Answering the question of “what is the best pet insurance for cats (even for multiple ones)?” is a lot like trying to tell you about the best car insurance.

It depends on SO many factors (albeit not quite as many as insuring your car), including where you live, your cat’s age, and more.

Today, we’ll take a look at as many of those factors as possible and narrow down our choices to the top three pet insurance companies: Healthy Paws, Embrace, and Trupanion.

I’ve been a cat parent for 23 years, so I have a pretty good idea of just about any scenario where pet insurance would come in handy.

Use the table of contents to quickly find your way around.

What is the best insurance for a cat? That's a tricky question that depends on many factors, but we narrowed it down to the top 3. Check it out!

Quick Picks: Top 3 Pet Insurance Companies at a Glance

Let’s start with a quick overview of the top five pet insurance companies.

We’ll get into a lot more detail later, but this will help you follow along as we talk about each company.

FYI, This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.

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How Much Does Pet Insurance for a Cat Cost?

Before we dive into the best pet insurance for cats, we need to know how much you can expect to pay.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you an easy answer.

It all depends on your cat.

I can tell you what they look for when determining your premium.

All of the cat insurance companies that I looked at ask the same basic questions:

  • How old is your cat?
  • What is your cat’s breed?
  • Male of female?
  • Fixed or unfixed?
  • What is your zip code.

The three that will impact the price the most (in my experience) are: age, breed, and zip code, in that order.

When we talked about whether cat insurance is worth it, I used my own cat Alex as a “sample cat” for quotes. He’s young and healthy, two factors that affect the rate.

Today, we’ll use a fictional cat. Well, not entirely fictional. Zoe is my cat, but she’s only three. I want you to have some different scenarios to compare, so let’s make her 7.

She’s a either a Russian Blue or a domestic shorthair that just looks like one. She was feral-born, so I have no idea.

Age

It makes sense that your cat’s age would have the greatest impact on the price. A younger cat is typically healthier than an older one.

Breed

This one surprised me! When I ran a sample quote on my cat Zoe, I first put down that she was a Russian Blue (which I think is true, but not totally sure).

Next, I changed it to Domestic Shorthair. The difference was over $20 a month more when she was a Russian Blue!

I tried it with a few other breeds, like Munchkin and Bengal. Same thing. So, if you have a cat breed other than plain old domestic house cat, expect to pay more.

Zip Code

Your zip code also plays a relatively significant role in calculating your monthly premium.

It makes sense if you think about it. Vets charge more in certain areas than others.

I ran a few tests.

  • First, I put in my own Pennsylvania zip code.
  • Then, a Midwest zip (where my son’s dad is from),
  • Finally, 90210, because it’s the only fancy zip code I know off the top of my head!

The difference between PA and the Indiana zip code was only about $2, with the Midwest zip being a smidge lower. When I put in Beverly Hills, it jumped up to about $14 higher.

Now that you have a general idea of what the insurance company looks at from you, let’s see what YOU should look for in THEM!

What Should You Look at When Choosing the Best Cat Insurance?

It’s not enough to just look for the cheapest cat insurance.

You need to decide what you really want out of it both short term and in the long run.

I can’t tell you “look for this” or “look for that,” because we all have different ideas of what should be covered.

However, here is a list of questions to ask as you shop around.

 

Questions regarding deductibles and limits

What is my annual deductible?

What is my annual limit?

Are there any lifetime limits for chronic conditions?

What is the reimbursement rate (how much of the bill they’ll cover)?

 

When I look at the annual deductible, I think to myself “can I afford to pay $200 out of pocket PLUS $350 a year for the insurance PLUS the 20% that’s left on the bill that isn’t covered?”

I then ask, “Do I foresee any medical issues that will cost me $550+ total this year for my cat?”

Zoe has always been healthy, knock on wood, and I’ve yet to spend $550 in a year on her medical bills. I don’t think I’ve spent that much total in three years.

My older cat, Willow, on the other hand HAS cost me that much in a year just on vet visits for her constipation.

Questions regarding coverage

Does my plan cover well visits or just sick visits?

Will it pay for alternative treatments?

Does it cover dental work?

Will it  cover preexisting conditions? (Here’s a hint: the answer is always “nope”)

How about genetic conditions? If my cat is prone to XYZ, will it be covered?

