Why is Cat insurance important?
As cat owners know, our mischievous feline friends often have a curious streak. And while that doesn't usually mean losing one of their fabled nine lives, it can often lead to injuries that require attention from the local vet.
Older cats, meanwhile, can often develop long-term illnesses such as arthritis or diabetes that, as incurable conditions, may require extensive veterinary treatment.
Either way, the cost of returning your cat to robust good health after an accident or an illness can potentially run into thousands of pounds.
Ensuring your cat is covered with an insurance policy which will pay for the cost of vets' bills, along with a host of other potential outlays, will therefore allow you to relax in the knowledge that he or she is properly protected.
Here, we explain how to find cheap cat insurance that provides the cover you and your cat need.
Types of cat insurance policies
Some cats spend most of their lives indoors, perhaps because of where their owners live (for example in a top-floor flat) or perhaps simply because they have never faced the rough and tumble of the outside world before.
And the good news if you have an indoor - as opposed to an outdoor - cat is that insuring him or her is much less expensive.
This is because cats that rarely go outside are much less likely to be involved in road accidents or hurt themselves falling off rooves.
And as they do not generally come into contact with other cats, they are also less likely to contract contagious conditions or get scratched or bitten while fighting.
If, on the other hand, you have an outdoor cat that spends his or her life roaming your neighbourhood, you are likely to have to pay somewhat higher insurance premiums due to the more numerous and varied perils at large on the streets.
In some cases, such as if your beloved puss goes missing, you could be glad you did. Most standard cat insurance policies will cover the cost of advertising and recovery should your cat disappear - but will not offer a compensation pay out.
Insurance for older cats and pedigrees
Whether your cat is outdoor or indoor, the older he or she gets, the higher your annual insurance premiums will become.
This is because older cats have a much higher probability of suffering long-term or serious conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
And should they require operations or ongoing veterinary care, the bills faced by your insurer will almost certainly hit four figures. In fact, many insurers will refuse to cover cats over the age of 10 for this reason. And this is the point when you may realise the worth of taking out a lifetime pet insurance policy rather than a cheaper annual one - although if your older cat has any pre-existing medical conditions these will not be covered whatever type of policy you choose.
The basic difference is that lifetime policies offer cover for vets' bills up to a certain amount over an unlimited time, while annual policies only offer cover for the 12-month term (after which the condition will be listed as pre-existing). The downside, of course, is that you pay more for the extra cover.
But older cats are not the only ones to attract higher premiums. Pedigree cats also cost more to insure than the average moggy, partly due to the fact that they are worth more and are therefore more likely to be stolen. Pedigree cats are also more likely to develop health problems synonymous to different breeds as they get older, therefore making them more of a risk to insure.
Compare cat insurance
It is vital to get the right type of pet insurance policy for your cat, otherwise you risk paying much more than you need to, or having to cover large bills yourself because the cover you have in place is insufficient.
This is particularly true as the most expensive policies do not always provide the most comprehensive cover.
MoneySupermarket can help you to find exactly the right cat insurance policy for you and your feline friend's needs, at the cheapest possible price.
Find out more about pet insurance by reading our pet insurance guide.
For information and deals on other pets, visit our pet insurance homepage.