Why should I get pet insurance for my kitten?
With all the climbing, investigating and playing, having a new kitten in the house is an exciting time. It can also be expensive, thanks to the costs of pet food, equipment, toys and routine vaccinations. So, should you bother with pet insurance for your kitten, or wait until they’re older?
There are a few good reasons to get your insurance when your kitten is young. If your kitten has an accident and needs to visit a vet, you could end up having to pay out for costly treatments, which can easily run into the hundreds of pounds.
Plus, insuring your pet before they develop any medical conditions means you could avoid the difficulty of pre-existing conditions being excluded from your insurance cover.
What types of kitten insurance are there?
There are four main varieties of pet insurance that you can consider for your kitten:
Lifetime pet insurance
While not always the cheapest option, it’s easiest to get pet insurance when your pet is young, because older pets are perceived as a greater risk, especially if they suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions. As long as you renew your policy each year, this type of policy covers your pet for their lifetime.
Time limited pet insurance
Time limited policies can cover your kitten for any new illness up to an agreed cost limit and within a certain time frame (usually 12 months).
Maximum benefit pet insurance
This policy covers your kitten for all new conditions up to an agreed cost limit. As long as the insurance policy remains valid, there’s no time limit on your claim. However, once the cost limit is used up, you’re no longer covered for the condition, even if you renew the policy.
Accident only pet insurance
If your kitten fancies themselves as a bit of a top cat and knows no fear, you may go for this type of policy. But be aware that it only covers the costs of treatment following an accident – not costs associated with illness.
What does kitten insurance usually cover?
You should always check your cover details, because policies of the same type could differ, depending on the insurance provider. If there’s something specific you know you want insurance for, such as travel or dental cover, then double check the small print.
Also, check exactly which vet fees will be covered by your policy, and whether your insurance provider pays your vet directly, or you have to stump up first and claim the money back.
Policies may include:
- Advertising cover – if your kitten gets lost, you could claim back the cost of putting up posters and even funding a reward.
- Cattery fees – if you had to go to hospital and couldn’t find a cat sitter to look after your kitten, then your insurance could cover the cost of a cattery.
- Death by accident or illness – it’s not something you want to think about with a kitten, but some policies could return the amount you paid for your kitten should the worst happen.
- Euthanasia, cremation and burial – although hopefully a long way off, you could get some help with the costs involved.
What isn’t covered by kitten insurance?
Policies can vary, depending on your provider and individual situation, but there are a range of pretty standard exclusions. Routine treatments aren’t normally covered, and you might find that specific conditions are excluded. This is particularly important if your kitten is a pedigree and prone to certain hereditary conditions.
You should check your policy carefully for the following exclusions, and arrange any specialist cover that your kitten might need:
- Routine check ups
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Flea treatment
- Kittens under a certain age (six to eight weeks)
- Conditions within the first 14 days of taking out your policy
How much does kitten insurance cost?
You can insure your cat from as little as £38 per year for accident-only cover, based on Compare the Market data in November 2019**. Accident-only insurance will only cover your pet’s treatment following an accident; if you’d like a higher level of cover for your pet then your monthly payments are likely to cost more.
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £37.20 per year for their accident only cat insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2019.
Frequently asked questions
How will having pet insurance for my kitten help?
Despite the fact that vet bills are rising by around 12% a year, 62% of the UK’s cat owners don’t have pet insurance cover. That means they could face hefty costs if something goes wrong. Today, cat problems, like an open wound from a fight or fall, could set you back as much as £350, while diabetes can cost as much as £1,060.
How old should my kitten be when I buy insurance?
You should be able to get pet insurance for your kitten when they’re between six and eight weeks old.
What are the main health issues for kittens?
Here are the main conditions to look out for in your kitten:
- Upper respiratory infections – symptoms include sneezing, trouble breathing, eye discharge and a runny nose.
- Coccidia – this intestinal parasite causes diarrhoea and dehydration.
- Worms – roundworms, hookworms and whipworms can burrow into your kitten’s intestine and cause diarrhoea and weight loss.
- Fleas – these are easily caught, easy to see and easy to treat with medication.
- Ear mites – kittens will shake their head and scratch their ears.
How can I help keep my kitten healthy?
Within the first few weeks you should register your kitten with a vet and arrange a health check.
At this appointment, you’ll discuss issues such as:
- Microchipping – this isn’t a legal requirement for cats, as it is with dogs, but having your kitten microchipped could reduce the cost of your insurance premium
- Vaccinations – including cat flu, leukaemia and chlamydia
- Flea treatments
You may want to discuss having your kitten spayed or neutered. This can be done from four months old.
Be aware that routine vaccinations and check-ups aren’t typically covered by your pet insurance and that you’ll have to stay on top of these for your policy to be valid.
How do I find a good deal on kitten insurance?
Use our price comparison service to find kitten insurance that suits your pet.
Just give us a few details about your kitten and we’ll show you a range of quotes.