Cat insurance

  • Cover vet fees & treatments from £6.73** a month. On average, an X-ray can cost £300 & an MRI scan £1000
  • Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*
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**50% of people could achieve a quote of £6.73 per month for their cat insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments. Based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.

Why do I need cat insurance?

It can be very upsetting if your cat or kitten gets ill or has an accident and needs emergency vet treatment.

It can also be a potentially expensive time because if you don’t have the right pet insurance in place, you’ll have to pay for treatment out of your own pocket. This can add up to hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of pounds.

How much does cat insurance cost?

You can insure your cat from as little as £81 a year, based on Compare the Market data in November 2020***.

***50% of people could achieve a quote of £80.76 per year for their cat insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types.

Obviously, the cost of cat insurance in the UK will depend on the type of policy that you opt for. For example, accident only cat insurance will be much cheaper than comprehensive lifetime cover. Other factors that may have an impact on the cost of cat insurance include:

  • The area that you live in: the cost of vet treatment varies significantly across the UK. If you live in an area where costs are known to be high, you’re likely to have to pay a higher premium to insure your cat.
  • The age of your cat: older cats are at a higher risk of developing illnesses and experiencing health problems. The older your cat, the higher your premium.
  • Your cat’s breed: pedigree cats are usually more expensive to ensure than non-pedigree cats. Some breeds are also more prone to certain health conditions.

What are the different types of cat insurance?

There are four main types of insurance for cats. All policies have limits on how much they will pay out per condition and/or a yearly limit, which is the most they will pay over a year. They’ll also come with an excess that you need to pay towards treatment for your pet.

1. Accident only

  • Usually the cheapest type of policy.
  • Offers cover for your vet bills if your cat is unlucky enough to have an accident.
  • Doesn’t cover illness or if they develop any medical conditions in the future.

2. Time Limited

  • Covers illnesses as well as accidents, but for a limited amount of time only (typically, 12 months from when the condition started). You can only claim once for a particular illness or condition.
  • If the condition returns after the 12-month period or if you use up the amount per condition before the 12-month period you won’t be covered for any medication or treatment for it.

3. Maximum Benefit

  • Covers illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition.
  • There’s no time limit on how long you can claim for.
  • Can be useful if your cat has a chronic or persistent illness.

4. Lifetime

  • Covers your cat for accidents, illnesses or conditions throughout the lifetime of the policy. The limit is refreshed each year.
  • If your pet develops an ongoing condition and you want it to be covered on an ongoing basis, you’ll need to either renew or find policies that cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Usually the most expensive type of policy.

What should I consider when choosing cat insurance?

Here are a few things to look out for when choosing the best cat insurance policy for your pet:

  • Pre-existing conditions – if your cat suffers from one of these, the treatment won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
  • The excess – this is the amount of money you’ll have to pay when you make a claim on your insurance. Always check how much this is before you take out an insurance policy. Some insurance providers might ask for a percentage-based excess as well as the usual one-off payment. This can become very costly if you have to claim for expensive treatment by a vet.

You should also think about extras when choosing the best pet insurance for cats. As well as cover for vet bills, some policies will give you:

  • Cover if your cat is stolen or goes missing – this could be a one-off payment to you if your cat isn’t found, or it could cover any costs involved in advertising or a reward to help find your cat.
  • Death by illness or injury – some insurance providers may also cover the cost of putting your cat to sleep and some will even cover bereavement counselling.

What impact does breed have on cat insurance premiums?

Pedigree cats are more expensive to insure than the average moggy. This is because pedigree pets are more prone to various health conditions – and that means you’re more likely to make a claim on your pet insurance.

What’s more, some breeds of cat may cost more to insure than others. Again, this is because specific breeds are prone to certain health problems. For example, Bengal cats are known to be more likely to suffer from eye problems and digestive disorders, and Persian cats are commonly associated with cystitis, as well as breathing issues due to being brachycephalic (having a flat face). Other cat breeds prone to health problems include the British Shorthair, Ragdoll, Birman and Siamese, to name a few.

What isn’t covered by cat insurance?

The vast majority of cat insurance policies in the UK won’t provide any coverage for routine treatments, such as de-worming and dental check-ups. Other common exclusions include:

  • vaccinations: cats will need to be vaccinated regularly against diseases such as feline leukaemia and cat flu. Unfortunately, most cat insurance providers won’t cover the costs associated with these important vaccinations.
  • pregnancy and giving birth: if you have a female cat and she falls pregnant, none of the related treatments or procedures are likely to be covered as part of your cat insurance policy.
  • pre-existing illnesses and injuries: if your cat is diagnosed with a condition or illness before you apply for cover, then these will be excluded from your level of coverage. If your cat has sustained an injury that requires regular treatment or flares up from time to time, this will also usually be excluded.

Frequently asked questions

What other cat insurance add-ons should I consider?

