As far as you're concerned, your sweet kitten will never set a paw outdoors. So, the chances that your cat will get hit by a car or attacked by a dog are extremely low. If that's the case, you're probably wondering if your cat really needs pet insurance coverage.
The answer is yes.
Indoor felines face many of the same health risks as their outdoor counterparts, including diabetes, cancer, and allergies. Of course, cats — especially kittens — can injure themselves while playing and running around at home, too.
Why pet insurance for indoor cats is important
No one ever wants to put a dollar sign on their cat's life. However, an expensive trip to an emergency veterinarian could force you to make some very difficult decisions. You might, for example, have to decide between paying for medical treatment that could save your cat's life or making your next month's rent.
It's not just major illnesses and injuries that can hit your wallet hard. If your cat needs to be hospitalized for one or two days for a relatively minor condition — such as vomiting or diarrhea — the average cost of care can range between $600 and $1,500. If your cat should require an ultrasound or X-rays, you could add another $150 to $600 to your bill.
That's the bad news. The good news is that pet insurance can cover a substantial portion of your cat's medical bills.
Is pet insurance worth it for an indoor cat?
Living indoors does have its advantages for cats; they are safe from predators, speeding cars, harsh weather, and other outdoor dangers.
However, living indoors can also have its disadvantages. For example, house cats tend to be more sedentary than felines that live outdoors. This can increase your cat's risk for obesity, diabetes, and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).
Of course, indoor cats are also susceptible to many common feline illnesses, including but not limited to:
Urinary tract infection
Upper respiratory infections
Many of these medical issues and illnesses can be expensive to treat.
Take a urinary tract infection (UTI), for example. This is a fairly common problem in cats, especially in older females. The cost for diagnosis, tests, and treatment of a UTI can range from several hundred dollars up to $6,000, especially if surgery is required.
Pet insurance can cover the cost of treating health conditions and illnesses, as well as the cost of treating injuries. This is very important since many cats have a knack for getting into trouble, even in the relative safety of their home. Plus, there's always a chance that your feline could wander out of your house and get injured or exposed to disease while outdoors.
How pet insurance works
Unlike human insurance, pet insurance typically does not cover well visits or routine vaccinations. Instead, it is designed to help pay for your pet's illnesses and injuries. You're not out of luck, though, if you're interested in coverage for preventative care, as a few companies do offer wellness plans for cats.
When deciding on an indoor cat insurance plan, you'll want to compare the following:
Deductible: This is the amount you'll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage will begin.
Coverage restrictions: Some companies will not cover certain hereditary conditions. So, it's important to know what conditions will and will not be covered for your cat.
Reimbursement percentages: Most companies offer their customers different options when it comes to reimbursement amounts. Typically, you'll be able to choose from 70%, 80%, 90% or 100% reimbursement.
Premiums: This is the amount you'll pay each month for your policy.
Is pet insurance worth it? You bet.
If your cat is sick or injured, you'll want to do what is best for him or her. That is why having pet insurance is so important. It can substantially reduce your financial risk, allowing you to choose the best treatment for your cat, rather than the most affordable option.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.