A lazy, grey cat relaxes at home with its paw dangling over a ledge.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It for an Indoor Cat?

There are many different species of cats, all ranging in size, color, and markings. Just as there are different species of cats, there are different kinds of cats. These can be classified in the following three categories: indoor cats, indoor-outdoor cats, and outdoor cats.

Indoor cats live in homes and spend all of their time inside the house. Indoor-outdoor cats live in the house, but may roam the streets as well. Finally, there are outdoor cats, who live in nature and don’t have much interaction — if any at all — with humans. If you have an indoor cat, you undoubtedly love your little feline friend and have concern for their safety, so you might come to ask yourself, “Is pet insurance worth it for an indoor cat, and, if so, what does it cost?

Health Risks for Indoor Cats

Some health risks can occur for any cat, regardless if they are indoor, outdoor, or a little bit of both. Every pet has health risks that you as a pet owner have to try and avoid if you want your pet to live a long, happy, and healthy life. This is one of the challenges of being a pet owner. The health risks of indoor cats include boredom, stress, obesity, feline urinary problems, anxiety, and exposure to toxins.

To start, lack of exercise and boredom can lead to physical and emotional stress for your cat or kitten. A stressed cat can be unhealthy and they are often subject to stress more easily than other animals. Cats can show signs of illness when they’re stressed. Stress in a cat is a matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even when it comes to something simple like a common inflammatory disease, they will usually become healthier once their stress levels are reduced. It’s important to recreate a similar environment within your home that a kitty would typically encounter when in the wild. This will allow them to feel at ease, stress-free, and happy. This includes offering high places to hide, climbing towers, window perches, and scratching posts.

Obesity and diabetes are also common reasons that indoor cats begin to see a decline in their health. Lack of exercise can result in weight gain very easily, and once weight is gained, it becomes very hard to shed, especially as your pet ages. Making sure that your kitty stays active and has plenty of toys to run around and play with is important. Limiting the amount of time that they’re inactive is crucial to their health. Unlike outdoor cats, indoor cats have much less room to run around and play and hunt, thus expending less energy.

Another big health risk in indoor cats is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Feline lower urinary tract disease is the result of a variety of conditions that affects both the bladder and urethra in cats. Symptoms of this disease include difficulty and pain when urinating, an increase in the number of times they urinate, as well as a presence of blood in their urine. They also tend to excessively lick themselves and can be found urinating outside their litter box on cooler, smoother surfaces. While the disease can occur at any age, it mostly occurs in middle-aged, overweight cats that get limited exercise, have zero to little outdoor access, and eat a dry diet. A urinary tract blockage caused by a urethral obstruction is a life-threatening condition and affected pets must receive immediate treatment.

Separation anxiety is another factor that can affect indoor cats. As we all know, felines are usually the pet of choice for busier people, but they can become very attached to their owners and will suffer separation anxiety when they’re left alone. These cats are typically described as being needy when you are around, and then when you’re not, they can cause complete chaos around the house until you return.

Along with the health risks stated above, cats are also subject to indoor hazards. Always make sure to keep your home clear of potential hazards if you have a cat that spends a lot of time home alone. Houseplants, such as lilies, are toxic, so it’s important to be aware of what you can and cannot have around the house if you plan to leave your furry friend to their own devices. A good practice is to avoid using dangerous products or pesticides in your cat’s common areas. Doing some research on hazardous products can go a long way. It is also important to never use or give any medication to a feline that is meant for a human or canine. Some medications are extremely toxic to cats, even in small doses. Toxin ingestion can occur at any age but can be more common in young, curious kittens.

Diagnosis and treatment of the various feline health conditions noted above can range in costs from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the condition and response to treatment. These kinds of medical bills can really start to add up.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Maybe you just got a cat and you’re intrigued by the concept of pet insurance, but you’re not really sure what costs would be covered if your cat were to get sick or hurt.. So, you’re stuck wondering if pet insurance is worth it for an indoor cat, which really depends on a few different factors.

Typically, pet insurance covers medical costs if your pet becomes sick unexpectedly, or if they were to get into an accident, but unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance does not normally cover costs for routine care, such as checkups and standard shots. Pre-existing conditions are also not covered by pet insurance, so if you are looking into it for a pet that already has some sort of ailment, it may not really be worth it for you. Pet insurance is the best value when purchased before any medical conditions. This way, everything will be covered at the lowest possible cost.

There are four different kinds of pet insurance plans available, which are accident-only plans, accident and illness plans, insurance with embedded wellness, and endorsements.

When it comes to the four types of pet insurance, 98 percent of insured pets are covered by either accident or illness insurance, or insurance with wellness add-on. The remaining two percent are covered by accident-only coverage.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

The terms “premium,” “deductible,” and “coverage limits” may be confusing for many pet parents seeking an insurance plan. There are over a dozen companies in North America offering pet insurance and each company offers something slightly different, which can add to the confusion. Here is how pet insurance works and what you really need to know.

There are 4 parts a pet insurance policy that include:

The deductible and reimbursement variables that you choose are the primary factors that influence the cost of your pet insurance policy. Other factors that impact the cost of your coverage are the age and breed of your pet, as well as your location in the country. Another factor that impacts costs are discounts. Discounts are available with many companies, which can help save you money on your policy.

More Pet Insurance Considerations

There are several things to consider when choosing a pet insurance company.

Commonly asked questions include the following:

How to Find the Right Pet Insurance for Your Cat

It’s always best to research a pet insurance provider’s credibility. You will want to be sure that they’re reputable, offer what you’re looking for, and have good customer feedback. After doing so, you’ll want to consider how much coverage you need. If your pet has pre-existing conditions, find out what is covered and what is not. Adding additional insurance coverage may be worth it, depending on your cat’s activity levels and proneness to getting hurt or injured. Make sure to always read the fine print when signing up for a plan. An incident you thought might be covered, may not be. Finally, visit your vet to seek their advice on pet insurance. They can give you some guidance as to how you should approach pet insurance and what kind of specific plan would be smart, based on your situation.