Compare Pet Insurance for Your Cat (2023)

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Cats have been by our side for as long as 12,000 years according to some scientists' estimates, and today Canadian families count about 7.9 million cats as their family members. We all know that cats are fiercely independent — until they need something! And it is their owner’s role to look after them when they are hurt or unwell.

If your cat got injured or sick, would you be able to afford the thousands of dollars it may cost to treat them? Is your cat protected?

This guide will introduce you to the different types of cat insurance, what it covers, how much it costs and why you need it.

What is cat insurance?

Cat insurance is a type of health insurance for your cat, protecting your furry companion and your wallet from hardship should they get injured or sick. Cat health insurance is a form of pet insurance that covers any costs associated with your cat’s health.

You may be thinking that the cost of animal medical care is far from that of humans, but most people have health insurance, and the vet costs can quickly rocket if you have an animal in need of long-term care.

That’s where cat insurance comes in, so you can relax knowing that your feline is protected. There are a wide variety of providers to choose from, and the best way to find the right policy for you is to use our comparison tool at the top of this page.

How does cat insurance work?

Cat insurance in Canada helps reduce the financial burden of planned and unforeseen veterinary costs or eliminates it entirely. Using the comparison tool above and choosing the best policy for you buys you peace of mind and is often the only way pet owners can afford to do the right thing for their cat’s health and comfort.

Once you’ve chosen the best policy for you and your cat, the insurance provider will calculate a premium (based on several factors such as your cat’s age and breed) that you will pay each month.

Watch out!

There will often be a waiting period after you purchase a policy before your coverage kicks in. Any medical treatment in this period will not be covered by the provider.

Usually, you will have to pay upfront for any costs and will be reimbursed by the provider. Rates of reimbursement are typically between 80% and 100%. Although getting the cash to pay out of pocket may not be ideal, being reimbursed means you don’t have to go through the added stress of finding a vet that partners with your insurer. Any licensed vet clinic or animal hospital will do.

Some providers also offer a 24-hour helpline that you can call for advice or for help finding a vet.

Expert advice

Insurance companies almost always ask you for all the paperwork associated with your claim, so remember to keep all your receipts and documentation from the vet.

Why do you need cat insurance?

Giving your cat the best life is expensive! If you want to provide your cat with the best care while keeping a manageable budget, cat insurance is essential. Regardless of your cat’s activities, many factors influence your feline companion’s health risks, for example, their breed, age and diet.

Annually, each Canadian spends around $3,200 on their kitten and $2,500 on their cat. A big part of those costs is from veterinary care like vaccination, checkups and unexpected health problems.

For the average Canadian, cat insurance means being prepared for the unexpected and having the power to act when it comes to the health of their cat.

Let's take a look at some typical vet costs in Canada:

Routine check-ups and vaccines
Dental work
$150 - $1,500
Flea treatments and heartworm medicine
Vet costs for cats Canada

How much is cat insurance?

Like most insurance, the cost of cat insurance in Canada varies. How much you pay and what is covered will depend on the policy you purchase. Price varies depending on what is covered, your reimbursement rate, the deductible and the annual payout limit.

Below, you can see how much cat insurance costs for Canada’s most common breed using Fetch insurance as an example.

AgeMax annual payoutMax annual deductibleReimbursementMonthly premium
<11 months
<11 months
5 years
5 years
How much is cat insurance?

Most insurers provide coverage nationally, so there is no reason why cat insurance in BC should be more or less expensive than cat insurance in Ontario. Cat insurance is, however, typically less expensive than insurance for dogs. It does pay to compare insurance providers, including Trupanion and others, to get the best coverage at the best price.

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When to buy cat insurance?

The best time to secure insurance for your cat is when they are young, ideally a kitten. Many cats will have at least one medical emergency in their lifetime, which is the reason why veterinarians recommend getting coverage as soon as possible. Most pet owners in Canada buy cat health insurance earlier than 6 months after getting their cat.

Each breed has its health risks, and each stage of a cat’s life comes with its own hazards. Pet insurers will rarely cover a pre-existing condition. That’s why it’s so important to start your coverage while your cat is young.

Also, the younger your cat is when they get insured, the cheaper your insurance policy gets.

What does cat insurance in Canada cover?

Pet health insurance in Canada covers a variety of emergency and longer-term treatments for your cat. The availability of the treatments and the amount reimbursed will depend on your policy’s coverage.

Accident and illness coverage

If your cat suffers an accident or becomes unwell, most insurers will cover the costs of:

  • X-rays
  • Short stays for monitoring
  • Emergency diagnosis
  • Prescriptions
  • Any surgery they may need
  • MRI and other scans
  • Chemotherapy

Preventative care coverage

Preventative medicine is always more effective (and cheaper in the long run) than reactive medicine. However, usually, only comprehensive insurance plans will cover these kinds of treatments, including:

What isn’t covered by cat insurance?

Cat insurance does not typically cover:

Good to know

Some insurance companies offer pet wellness plans that reimburse you for common, expected procedures such as vaccination and most routine tests.

What should I consider when choosing cat insurance?

In Canada, pet owners have many options to choose from when it comes to cat insurance to protect their furry friends and prevent a blow to their wallets.

Here are the main factors to consider when choosing the best cat insurance for you:

Good to know

If your pet insurance premiums become a financial burden, most insurers allow you to temporarily change your deductible to keep your premium within budget.

Can you get pet insurance for your 10-year-old cat?

Yes! Virtually all insurers will cover a 10-year-old cat, though they will exclude any pre-existing health conditions, and the premium may be a little more expensive.

Some insurance providers do limit or terminate their coverage for cats above a certain age. To insure cats over the age of 10, you will often need additional medical information and exams, and many insurers limit their coverage of cats to 14 years old, but some policies don’t have a limit.

Remember to read your policy well before purchasing it to know exactly what is covered and until what age.

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