Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: July 7, 2022

Did you know many of our readers end up choosing Lemonade Pet Insurance for their pet insurance coverage?

Thinking about getting pet insurance for your cat? As any pet owner knows, an injured or sick pet’s vet costs can add up quickly. That's why buying pet insurance for cats may be something you can do now to save money later.

Pet insurance is a great way to zero in on savings for your wallet. Here’s all the information you need to find out whether a pet insurance policy is a right fit for you and your feline. Remember, the best pet insurance for cats differs from person to person and pet to pet.

Quick Look: The Best Cat Insurance

The Best Cat Insurance

The best pet insurance for cats will vary based on several personal factors. Your cat’s health, your financial situation and the type of coverage you want could alter your decision. Each cat owner’s needs are different, so there’s no way to pick a one-size-fits-all insurance plan. Instead, you can decide what aspects of pet insurance are most important to you.

1. Best Overall: Lemonade Pet Insurance

Insurance companies keep extra dollars for profit, but Lemonade is unique in that after it pays your claims and its expenses, it gives any remaining premiums to a charity that you choose when you sign up for a policy. You can select charities like the American Red Cross, the Trevor Project, and many pet-centric causes. The downside to Lemonade pet insurance is that you can only insure dogs and cats (no exotic animals). 

Lemonade offers easy-to-understand coverage options for dogs and cats. It’s even better for those who already have Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance as you get a discount for bundling your policies. 

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    Lemonade is currently available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin,

2. Best for Online Visits: Pumpkin

Your cat or kitten deserves the very best care possible, and Pumpkin helps give you that opportunity. 

Pumpkin’s site notes that after Pumpkin reviews your claim and determines whether your cat can be covered, you’ll receive a robust 90% reimbursement for the covered costs on your claim. 

Pumpkin offers robust pet insurance plans for cats of all ages. If you’re considering Pumpkin as your pet insurance provider, know the annual coverage limits and reimbursement limits in its policies. 

Reach out to Pumpkin for a sample quote.

Source: Screenshot from Pumpkin’s website

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    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit pumpkin.care. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

3. High-Quality Pet Insurance: Spot Pet Insurance

Spot Pet Insurance is a leading pet insurance provider that offers everything pets and their parents need. Some insurance highlights:

  • Between 70% to 90% reimbursement on eligible vet bills
  • No age cap on coverage; insures from 8 weeks old
  • Plans start as low as $1 a day

You can customize your coverage and can even add special Spot-On coverage. Coverage options include accidents, behavioral issues, dental disease, illnesses, preventive services and even hereditary and congenital conditions. 

Spot recently added a 24/7 helpline provided by VetConnect.

Spot'S claims service is easy. Just visit your vet (don’t forget to give your pet a treat on the way out!), send Spot the bill and get reimbursed.

Take 30 seconds to fetch your free quote now. 

*Rates vary based on plan type, species, breed, age and location

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4. Best for Hereditary Conditions: Trupanion

Trupanion is an excellent pet insurance provider that offers you several options when caring for your cats. Trupanion makes your life simpler and keeps costs down with:

  • Coverage in all 50 states
  • Easy claims
  • Diagnostic coverage
  • Coverage for hereditary conditions
  • Coverage for injuries and illnesses
  • Medication and supplement coverage

When you sign up for Trupanion, remember that the premium you pay depends on the breed and age of your cat. Additionally, you have a low deductible to meet and a claims process that you can complete in just a few moments.

5. Best for Breed-Specific Conditions: Allstate Pet Insurance

Allstate Pet Insurance covers dogs and cats. They specifically mention that genetic and breed-specific conditions are covered in their policy as long as the pet doesn’t show signs or symptoms of the condition before becoming insured.