My cat was born with a heart condition. Can I get coverage for that?

When my cat Mally got diabetes many years ago, human insulin was considered an “alternative treatment,” so don’t think that just means something like acupuncture and kitty massages!

My cat Prue had major genetic dental issues, so coverage for that would have been important to me when she was still with us.

What is the best insurance for a cat? That's a tricky question that depends on many factors, but we narrowed it down to the top 3. Check it out!

 

Questions regarding how claims are paid

 Do they pay directly to the vet or do I have to submit a claim to get reimbursed?

 If I have to submit a claim, how long does it take to pay?

 Can I actually afford to pay at the vet myself, or is it worth the extra monthly fee to have them do it for me?

Some companies will pay directly to the vet at the time of your visit. Others make you submit your bill and wait to be paid.

Keep in mind that, in my experience, those that pay at the vet are more expensive per month than those who don’t.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of questions, but it’s a good start.

I also suggest contacting the company with a question (any question) and see how long it takes for them to respond.

That will give you a good idea of their overall customer service.

Top 3 Cat Insurance Companies with Detailed Reviews

As pet insurance becomes more popular, new brands pop up all the time.

However, out of all the companies I looked into, these three stand out as the best of the best.

Again, for the quote purposes, I went with Zoe, made her 7, and put down that she was a spayed female Russian Blue. I went with my PA zip code.

To keep things as uniform as possible across the board, I went with plans with a $200 deductible and a reimbursement rate of 90%

As I considered each company, I asked myself the following questions:

  • How much does it cost compared to the value it provides?
  • How do they pay (at vet or reimbursement)?
  • What does it cover?
  • What doesn’t it cover?
  • Do they a multiple cat discount?

Unless you also have a 7-year-old female Russian Blue and live in my town, your rate will be different from mine. 😀

Still, at least you can see how each company compares to the others with my sample quote.

#1 Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

My #1 choice for the best of the best has to be Healthy Paws, and I didn’t arrive at that decision lightly.

I compared a lot of different factors, and Healthy Paws offers the best coverage for the least amount of money per month.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Pros and Cons at a Glance

Pros: 
  • One of the lowest monthly rates (compared to other’s on this list)
  • Customizable deductible and reimbursement
  • Reimbursement based on actual vet bill
  • Handy mobile app that makes it easy to submit claims with just a photo of your receipt
  • No payout limits
  • #1 rated pet insurance plan with a 98% customer satisfaction rating at consumersadvocate.org
  • Every Quote Gives Hope program– if you get a quote, they donate to pets in need.
Cons:
  • No coverage for wellness visits
  • No coverage for preventative care
  • Cats age 14 and over can’t get coverage
  • 15-day waiting period before coverage begins
  • No multiple cat discount
  • One-time $25 “Admin Fee”

Healthy Paws Insurance Cost Versus Value

 

Healthy Paws Cat Insurance Quote

My rate is based on a $250 annual deductible (they don’t offer a $200 deductible) and 90% reimbursement plan, but you can customize each of those things.

  • For example, if I want them to pay back 90% and only want to pay $100 a year out of pocket, it goes up to about $25. Still very reasonable!
  • On the other hand, if I’m okay with a $500 deductible and having them pay 70%, it goes down to around $12.

That plan has NO per-incident, annual, or lifetime caps.

The downside of the lower fee: they charge an extra $25 the first month as an “admin” fee. It’s a one-time thing, but it does increase the overall yearly cost for the first year.

So basically, instead of me paying around $235 for the first year of Zoe’s coverage, I’d be paying $260.

Reimbursement process

There are a couple of ways to get reimbursed:

  • Submit a photo of your receipt through the Healthy Paws app
  • Fill out a Healthy Paws claim form on their website
  • Get a pre-authorized payment sent directly to your vet (for very expensive procedures on a case-by-case basis).

One of the few complaints about Healthy Paws is regarding the timeframe to pay out claims. Expect to wait up to 10 business days to get reimbursed.

What does Healthy Paws cover?

Healthy Paws covers a wide range of conditions. You’ll have to look at your plan for an exact list, but for the most part expect it to cover:

  • Accidents and acute illnesses 
  • Congenital issues 
  • Chronic conditions (as long as they’re not preexisting)
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Some diagnostic testing
  • Prescription medications
  • Alternative treatments
  • Hospitalization

 

 

►►►If that doesn’t answer your question, check out their dental health article on the Healthy Paws blog. ◄◄◄

 

What doesn’t it cover?

