A healthy lifestyle can help minimize veterinary expenses, but it can’t guarantee your cat will never get sick or injured. Given the high cost of veterinary care, buying health insurance for your kitty is a wise idea.

Keeping our cats healthy and happy is a top priority. Thanks to remarkable advances in veterinary care, doctors can quickly diagnose and treat a wide range of complicated medical conditions and serious injuries. The downside is that these lifesaving measures can be extremely expensive and even unaffordable to many. Because of the rising cost of comprehensive veterinary care, many people are purchasing pet health insurance for their cats. This ensures that any necessary and/or unexpected veterinary care is more affordable. Health insurance can give you peace of mind if your kitty ever gets sick or injured.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN INSURANCE POLICY

There are a wide range of pet health insurance policies to choose from, ranging from catastrophic only coverage, to policies that cover office visits, veterinary exam fees, medications and even alternative treatments for your cat. Unfortunately, no pet health insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions; some will cover hereditary conditions, but many do not.

Good pet health insurance plans offer policies that provide the appropriate amount of coverage at an affordable cost. Many providers offer options that allow you to customize your deductibles, the reimbursement percentage more commonly known as co-insurance. But be careful to steer clear of any plans that charge per-incident deductibles as this will end up reducing your payouts. Fortunately, the majority of high-quality plans offer annual deductibles.

Most pet health insurance plans cover cats from kittenhood into their senior years. Many have annual reimbursement caps, while others are unlimited. For example, one provider offers an optimum plan with an annual cap of $20,000. Their top comprehensive plan includes wellness, dental, alternative treatments such as acupuncture, and even, if recommended by a veterinarian, stem cell therapy. While other providers may offer policies with no annual caps, they may charge extra for riders that will cover annual wellness visits. Having to make serious medical decisions for your cat based on how much you can afford — or not — can be excruciatingly stressful. Buying health insurance will help ensure that your beloved kitty can get all the necessary care he needs, if or when it becomes necessary.


Jo Singer, MSW, CSW,LCSW (Ret.) is a member of the Cat Writer’s Association, and a retired Certified Social Worker and Psychotherapist. She is also a member of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, and recently completed their course, “Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselling”. Jo has been owned by cats for over 40 years, and shares her Florida home with her husband and feline friends.