Is Pet Insurance Worth it for Your Indoor Cat – Yay or Nay?


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There are heaps of benefits to owning an indoor cat. Like longer lifespans, less opportunity for accidents and less hunting endangered wildlife. But does that mean they’re healthier? And if so, is pet insurance worth it for an indoor cat? Since Hug Your Cat Day is just around the corner we thought we’d show your cat some love by taking the time to answer this question.

In this article PD Insurance looks at some of the top considerations for having an indoor cat. We also look at the reasons they may or may not need pet health insurance based on their lifestyle and accompanying risks.

an indoor cat and dog spend time in the living room with their owner - both have pet insurance

What is the lifespan of an indoor cat?

Compared to outdoor cats, indoor cats are more likely to live longer – as long as 20 years (beyond the cat life average) and even more. This is because of the number of dangers present outdoors, from cars and dogs to poisons and pathogens.

This extra protection is great because it means you get to celebrate Hug Your Cat Day together more times over! However, if you do the math that also means many years longer in which to experience incidents of illness or injury. As much as the risks are reduced, indoor cats can and do still get hurt and ill.

Illness and injury still occurs

It might be from stale food that’s contaminated, a chemical they got on their paws or an indoor plant they rubbed up against. Or it might be a result of getting a claw snagged someplace awkward and needing medical care because it’s torn. There are myriad ways indoor cats can be curious and end up with ouch.

While your indoor cat is less likely to catch pathogens floating around outdoors or illnesses from other cats they can still get sick out of the blue. Or, they might simply catch a virus from you (e.g. coronavirus in dogs and cats generally comes from owners, though thankfully symptoms tend to be mild).

When they do, vet costs are similar or more than doctors’ costs. That’s because they use high-tech equipment just like doctors do. But on top of this, their cost to you isn’t subsidised like our human health care costs.

In other words pet insurance is well worth it for an indoor cat regardless of their lifespan.

Also read: How Long Do Cats Live, to find out how they age in cat years compared to human years. Then find out more about indoor vs Outdoor Cats. 
A woman hugs her indoor cat and smiles with the peace of mind from having pet insurance for her favourite feline.

Household risks for indoor cats

We’ve already mentioned the reduced risks to indoor cats vs outdoor ones. But, risks to pets are actually bountiful inside our homes. From medicine cabinets with paracetamol to gardening products like slug bait there’s a whole heap of indoor cat risks.

As unfortunate as this is, it doesn’t mean you need to live on eggshells. Cats are going to be inquisitive and you have to have your household items at home. But what you can do is know which dangers are more prominent so you can have safeguards in place.

Plants, lamps, fragrances and more

For example, there’s a host of indoor plants that are toxic to both cats and dogs. Many of these are equally bad for kids so they may not be your ideal option for potted plants. Read about poisonous plants for dogs and cats to keep away. It’s safe to say that Hug Your Cat Day is a good time to remove unwanted dangers around the house.

Other common household items like salt lamps, deodorant and essential oils can also be life-threatening if pets get hold of them. It may be worth opting for a different lamp than a salt one and locking your smelly stuff in a secure cupboard. Read about common household items that are harmful to pets for the full story.

There’s also a range of seemingly simple human foods that can be dangerous for cats to eat – like chocolate. If your indoor cat eats something poisonous you won’t regret getting them cat insurance.

Watch. The PD Pet Care vet vlog with more tips on pet poisons, with Dr Cath:

Obesity and pet insurance for indoor cats

Another reason pet insurance is worth it for an indoor cat is obesity. Obesity is one of the leading health problems facing all pets today. However, indoor cats are more prone to being overweight than outdoors ones.

Obesity has become more of a problem over time because unfortunately, fat in pets sometimes gets construed as cute, healthy or baby-ish. Sure, some fat may not be bad, but it’s so easy for added kilos to turn your indoor cat into being first overweight and then obese.

Since Hug Your Cat Day is part of our theme, remember you don’t need your cat to be overweight to be huggable (read: 10 of the World’s Cutest Cats). It’s important to know obesity is a gateway illness to other more severe health conditions.

Issues arising from obesity

For example, added weight puts more strain on joints and muscles and can lead to hip dysplasia in dogs and cats. It can also lead to heart conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes in dogs and cats, among others.

Obesity is generally linked to energy input vs output. In other words how much food your cat eats vs how much
energy they consume in their daily activities. That’s why exercise and playtime is so important for dogs and cats.

These potential health conditions are more reasons pet insurance is so worth it for your indoor cat.

Also read: National Pet Obesity Day and how to check average cat weight. 
an indoor cat sleeps on its owners lap

Pre-existing conditions and your indoor cat

Since we know that indoor cats often have longer lifespans than outdoor ones, what happens when they develop a health condition? Any chronic health condition from diabetes and cancer to allergies and kidney disease can require an ongoing health management plan.

If your indoor cat were to develop any number of possible health conditions and they don’t already have pet insurance then getting insurance at that point won’t cover initial diagnosis and other bills. In health insurance (be it pet or human health insurance) a condition that already exists when you buy your policy is called a pre-existing condition. They’re not covered. This is also the case if your cat has shown signs of the health condition and has been treated for it before but it hasn’t yet become chronic.

Why it’s key to be insured early

The important thing is to get pet insurance for any cat or dog – indoor or outdoor – early on. It could mean a make-or-break difference to your life savings.

From medical health visits and surgery to prescription medication and hospital stays… there’s such a vast bouquet of line items that your pet plan will help cover the costs. It just makes financial sense to have a safeguard like this, especially on Hug Your Cat Day!

If you’re still wondering if pet insurance is worth it for an indoor cat then consider how long you hope they will live. Then consider how many vet bills you could incur along the way to help you make that choice.

Read more about pre-existing conditions and pet insurance in New Zealand. Then find out why Kiwis are choosing pet insurance for cats and dogs.  
Man spends time with his newly insured indoor cat

Is pet insurance worth it?

When asking if pet insurance is worth it for an indoor cat, another great question to ask is whether pet insurance is worth it. Period. Regardless of whether they’re indoors or outdoors, or whether we’re talking dogs instead of cats.

It’s like this. In human health care we expect the costs to be somewhat expensive. But for whatever reason, as pet owners we can be surprised by pet health care costs. Read this article about a $37k vet bill and you’ll get quite the shock.

As we mentioned earlier, vets have the same level of expertise and range of high-tech equipment as doctors do. Vets also treat multiple species and doctors only treat one. That means a range of different types and sizes of equipment. Additionally, a vet hospital has to do what your doctor, dentist, ENT and other specialists do. That means the whole range of equipment from specialist human health clinics under one vet hospital roof.

While human health care costs are subsidised, you end up footing the whole pet health care bill on your own. Unless of course you have pet insurance. In which case it acts like human health insurance and alleviates many of the costs so you don’t foot them alone.

Watch. The PD Pet Care vet vlog with Dr Cath on the real meaning behind vet costs:

Award winning pet insurance for your indoor cat

Get award winning pet insurance for your indoor cat today. The costs are low and the value can be priceless. Instead of worrying about bills when your cat’s sick or injured you can act quickly and get them medical care. After all, for us Kiwis Hug Your Cat Day is every day so plan ahead to give your cat a soft landing.

Your cat plan can cover health care costs like x-rays, bloodwork, surgery, dental and many other diagnostics and treatments. It just depends on the level of cat insurance cover you choose from our three pocket friendly PD Pet Insurance plans.

Click below to get one or more months of free award winning pet insurance today.

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