Healthy Plans doesn’t cover wellness visits. That includes vaccinations, flea and tick medications, heartworm testing, and other routine care.

Other exclusions include:

  • Any injury or illness that occurs within the first 15 days of the policy start date
  • Pre-existing conditions 
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Parasite control (flea and tick treatment, heartworm medication or deworming)
  • Grooming, including nail trimming
  • “Elective” procedures, including microchipping 
  • Diseases that your cat got because you didn’t vaccinate*

 

*Example: if your cat gets rabies or distemper because you skipped the vaccine, they won’t cover it.

If you’re wondering “does Healthy Paws cover dental work?” the answer is yes and no. While Healthy Paws does NOT cover routine dental work, like teeth cleanings, they DO cover accidental injury to your cat’s teeth, including tooth extractions.In addition, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover:

Do they offer a multiple cat discount?

At first, I thought they did, because when I added my cat Alex, the price only went up $14.65, which is $5 cheaper than Zoe’s rate. However, when I removed Zoe, Alex’s rate stayed the same.

So no, it appears that Healthy Paws does not offer a multiple cat discount.

My Recommendation

If you’re asking me “Is Healthy Paws a good pet insurance company?” my answer is a resounding “you betcha!”

This is my top choice for so many reasons, not just the low monthly fee. Even with the admin fee and no multiple pet discount, it still ends up costing me less for great coverage.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

#2 Embrace Pet Insurance Review

Embrace is one of the most popular pet insurance programs for a good reason: they have a very robust and comprehensive plan. Let’s take a closer look.

Embrace Pet Insurance

 

Pros and Cons at a Glance

Pros
  • Customizable deductible, annual limits and reimbursement
  • Reimbursement is based on actual vet bill
  • Multi-pet discount
  • Short waiting period for accidents
  • Covers behavioral therapy
Cons
  • Cats age 14 and over can’t get coverage, except for accidental injuries
  • 14-day waiting period for illness
  • Higher premium than Healthy Paws (in my case)

Cost versus Value

At first glance, you can see that Embrace is significantly higher per month for me than Healthy Paws. Don’t let that scare you off.

While it’s not the cheapest plan for me, I’ve looked at countless other reviews where it ended up costing a lot less.

You can customize pretty much every aspect, including
  • Copay:  10%, 20% or 30%
  • Annual Payout limits: $2000, $5000, $10,000 or $15,000.
  • Deductible range from $200-1000

To compare with Healthy Paws, my annual fee would be just over $505 for one cat, but they do offer a 10% multiple cat discount.

Reimbursement process

Turns out, there is an Embrace Pet Insurance app. I couldn’t find it at first, but they do have one for both Apple and Android devices.

  • Fill out a claim form in your account on their website or download it from your welcome email
  • Call and ask for a form to be mailed or faxed to you or your vet
  • Use the Embrace Pet Insurance app to submit your claim

While wellness claims usually only take about 5 business days to reimburse, illness and accident claims can take 10-15 days.

What Does Embrace Cover?

A lot, actually. The following isn’t an exhaustive list, but it gives you a good overall idea.

Nose to Tail Cat Coverage makes Embrace one of the best pet insurance for cats.

  • Accidents and acute illnesses 
  • Congenital issues 
  • Chronic conditions (as long as they’re not preexisting)
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Some diagnostic testing
  • Prescription medications
  • Alternative treatments
  • Hospitalization
  • Wellness visits (As an add-on and for an additional fee)
  • Dental illness (up to $1,000)
  • Behavior therapy
  • Prosthetic devices

What Doesn’t it Cover?

  • Routine dental work
  • Preexisting conditions
  • Routine vet care (without the add on)
  • Injuries resulting from neglect or abuse 
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding or whelping
  • Nuclear war related injuries (I’m not even kidding, that’s on their list of exclusions)

Remember, while Embrace will cover wellness visits, it’s part of an add-on plan, which is why it’s listed in both “will cover” and “won’t cover.”

FYI: Your cat’s last routine checkup must have occurred within the 12 months prior to enrolling, otherwise coverage doesn’t begin until AFTER that visit.