While the main point of cat insurance is to make sure that your cat is well looked after and any vet’s fees and treatments are covered, there are lots of extras that you can add to your policy:

  • Loss and theft cover – if your cat gets lost or is stolen, you can receive compensation, as well as money towards a reward for anyone who finds them.
  • Cattery/boarding fees – if you’re unable to look after your cat for reasons out of your control (such as being taken to hospital), then you can get covered for the costs of having them looked after while you’re gone.
  • Travel insurance – if you like to take your cat abroad with you on holiday, you can get extra cover for them while you’re both away.
  • Holiday cancellation – on the other hand, if you’re forced to cancel your holiday because your cat is suddenly ill or injured, you can recover the cost.
  • Death – while we hate to think about it, if the worst were to happen and your cat dies in an accident, you could get compensation. Sort of like a life insurance package for your cat.

Can I cover more than one cat on the same policy?

Yes, there are a range of pet insurance providers who offer multi-pet policies. Some even offer a discount for insuring your pets together. Multi-pet policies work in the same way as insuring a single cat, but it takes some of the hassle out of getting separate cover for each pet. With a multi-pet policy you only need to keep one set of paperwork and manage one set of payments.

Unfortunately, Compare the Meerkat don’t compare multi-pet insurance policies right now.

What are the most common cat health problems?

Here are some illnesses that could affect your feline friend:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea – these often go away by themselves, but if they don’t you’ll need to take your cat to the vet.
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is most commonly caused by bacterial infections. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or surgery, depending on the cause of the problem. 
  • Upper respiratory infections – these come from bacterial and viral infections. Treatment will usually involve antibiotics.
  • Eye problems – whether it’s conjunctivitis, cataracts or glaucoma, your vet may treat these conditions with eye drops or surgery.
  • Diabetes – just like humans, cats can suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Treatment involves administering insulin injections daily and regulating your cat's diet.

Can I get insurance which covers my cat’s pre-existing medical conditions?

Most cat insurance policies will exclude cover for their pre-existing medical conditions. However, there are specialist policies and insurance providers who may be able to offer your cat the right cover. Although, you should expect to pay more for these specialist policies.

If your cat hasn’t shown any symptoms or received treatment for their condition for more than two years, your comparison results may include quotes from Bought By Many. All their lifetime policies cover this definition of pre-existing conditions.

Does location affect the cost of cat insurance?

Yes, it does. This is because the cost of vet treatments in the UK vary depending on where you live. For example, you’re likely to pay a lot more for vet treatment when in London than in the East Midlands.

Should I get lifetime or annual cat insurance?

If you can afford it, it’s almost always better to invest in lifetime cat insurance. Lifetime cat insurance is ideal if your cat is still young and has yet to be diagnosed with any chronic conditions. As he or she ages, lifetime insurance could cover him or her for future health issues that may crop up. However, it’s important to note that lifetime cat insurance is usually significantly more expensive than other types of cat insurance, and some insurance providers may not offer lifetime insurance if your cat is of a certain age.

With a ‘time limited’ cat insurance policy, you’ll receive a similar level of cover for that year, but you’ll then struggle to cover any chronic conditions that may develop, as there are far fewer insurance providers who will cover them. So, if your breed of cat is particularly vulnerable to certain chronic conditions, it may be worth investing more into a lifetime policy.

Can I get pet insurance for my older cat?

Yes, you can find a pet insurance policy for an older cat, but the premium is likely to be more expensive as older cats tend to need more medical care.

There could also be more conditions or restrictions attached to the policy. And be aware that insurance providers won’t cover any pre-existing conditions your cat has when you take out the policy.

Not all providers offer insurance for older cats – some have an upper age limit for their lifetime policies, so check before you buy.

Is it a legal requirement to microchip your cat?

Unlike with dogs, it isn’t illegal to not microchip your cat. However, it’s by far the best way of being able to identify your cat, if they’re lost and then found. It also helps prove that you’re the owner, meaning your precious cat can be returned to you as soon as possible.

How do I compare insurance for my cat?

Use our comparison service to find cat insurance that’s right for you. Just tell us a few details about your cat and we’ll show you different quotes and cover types so you can compare prices and policy details to find insurance that’s purrfect for you and your cat.

What do I need to get a cat insurance quote?

In order to get quotes, you’ll need to tell us:

  • your cat’s name
  • your cat’s gender
  • your cat’s age

We’ll also need a few other details about your cat, such as their breed, if they have any pre-existing medical conditions and whether they’ve been chipped.

Why use Compare the Market?

Get a quote in
3
minutes^^

We compare
167
pet insurance products^^^

50% of customers could get cat insurance for
£81
a year***

^^On average, it can take less than 3 minutes to complete a pet insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.

^^^Correct as of November 2020.

***50% of people could achieve a quote of £80.76 per year for their cat insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types.

Mubina Pirmohamed

Pet insurance expert

What our expert says

“Your cat is an important part of your family, so it makes sense to ensure their health is properly covered. Contrary to popular belief, almost all cats can be insured, regardless of age or pre-existing conditions – although these conditions won’t be included in the cover. So, research your options and compare with us to find cat insurance for your fur baby!”

Our providers

We compare from leading cat insurance providers including Admiral, More Than, John Lewis, Animal Friends and more.