Here is a quick rundown or what Allstate Pet Insurance does cover:

  • Accidents and treatments for illnesses and diseases
  • Cancer and chemo 
  • Surgery, hospital stays and nursing care services
  • Labs, diagnostic tests (which include x-rays and MRIs)
  • Medications
  • Genetic and breed-specific conditions
  • Complimentary therapies
  • chronic/recurring conditions

They also have an optional Wellness Rewards plan that provides reimbursement for routine care, vaccinations, dental cleanings and more.

Get a custom quote for your pet from Allstate Pet Insurance today. 

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6. Best for Live Vet Chat: Prudent Pet

Prudent Pet offers Accident Only, Essential and Ultimate pet insurance policies that are customized to your cat’s individual needs.

They will reimburse up to 90% back on eligible cat medical costs based on the plan you choose.*

Prudent Pet also offers flexible options like wellness coverage that covers annual exams and dental cleanings. One other thing we like about Prudent Pet is that there is only a 5 day waiting period for accidents and a 14 day waiting period for illnesses, which is shorter than some of the competitors. 

There are no in-network requirements and you get to keep your local veterinarian. You can expect a quick claims process and budget-friendly plans with Prudent Pet.

Get started with a quote now.

*Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply.

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7. Best for Customized Coverage: Liberty Mutual Pet Insurance

Liberty Mutual Pet Insurance policies are affordable. Coverage starts at less than $1 a day. 

You can customize your quote by selecting the percentage you’ll get back from each visit up to 90%, your deductible and your annual maximum. There are also no monthly transaction or administration fees.

Ask about their discount options, you might be eligible for their stackable discounts that can save you up to 20%. 

Liberty Mutual’s most popular policy is their Accident and Illness plan but they do have 2 other options to choose from: Accident and Accident, Illness and Wellness plan.

Get started today.

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What is Pet Insurance?

Like your health insurance plan, pet insurance is a policy that helps cover the costs of vet bills. Many pet insurance companies also allow you to add coverage for routine vet care. Regular check-ups, vaccines and heartworm testing are usually covered by these wellness add-ons.

Even the best pet insurance for cats will include a waiting period before you can make a claim. This means you’ll wait a certain number of days before you can use the insurance benefits. Pet insurance also won’t cover your cat’s preexisting conditions. Your insurance plan won’t pay for the treatments if your cat has a diagnosed disease or injury.

Like human health insurance, pet insurance often requires a deductible for payouts. A deductible is the amount of money you’re responsible for before the insurance company pays for a claim. Most policies also allow you to increase or decrease your deductible. A change to your plan’s deductible also changes the cost of your plan.

For example, let’s say your cat needs surgery that will cost $3,000 and your pet insurance deductible is $1,000. You’ll need to pay the $1,000 out of pocket before your pet insurance policy benefits kick in. If your plan includes surgery costs, your insurance company should pay for the remaining $2,000.

Cat and dog insurance policies also differ from human health insurance plans. The biggest difference is the way you’re paid for an insurance claim. Your health insurance provider pays medical bills on your behalf, after the deductible. Pet insurance policies, on the other hand, are reimbursement policies. You’ll take your cat to the vet and pay for any treatments or procedures out of pocket. Your insurance provider reimburses you up to your coverage amount, minus the deductible.

Who Needs Pet Insurance for Cats?

Choosing whether to take out an insurance policy on your cat is a difficult decision. One aspect requires you to look at your financial situation. Many pet insurance plans have affordable options. However, you may have to give up extra coverage to meet your budget. You'll also need to decide what the peace of mind is worth to you. For some owners, knowing their pet is covered is more important than cost. For others, the potential of never needing to file a claim may make them less likely to buy a plan.

Certain breeds of cats are more prone to health issues. Many purebred cat breeds are prone to heart issues, for example. A cat insurance policy may help save you money down the road if your furry friend develops a severe health issue.