I recommend going for that annual visit BEFORE enrolling.

Do they offer a good multiple cat discount?

Embrace Pet Insurance does offer a multiple pet discount of 10% for each additional cat.

My  Recommendation

This is my top pick for multiple cats, especially if you need a company that covers alternative medicine and wellness visits (even if it does cost extra).

The 14-day wait for illnesses is about average, but I love that they only have a one-day wait for accidents.

Get your free quote in minutes

#3 Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

Trupanion is another company that consistently tops the list of the best pet insurance for cats.

The only reason they’re not #2 on my own list is that they had the highest premium for me personally.

Best pet insurance for cats: Trupanion

Trupanion Pros and Cons at a Glance

Pros
  • 90% reimbursement rate
  • Direct pay to the vet
  • Unlimited lifetime coverage, no limits
  • They offer insurance coverage for service animals
  • Covers dietary supplements (as recommended by your vet)
  • Pet Owner’s Assistance add-on pays for things like cremation, boarding your cat if you have to go into the hospital yourself, and more
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Alternative therapy is not covered unless you pay an addition add-on fee
  • Higher premiums than other insurance companies that I tested
  • Longest waiting period (30 days for illness, 5 for accidents)
  • No wellness coverage, not even with an add-on
  • Potentially long wait for reimbursement (see below)
  • One-time $35 “admin” fee

 

Cost versus Value

As you can see, the cost per month for me is significantly higher than Healthy Paws and Embrace when I choose the $200 deductible.

FYI, when I put in Zoe’s actual age (3), it dropped down to about $30+ a month, so you can see that as your cat gets older, the price increases drastically.

Is Trupanion one of the best pet insurance for cats? Take a look at this Trupanion cat insurance quote.
You’ll note that there’s an option to customize your price. This really only lets you change the deductible.

However, that’s a moot point because, unlike Embrace, there are no annual or lifetime limits, and all plans offer 90% reimbursement.

To compare with Healthy Paws, my annual fee would be just over $660 a year for one cat.

Reimbursement process

Claims can be processed in three ways:

  • The pay their portion of the bill directly to the vet (at select veterinary hospitals).
  • Fill out the form online through your account
  • Download the form, fill it out, and email it back to them.

As far as I can tell, Trupanion doesn’t have an app. Also,  for claims that aren’t payable to the vet, it can take up to 60 days to get reimbursed, according to their sample policy.

What does Trupanion cover?

  • Illnesses & injuries
  • Hereditary & congenital conditions
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays
  • Medications & Veterinary supplements
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Alternative therapy (like herbal therapy)
  • Dental illness (as long as your cat had a dental exam within the last year)

What doesn’t it cover?

  • Wellness exams (not even as an add-on)
  • Preexisting conditions
  • Preventative care
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Elective procedures like microchipping
  • Grooming, including nail trimming
  • Routine dental care
  • Repetitive injuries (if my cat eats plastic, gets surgery, then eats it again within the next 18 months, for example)

Do they offer a good multiple cat discount?

No, they don’t appear to offer a multiple pet option. I added Alex and the cost was exactly the same as it was when I got a quote for just him.

My Recommendation

It’s not my favorite and the cons outweigh the pros for me personally, but Trupanion is considered one of the best pet insurance for cats by many of their customers.

I would recommend it if you need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the most expensive vet bills (the ones that occur at vet hospitals) are payable directly to the facility.

Other Pet Insurance Alternatives

Like I said earlier, pet insurance companies pop up pretty much every day. I went with the above three because they’re well-established and highly rated.

However, if you don’t love them, there are other options.

We’re not going to get into quite as much detail as the above reviews, but I’ll give you a quick overview of each so you can compare them.

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide already covers everything from cars to houses, so it makes sense that they’d offer pet insurance as well.

While they rank high on other lists of the best cat insurance (including Consumer Advocate), they have somewhat low customer satisfaction scores on sites like Yelp.

Also, they came back with the highest quote for Zoe out of all the companies I tested.

Nationwide Pet Insurance for Cats quote

Now, if I change her from a Russian Blue to a “Mixed Breed” cat, the prices drop (from left to right) to about $60, $48, and $30.

Let’s quickly check out the pros and cons, though, so you can decide for yourself.

