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Compare pet insurance for older cats

The average pet insurance claim in 2021 was a whopping £848, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This means you could end up with an unwelcome bill if your cat has an illness or unfortunate accident.

Find out about pet insurance for older cats and discover how to protect yourself against the cost of expensive treatments.

The average pet insurance claim in 2021 was a whopping £848, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This means you could end up with an unwelcome bill if your cat has an illness or unfortunate accident.

Find out about pet insurance for older cats and discover how to protect yourself against the cost of expensive treatments.

Written by
Mubina Pirmohamed
Insurance comparison expert
Last Updated
25 APRIL 2023
4 min read
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Getting cat insurance for older cats

The older your cat, the more expensive your insurance premiums are likely to be. Once your cat reaches the age of seven or eight, you may find that certain conditions or restrictions are added to your premiums.

For example, insurance providers probably won’t cover any pre-existing conditions your older cat has when you take out the policy. Some might even add an additional age excess that you’ll have to pay once your cat gets over a certain age, or ask that you co-pay a percentage of the vet bills in your cat’s senior years.

That’s why it’s so important to shop around for a great deal on pet insurance for an older cat. This guide should help.

Why is senior cat insurance more expensive?

Like humans, cats are more likely to have health or dental issues as they age. Older cats are more susceptible to joint issues like arthritis and medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney problems, hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure.

This means they’re more likely to need medical care on a regular basis. That could entail bigger bills for the insurance provider, which usually means higher premiums for you.

Although your insurance may become pricier, getting cover doesn’t need to be difficult. Our comparison service helps you find quotes for your older cat quickly and easily.

What types of pet insurance is available for older cats? 

There are four main types of eldery cat insurance cover to choose from: 

  • Lifetime pet insurance
    The most comprehensive cat insurance you can get. It tends to be the most expensive, but is often the most popular choice for older cats. And it should cover your older cat for life for new conditions – as long as you renew your policy every year.
  • Maximum benefit pet insurance
    Allows you to claim for each new injury or illness up to a set amount. That limit means it isn’t usually a good choice for covering long-term conditions that could develop as your cat gets older.
  • Time-limited pet insurance
    Covers your vet’s bills for up to 12 months after the condition first appears. Again, it might not be the right choice for older cats that are prone to longer-term conditions.
  • Accident-only pet insurance
    As the name suggests, this covers you for accidents, not illness. Cover this basic isn’t usually suitable for older cats unless you’re willing to pay for all health costs from your own pocket.

What else should I look out for?

When looking for pet insurance for older cats, it’s important to consider: 

  • Pre-existing conditions – unfortunately, most insurance providers won’t cover older cats with pre-existing conditions. Those that do will almost certainly exclude claims relating to those illnesses.
  • Excess – how much you pay before you can claim on your insurance.
  • Co-payments – some policies will specify that you need to pay a percentage of the vet bills once your cat reaches a certain age.
  • What’s covered – as well as your vet bills, some policies will also:
    • Pay out if your cat dies
    • Cover the cost of putting your elderly cat to sleep as a last resort
    • Cover bereavement counselling if you need it.
  • Think before you let a policy lapse – it might be harder to get insurance for an older cat, so it’s often worth keeping your policy in place to save you having to find a new one that covers your cat’s medical needs.

Compare your cat insurance options

Getting the right pet insurance for your older cat can be tricky. But comparing cat cover from some of the UK’s most popular insurance providers is easy. Just give us some info about yourself and your cat, and we’ll show you what cover is available – along with the cost and policy details.

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Frequently asked questions

What do insurance providers consider when deciding the price of my cat insurance premium?

There are a number of factors – besides your cat’s age – that your insurance provider will take into account when deciding the cost of your premium. These include your cat’s breed, where you live and even whether it’s male or female.

How much does vet treatment cost?

This will depend on where you live and what’s wrong with your cat, but costs can quickly spiral. According to the ABI, surgery to treat a cat’s broken tibia can cost almost £2,000, while treatment for soft tissue sarcoma could cost cat owners more than £12,200 without pet insurance.

Do I have to get pet insurance for my cat?

There’s no obligation to get pet insurance, but as your cat gets older, they’re more likely to need it. And vet treatment can be extremely expensive.

Cat insurance could cover you for certain treatments, so you can base your decisions on what’s best for your cat’s health rather than what you can afford.

When are cats considered old in pet insurance terms?

The age at which your cat officially becomes a senior cat for pet insurance depends on your policy. Some cat insurance providers consider eight-year-old cats to be senior. For others, you may not need senior cat insurance until your cat is over 10 years old.

You can find pet insurance for cats of any age, even geriatric cats of 15 years or older, but your options will be more limited.

Like humans, cats age at different rates. But your insurance provider considers the risk in general for cats of a certain age. So, you’ll tend to pay more for your pet insurance premiums as your cat ages.

To keep premiums down, some cat insurance providers will ask you to pay a proportion of your vet bills – called a co-pay – once your cat reaches a certain age.

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