Breeds that are susceptible to illness and health issues include:

  • Cornish and Devon rex: Heart problems, kneecap dislocation and hereditary myopathy (a condition that causes weak muscles, specifically in the head and neck)
  • Abyssinian: Problems with eyesight, hearing and dental issues
  • Manx: Spinal issues, including spina bifida
  • Norwegian forest cat: Heart problems and hip dysplasia
  • Bengal: Heart disease, degenerative eye diseases and severe hip dysplasia and knee dislocation
  • Burmese: Kidney stones and urinary tract issues, glaucoma and hyperesthesia syndrome (causes increased sensitivity or pain when touched)
  • Ragdoll: Bladder stones and heart conditions
  • Siamese: More prone to certain types of cancer, heart conditions, respiratory issues, dental issues and eye problems
  • Himalayan: Kidney disease and respiratory issues that make breathing difficult
  • Maine coon: Heart problems, hip and elbow dysplasia and spinal muscle atrophy
  • Persian: Bladder stones and infections, heart issues, digestive issues and misaligned jaws that cause eating difficulties

Mixed breed cats can also have health issues. Cats, in general, are more likely than dogs or other pets to experience certain health issues. For example, cats of any age are often prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Pet insurance could be a good choice if you’re concerned about your cat developing urinary issues as it ages.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

There are several types of insurance policies for cats. Each type covers different procedures, treatments and health conditions. Take a look at the different types of pet insurance available  before you choose a policy best for your cat:

  • Accident-only plans: This type of plan covers injuries or health concerns caused by a specific accident. Some examples include ingesting a poisonous substance or being hit by a car. It doesn’t cover diseases such as heart disease or lung disease.
  • Accident and illness plans: These plans provide similar coverages as an accident-only plan. They also include coverage for diseases or illnesses like digestive issues or allergies.
  • Insurance with embedded wellness: This is the most comprehensive type of plan. A comprehensive plan usually provides coverage for accidents and illnesses, as well as some routine vet care. Routine care might include vaccines, dental care or flea and tick control. It may also cover the cost of cremation or burial when your pet passes away.
  • Endorsements: Endorsements are add-on coverage for your pet policy. These add-ons vary by carrier, but some include cancer coverage or routine pet care. Endorsements allow you to customize your pet’s plan with the coverage that matters most to you.

An overwhelming 98% of covered pets in the United States are under an accident and illness policy or an accident policy with wellness endorsement, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). Only 2% of covered pets have accident-only policies. The extra coverage for illness is an important part of pet insurance.

Pet Insurance Rates for Cats

Insurance rates for cats tend to be lower than those for dogs. NAPHIA reported in 2018 that the average cost of an accident and illness plan for a cat was $354.48 per year and the same coverage for a dog was $566.34.

Even though cat coverage is usually less than dog coverage, it’s still a good idea to look into multiple providers. This gives you the best chance to find the price that works for you. Rates for pet insurance vary based on your pet’s individual health and your provider.

See the chart below for some common pet insurance carriers and their costs per month. This data is based on a domestic shorthair cat at 6 months of age.

CompanyPriceIncluded Coverage
LemonadeAs low as $10 per monthCustomizable + comprehensive coverage, high annual cap
SPOTAs low as $1 per dayCustomizable + no upper age limit
AllstateStarts at $15 -- $30 per monthIllness, disease and wellness plans, no breed restrictions
PrudentDepends on coverage + other factorsCustomizable accident and illness plans + wellness coverage
Liberty MutualAs low as $1 per dayCustomizable, choose from accident + illness, accident only or accident, illness + wellness full coverage
PumpkinAs low as $10 per monthGeneral, preventative and emergency care
PetplanAverage $20 per monthWide range of coverage

Get the Right Cat Insurance

The best pet insurance for cats should cover a wide range of illnesses and injuries from accidents. You can even add wellness coverage to most plans to cover the costs of routine vet care for your cat. There are plenty of coverage options and providers available and you should be able to find an insurance option that fits your coverage needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Do all vets take pet insurance?
A

Yes. Vets do not file your claims. You take receipts from the vet, file your own claims and await reimbursement.

Q
Is there a waiting period for pet insurance?
A

Generally, you must wait around 14 days before pet insurance coverage begins.