51% of our customers were quoted less than £6.36 per month in December 2023 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.
Why should I get cat insurance?
Cat insurance could give you vital protection from hefty vet bills. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), there were 225,000 cat insurance claims in 2021, totalling some £151m.
It’s upsetting if your cat or kitten gets ill or has an accident and needs emergency vet treatment. If you don’t have the right pet insurance in place, you’ll have to pay for treatment, which could add up to hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds.
How much is cat insurance?
The cost of cat insurance varies, but with Compare the Market, you could insure your cat for as little as £77 a year.
How much you pay for your cat insurance in the UK will depend on the type of policy and level of cover you choose. Other factors that may affect the price of cat insurance include:
Where you live
The cost of vet treatment varies across the UK. If you live in an area where rent is high, such as London, you’ll probably have to pay more to insure your cat.
Your cat’s age
Older cats are more likely to develop illnesses and health problems – the older your cat, the higher your premium.
Your cat’s breed
Pedigree cats are usually more expensive to insure. Some breeds are also more prone to certain health conditions. For example, Bengal cats are known to suffer with eye problems and digestive disorders, while Persians are associated with breathing issues.
 51% of our customers were quoted less than £76.35 for their cat insurance in December 2023.
What cat insurance do I need?
There are four main types of insurance for cats. All policies have limits on how much they’ll pay out per condition and/or an annual limit (the maximum they’ll pay in a year). Your policy will also come with an excess (the amount you need to pay towards any treatment).
You can choose between these types of cat insurance:
This is usually the cheapest type of policy, but only covers treatment or operations if your cat is involved in an accident. It won’t cover you if your pet gets ill.
2. Time limited
This covers illnesses as well as accidents, but only for a limited time period (usually 12 months from the onset of the condition). You can only claim once for each illness or condition.
If you reach your limit within 12 months, or the condition returns once the 12 months are up, you won’t be covered.
This covers illnesses and accidents to a maximum amount per condition. However, there’s no time limit on when you can claim, so it’s useful if your cat has a chronic illness.
The most comprehensive type of pet insurance (and usually the most expensive), this covers your cat for accidents, illnesses or conditions throughout the policy lifetime. The limit is refreshed each year.
If your cat develops chronic condition and you want it to be covered going forward, you’ll need to renew your policy or find one that covers pre-existing conditions.
What does cat insurance cover?
As well as covering your vet bills, some cat cover will pay out if:
- Your cat is stolen or goes missing – your insurance could cover the cost of advertising or a reward, or you could receive a one-off payment to you if your cat isn’t found
- Death by illness or injury – some insurance providers cover the cost of putting your cat to sleep, and some even cover bereavement counselling.
What’s not covered by cat insurance?
Most UK cat insurance policies won’t cover routine treatments like worming or dental check-ups. Other common exclusions include:
- Vaccinations – cats need to be vaccinated regularly against diseases such as feline leukaemia and cat flu. Unfortunately, most cat insurance providers won’t cover the cost.
- Pregnancy and giving birth – if your cat is pregnant, your insurance is unlikely to cover related treatments or procedures.
- Pre-existing illnesses and injuries – if your cat is diagnosed with a condition or illness before you apply for cover, it will be excluded from your coverage. If your cat has an injury that needs regular treatment or flares up from time to time, this is also likely to be excluded.
- Dental treatment – often excluded unless it results from an accident or injury.
What should I consider when choosing cat insurance?
Here’s what to look out for when choosing the best cat insurance policy for you:
- Pre-existing conditions – your insurance policy won’t cover treatment for pre-existing conditions. That’s why it’s important to get your cat insured as early as possible.
- The excess – how much you’ll pay when you make a claim on your insurance. Always check this before taking out a policy. Some insurance providers ask for a percentage-based excess as well as a one-off payment. This could make it more expensive when you come to claim.
- Multiple cat cover – if you have more than one cat, it’s worth looking for insurance providers that offer multiple cat cover.
- How you pay – spreading the cost of your pet insurance into monthly payments can help you budget, but is likely to be more expensive as you’ll be charged interest. Making a one-off annual payment usually works out cheaper.
What do I need to get a cat insurance quote?
To get cat insurance quotes, we’ll need to know your cat’s:
We’ll also need to know your cat’s breed, details of any pre-existing medical conditions, and if they’ve been chipped.
What other cat insurance add-ons should I consider?
While cat insurance is there to make sure your cat is well looked after and vet treatment is covered, there are various extras you may want to add to your policy:
- Loss and theft cover – if your cat is lost or is stolen, you could receive compensation, plus money towards a reward for whoever finds them.
- Cattery/boarding fees – if you can’t look after your cat for reasons beyond your control (such as going into hospital), you can cover the cost of having them cared for while you’re away.
- 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 – if you’re forced to cancel your holiday because your cat is suddenly ill or injured, you could recover the cost.
- Death – if your cat died in an accident, you could get compensation. Sort of like a life insurance package for your cat.
Why use Compare the Market?
Get a quote in 4 minutes
We compare 224 pet insurance products
 Correct as of December 2023.
What our expert says...
“Your cat is an important part of your family, so it makes sense to ensure their health is properly covered. Almost all cats can be insured, regardless of age or pre-existing conditions – although these won’t be included in the cover. So, research your options and compare with us to find cat insurance for your fur baby.”
- Mubina Pirmohamed, Insurance expert
We compare from leading cat insurance providers including More Than, John Lewis, Animal Friends and more.
Frequently asked questions
Can I cover more than one cat on the same policy?
Yes, a range of pet insurance providers offer cat cover for two cats or more. Some even offer a discount for insuring your pets together.
Multi-pet policies work in the same way as insuring a single cat, but remove some of the hassle of getting cover for each pet. A multi-pet policy means just one set of paperwork and one set of payments.
Unfortunately, Compare the Market don’t compare multi-pet insurance policies right now.
Can I get insurance that covers my cat’s pre-existing medical conditions?
Most cat insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions. But some specialist policies and insurance providers may be able to offer your cat the right cover. You’ll probably have to pay more for these policies, though.
If your cat hasn’t shown any symptoms, or received treatment, for their condition for more than two years, your comparison results might include quotes from Bought By Many. All their lifetime policies cover this definition of pre-existing conditions.
Do you need to insure an indoor cat?
You might feel there’s no need to insure your indoor cat as there’s less risk of them getting into fights with the neighbourhood moggy or being hit by a car. But they could suffer from illnesses just like an outdoor cat.
Most vet bills for cats are related to illness, not injury. Accidents could still happen – for example, falling from a balcony or open window (often referred to as ‘high-rise’ syndrome) can be fairly common for indoor cats.
Pet insurance could give you reassurance that your indoor cat is covered should the unexpected happen.
Should I get lifetime or annual cat insurance?
If you can afford it, it’s almost always better to buy lifetime cat insurance. This is ideal if your cat is still young and has yet to be diagnosed with any chronic conditions. But lifetime cat insurance is more expensive than other types of cat insurance, and some insurance providers might not offer it if your cat is over a certain age.
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.
You could find the policy comes with more conditions or restrictions attached. Also, be aware that insurance providers won’t cover any pre-existing conditions.
Not all insurance providers cover 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 dogs, it’s not compulsory to microchip cats at the moment. But the government is introducing new rules. From 10 June 2024, all cats must be microchipped before they are 20 weeks old.
Microchipping is by far the best way of identifying your cat and can prove that you’re the owner. That way your precious cat can be returned to you as soon as possible if it gets lost.