected cat clinic expenses.
Facts About ASPCA Pet Insurance
- Annual Deductible: Choose $100, $150, or $250.
- Reimburses: Choose 70%, 80%, or 90% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Choose $3,000 or Unlimited.
- Age requirements: No age requirements.
- Waiting period: 14 days
Figo: Best for Online Access
When you visit Figo’s site to buy a policy, you’ll think the company has gone to the dogs. The entire site is built for dog and puppy parents.
But keep scrolling, and you’ll find a quote box where you can click on “cat” and start the application process.
And guess what? You’ll get solid coverage at a great price with top-notch online tools and mobile apps. The mobile app lets you start the claims process and manage your billing.
Figo alone offers a plan with a 100 percent reimbursement rate for covered expenses. You can also get unlimited annual reimbursements of covered procedures.
Facts About Figo Pet Insurance
- Annual Deductible: Choose $50, $100, $200, or $500.
- Reimburses: Choose 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100% of covered expenses.
- Maximum annual reimbursement: Choose $5,000, $10,000 or Unlimited.
- Age requirements: Puppies age 8 weeks can enroll; Figo has no maximum age limit for dogs.
- Waiting period: 14 days.
How Does Cat and Kitten Insurance Work?
The pet insurance industry grows larger every year, but some people still chuckle at the idea of buying an insurance policy for an animal.
What they don’t consider is that cat or kitten insurance doesn’t actually protect the pet — it protects the pet owner from the ever-growing cost of veterinary care.
Your homeowners or auto insurance policy works the same way. If tragedy struck and fire destroyed your home, your insurance policy wouldn’t restore your home to its pre-fire condition. You could, however, claim the value of your home as an insurance payout.
With the payout, you could buy another house, rebuild your home, or invest the money elsewhere. The insurance policy protected your home investment; it didn’t shield your home’s actual bricks, beams, and appliances from harm.
Insurance for your cat or kitten works the same way. Rather than facing hundreds or thousands of dollars in unexpected vet bills, your pet insurance policy could help you pay them. This protects your wallet and your family budget from an unexpected hit.
Cat Insurance Offers Reimbursements & Not Direct Payments
Cat or any kind of pet insurance resembles health insurance for humans, but pet insurance does not pay the vet directly.
Instead, you’ll have to pay the vet bill yourself and then file a claim for reimbursement. Assuming the procedure your cat needed was covered, you could get reimbursed 70%, 80%, 90% — and in some rare cases 100% — of the money you spent.
If your plan pays 80% of your cat’s treatment cost, the remaining 20% would be your co-pay.
If possible, check with your insurance company before your cat’s medical procedure to make sure your policy doesn’t exclude the condition from coverage.
What Does Cat Insurance Cover?
The most affordable pet insurance plans focus on unexpected veterinary expenses resulting from accidents, but you can also add coverage to pay for wellness visits and preventative care.
The best value from cat insurance comes from accident and illness coverage because most of us don’t plan for the unexpected vet expenses. If your kitten swallows yarn or wrestles with a rabid rodent, you could be facing thousands of dollars in veterinary fees.
The right kitten insurance policy could keep this incident from taking such a huge bite out of your budget.
If your kitty friend racked up $2,000 in medical expenses, for example, and your cat insurance policy pays 90%, you could get by paying only $200 after meeting the deductible.
No pet insurance that we know about will cover pre-existing conditions. Different insurers define pre-existing conditions differently, so make sure you get a clear definition, especially if you’re insuring an older cat, before signing up for coverage.
Some of the best pet insurance companies require a medical exam before you can enroll your pet.
Is Cat Insurance Expensive?
Cat insurance costs less than dog insurance. But the price range for a cat policy varies widely based on a few factors.
You could find a decent accident-only plan for about $10 a month. Or you could pay more than $100 a month for a comprehensive plan that also covers wellness visits, screenings, and vaccinations.
We recommend going with a basic accident-only plan or a policy that pays on visits related to illnesses and accidents. Wellness coverage adds extra to your monthly premium without adding much value.
After all, you could save up the money you’d need to pay for a vet bill you knew about several months in advance. Plus, the amount you’d pay in monthly premiums for wellness coverage isn’t much less than the money you’d pay for a typical wellness visit.
Along with your coverage options, the following factors will impact your monthly premiums:
- Your Cat’s Age: The older your cat, the more you can expect to pay in premiums. Most companies stop selling new policies for cats at least by age 14.
- Your Cat’s Breed: There’s not a huge difference in price for insuring different breeds, but breed can affect the cost of coverage. A Persian cat, for example, tends to have more health problems and costs a little more to insure.
- Your Location: The cost of veterinary care in your area affects pet insurance premiums.
Is Cat Insurance Worth It?
You can decline cat insurance and still be a good pet owner. The point of cat insurance is to protect your personal finances from taking a big hit after your cat’s injury or illness.
If you can save up a couple of thousand dollars and keep it in the bank for emergency medical care for your cat, then you don’t need cat insurance.
But if spending a thousand dollars or more at the vet would strain your monthly budget, you should consider getting a cat insurance policy from one of the leading pet insurance providers.
Insurance exists to protect your financial security. That’s true whether you’re insuring your life, your health, your car, or your pet.
How to Buy Cat Insurance
Buying cat insurance can be simple and quick. The insurers on our list sell policies online or over the phone.
Some policies require a medical exam upfront. This is a hassle, and you’ll have to pay the exam fees, but the exam could unlock better coverage for less money if your cat’s healthy.
Here are a couple of shopping tips:
- Start Early: Kittens cost less to insure, and they’re much less likely to have pre-existing conditions that could exclude them from coverage. If you wait until your cat has a chronic medical condition, your pet won’t be eligible for coverage.
- Shop Around: Get quotes from at least three insurance companies. Sometimes insurers lower their prices to gain more market share in an area. When you shop around, you have a better chance of getting quality coverage for less.
- Buy Only What You Need: You can save money by buying a right-size policy for your cat. Unlimited payouts have advantages, but consider the likelihood that you’d need to spend more than $5,000 or $10,000 at the vet in a year.
- Read the Policy Completely Before Buying It: Insurance policies aren’t easy reading, but you should read the entire policy before buying coverage. That way, you’ll know about exclusions and extra charges.
- Ask About Discounts: You could save by enrolling more than one animal with many insurers. Ask about other discounts you may qualify for.
Finding the right pet insurance policy for your kitten or cat could take a couple hours, but the time and money you’ll spend can pay off later.