Nationwide Pros

  • Major insurance brand, so you don’t have to worry that they’ll go out of business anytime soon.
  • Multiple types of plans allow you to get exactly the coverage you want.
  • High ratings on Consumer Advocate
  • Unlimited annual benefit when you choose the Whole Pet with Wellness Plan

Nationwide Cons

  • Most expensive plans (for me)
  • Fixed low deductible means you can’t customize your plan to pay a higher deductible and lower premium
  • Not the best customer ratings on Yelp and such
  • Annual limits on all other plans aside from the Whole Pet with Wellness

If you want a complete review of Nationwide Pet Insurance, I suggest checking out this article over on Canine Journal. Yes, it’s a dog site, but it offers a good overview.

ASPCA

The ASPCA pet insurance plan is very-well rated among insurance reviewers (yep, they’re a thing), however their low customer satisfaction scores kept me from putting it in the top 3.

Compared to my top choices price-wise, they’re higher than Healthy Paws and Embrace, but lower than Trupanion, which would put them solidly in the middle were it not for those low ratings.

While they do offer a cheaper plan with a lower annual limit and reimbursement rate, I had to keep it consistent and choose the same options as my top 3 picks.

One surprise, though, is the fact that they don’t penalize me quite as steeply for having a Russian Blue versus a domestic shorthair.

The price only jumped up about $15, compared to almost doubling with other companies.

ASPCA Pet Insurance Pros

  • Above-average ratings on Consumer Advocate
  • Multiple types of plans allow you to customize your premium
  • Not quite as steep a penalty for having a pure-breed cat
  • No per-incident caps (however, remember, some plans do have overall annual caps)
  • No maximum enrollment age (this is a BIG pro, since most other plans have a cut-off age of 14)

ASPCA Pet Insurance Cons

  • Low customer rating on Yelp (including some alarming ones about frequent claim rejections)
  • Higher-than average cost for my sample cat
  • 14-day waiting period for both accidents and illness
  • Long wait time for responses to claims (average about 15 days)

Check out the full review over on Consumer Advocate for more information.

FIGO

I’ll be honest, of all the pet insurance companies out there, FIGO is the only one I’d never heard of until I started researching them.

As far as price goes, they’re comparable to Embrace. Let’s take a closer look.

FIGO pet insurance quote for cat

I like that the unlimited annual benefits isn’t much higher than the $14K limit, although I think it’s odd that the $10K cap is only about a buck cheaper than the mid-range cap.

I also LOVE that they do have a 100% reimbursement rate, although you will pay a somewhat hefty increase for that option (about $15 more).

FIGO Pros

  • Multiple customization options, including unlimited cap and 100% reimbursement
  • Access a vet 24/7 through their app (kind of like those apps that let you talk to a doctor from home)
  • Contact them through text, Tweet, email or phone
  • Most technologically advanced company, they’ll even put you in touch with other pet owners near you

FIGO Cons

  • Relatively new entry into the pet insurance world, which makes me a bit leery.
  • No well-visit  or preventative care coverage at all
  • Exam fees for sick visits are only covered if you choose the add-on
  • 5-day waiting period for accidents, 15-day wait for illnesses

Check out the complete review of FIGO over on Consumer Advocate.

Our Recommendations

Phew! That was a whole lot of information, right? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry, I’ll bottom-line it for you.

Check out my top recommendation for the best pet insurance for cats for both a single cat and a multi-cat household.

Best Pet Insurance for a Single Cat

Hands down, I have to go with Healthy Paws as my number one choice for the best pet insurance for cats.

I did a sample quote with multiple factors (male vs female, purebreed vs mixed, different ages) and every time they came in with the lowest rate.

I love that they have no annual or lifetime caps right off the bat, rather than making you pay more for that privilege.

I also insanely adore that they donate to pets in need with every quote!

Get your free Healthy Paws Quote now!

Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Cats

Honestly, Healthy Paws wins again because while they don’t give multiple pet discounts, their overall prices are still lower than those that do.

However, if you want a company that DOES give a discount, then Embrace would be your top (and only, as far as I could find) choice.

Get your free Embrace Quote now!

I hope this answered all your questions (and then some) regarding the best pet insurance for cats! If you have any others, feel free to ask.

What is your pick for the best pet insurance for cats? Share below!

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