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When all you have to worry about is annual checkups and booster shots, veterinary care for your cat is a modest expense. But accidents and unexpected illnesses can land hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of vet bills in your lap.
Are you confident that you can cover the cost of life-saving care for your cat? If the answer isn’t a resounding “Yes”, you may want to consider pet insurance.
Like health insurance for humans, pet insurance helps reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for care in exchange for a monthly premium. While some plans pay your vet directly, many work on a reimbursement basis: you pay the vet, submit a claim to your insurance, and then receive a reimbursement for a percentage of the covered costs.
The best cat insurance could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your cat’s life, giving you both peace of mind and a happier wallet. On the other hand, the wrong insurance can be both a headache and a drain on your finances. So how do you choose the right provider?
In this article, you’ll learn about the factors that make pet insurance a worthwhile investment and what fine print points you won’t want to gloss over. You’ll also find in-depth reviews of our recommendations for the best pet insurance you can buy for your cat.
At a Glance: Top 9 Pet Insurance Providers Reviewed and Compared
Top Picks Explained
Why Trust Cats.com
At Cats.com, we’ve put hundreds of hours into pet insurance research. To create this guide, we gathered over 25 quotes and went in-depth to research the top pet insurance providers on the market, evaluating rates, policies, and customer service.
In addition to comparing providers on key factors, we talked with several veterinarians, insurance customers, and others to learn about their experience with and opinions on insurance for cats. We also combed the providers’ sites, evaluated their policies, and read customer reviews on Yelp and Consumer Affairs, along with reviews on sites like Reviews.com, PetInsuranceU, Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, and Canine Journal.
Our Veterinary Advisors
The Best Pet Insurance for Cats: Our Top 9 Picks
There is no one-size-fits-all in pet insurance. Choosing the best insurance policy for your cat requires cultivating an understanding of the pdet insurance business and doing a little self-reflection about your unique needs.
To compare costs, we’ve requested quotes from each company using the same fictional cat profile: a neutered 3-year-old domestic shorthair living in Chicago, Illinois. His name is Prince Myshkin and he’ll be helping us compare the rates offered by the 9 insurance providers on this list.
Is Cat Insurance Worth It? What Reddit Users Have to Say
Everyone’s situation is unique, so cat insurance may be more appropriate for some cat owners than others. The decision is entirely up to you, but it may help you make your decision to hear what some real users have to say about some of the pet insurance companies on this list.
Lemonade Customer Review: “The most bang for your buck.”
“I did a lot of digging beforehand and Lemonade was in the top 3 of every top 10 list I looked at and it was consistently the most bang for your buck (ie: Yeah, I could have insured him for $8 a month but it was with a $2k deductible). I live in NY where vets are a bit pricey which is why my base charge was $18 a month but the national average was $14.
I also picked the midrange insurance. I could have paid less and got a $500 deductible or more with a $0 deductible.” – Reddit user u/quitmybellyachin
Embrace Customer Review: “The coverage is easy to understand.”
“I have Embrace now and I’m very pleased with them. The coverage is easy to understand and I haven’t had trouble getting straight answers from anyone on the occasions that I’ve called to ask questions…
They’ve paid out about $1500 without a whimper in my first year, so coverage is already well worth it. I just got my renewal notice, this year’s policy is about $60 higher than last year’s which is a typical increase based on other companies I’ve had in the past.” – Reddit user u/chernaboggles
Fetch Customer Review: “I get reimbursed directly into my account.”
“I’ve had both fetch and trupanion through work. My Fetch plan is much better. The $250 deductible is yearly, vs per issue; the coverage is higher (90% vs 80%) and unlike Trupanion they cover exam fees which is HUGE (my vet charges 150 per exam, and those can really stack up if your pet gets a long running ear infection etc).
My gripe with Fetch is that they request so many medical records. Every time you submit a claim you need new medical records and sometimes they request other completely random documentation. So it takes forever going back and forth with my vet and them, and you kind of have to babysit your claim. You can expect to pay a lot out of pocket and not see money for months.
I get reimbursed directly into my bank account – no paper checks. For me, Trupanion didn’t pay on the spot, I also had to submit claims. However Trupanion was much quicker about approving them with no back and forth or hassle. That was pretty much the only advantage about them.” – Reddit user u/bedlingtonmom
Trupanion Customer Review: “They can pay some vets directly.”
“I LOVE Trupanion. They come highly recommended by vets. They can pay some vets directly so I don’t have to wait to be reimbursed. (Their website has a list of direct pay vets). I did not care for the idea of a per condition deductible, so I chose to get a zero deductible policy. Once you choose your deductible with Trupanion, you can never lower it, but you can raise it later if you want.” – Reddit user u/Tamsin72
Nationwide Customer Review: “I have saved a ton of money.”
“I am not a vet, but I have had a good experience with nationwide. I do not have the wellness plan, I have a plan from my employer but it basically equates to their major medical coverage. Vets don’t choose to cover/not cover- it works differently than your insurance. You pay your vet the same as usual and submit insurance claims after the fact. I have saved a ton of money using nationwide.” – Reddit user u/shellymiscavige
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth getting pet insurance for a cat?
Pet insurance can provide cat owners with a safety net against unexpected costs, but it doesn’t always end up being an economic choice. If your pet is young and healthy, the cost of monthly premiums may be unnecessary. For cats prone to serious health issues, however, it can be beneficial as long as your cat’s condition isn’t considered a pre-existing condition.
What is not covered by pet insurance?
No pet insurance plan covers pre-existing conditions which is generally defined as a condition your cat has shown signs of, been diagnosed with, or treated for prior to the plan’s effective date. Many plans also don’t cover routine vet visits or wellness costs.
Does pet insurance cover routine visits?
Most plans don’t, though some pet insurance companies offer separate coverage for routine wellness. Optional insurance coverage may be available for preventive care and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.
What's the best pet insurance for cats
Though Lemonade is our top pick, there’s no one-size-fits-all in pet insurance. Choosing the best insurance policy for your cat requires cultivating an understanding of the pet insurance business and doing a little self-reflection about your unique needs