Should You Get a Cat Health Insurance?

Cat health insurance is an option for cat owners that can potentially defray the medical costs of caring for their cats. Whether an individual decides to purchase insurance for his cat or not is a decision he should make only after considering the pros and cons.

The Cost of Cat Health Insurance

The primary factor in a cat owner's decision to purchase cat insurance may be the cost. If the cost is minimal, the purchase may be worth the price no matter how comprehensive the benefits are. Some plans start at only $10 per month. However, depending on the cat's age and previous health conditions as well the owner's location and the average price of services in that area, monthly rates can run significantly higher. Additional benefits and coverage can also raise the price of insurance. However, the maximum monthly rate for cat insurance should be somewhere around $50 to $100 a month.

The Cost of Not Having Cat Health Insurance

Cat health care can be expensive. Yearly vet examinations may cost only around $60 to $100, but preventative cat health care also includes semi-annual vaccinations, which can cost an additional $30 to $50 each, and occasional dental cleanings, which can cost between $200 and $300 because they require the cat to be placed under anesthesia.

More worrisome is the cost of medical treatment should an accident, illness or medical condition befall the cat. Surgery to save a cat can cost between $2000 and $10,000, depending on the extent of the treatment. Starting a cat on medication or insulin in order to treat a medical condition can cost $20 to $50 a month for the rest of the cat's life. Cat insurance can help defray or cover the entire cost of these types of bills.

The Extent of Insurance Coverage

The cost of insurance plans increases the lower the deductible and the greater the extent of the plan. Some plans cover emergency treatments and surgeries only so they may cost less than comprehensive plans that also cover part of preventative care. Plans that have comprehensive cat medication coverage cost more than plans that don't.

The Best Time to Purchase Insurance for Cats

Cat insurance is more affordable when the owner purchases the plan when the cat is young and healthy. Costs go up as the cat ages or if the cat has already been diagnosed with a medical condition. However, young, healthy cats are the least likely cats to need insurance, so cat owners must weigh the possibility of paying for insurance that is barely used for years against the chance that the cat has an injury or develops a medical condition in later years. Nevertheless, many insurance plans can help cover at least part of the cost for yearly examinations, vaccinations and dental cleanings, so the insurance may still be used even when the cat is young and healthy.

Cat owners interested in cat insurance can purchase insurance through many independent carriers. Vet offices can also give suggestions as to which insurance carriers their patients often use.