As your cat gets older, they are more likely to have health and dental issues. No longer a playful kitten, your pet’s behaviour can start to change, and they may develop certain health conditions.

Taking out pet insurance can be particularly important to help you cover expensive vet bills and any treatment that’s needed if your cat has a mishap.


Pet insurance for older cats can give you peace of mind, and help ensure your beloved cat’s health and happiness are well taken care of as they settle down into old age.

But finding the right insurance can be tricky. We explain how pet insurance can change for senior cats, what’s included, and whether you can get cover for pre-existing conditions.

Can I get insurance for an older cat?

Yes, you can get pet insurance for older cats. When we refer to older cats, we usually mean cats that are aged 9 years and above. 

Getting insurance means your feline companion will be well looked after, in case they have an accident or develop health issues. It’ll also help take the financial sting out of any costly vet bills.

What sort of health conditions might my senior cat develop?

Like humans, cats can slow down as they approach their senior years. You may start to see changes to their dental health, vision and hearing, while joint conditions like arthritis could affect their movement. 

Older cats can also suffer from illnesses such as dementia, diabetes, cancer, kidney and liver disease and thyroid problems.

The vet bills for these conditions can be very expensive. According to the Association of British Insurers, treatment for a cat suffering from soft tissue sarcoma (a malignant tumour) can cost more than £12,200.

Meanwhile, if your cat had an accident and broke their leg, the surgery could have a price tag of nearly £2,000.

Unfortunately, the extra medical care needed for most older cats can mean higher premiums for pet owners.

Are pre-existing conditions covered?

If your cat has a pre-existing health condition, we’re afraid this is unlikely to be covered by a new policy. Note that when we say “pre-existing health condition”, we mean signs or symptoms of undiagnosed injuries or illnesses, as well as diagnosed issues and any physical abnormalities.

That’s why it’s so important that if you take out lifetime insurance, you renew it each year and avoid letting it lapse. That way you’ll know your cat will continue to be covered for any health conditions they may develop.

If your cat has a pre-existing condition and you’re struggling to get them insured, you may be able to find a specialist insurer that will provide cover, but be warned that it could be expensive.

How much does pet insurance for older cats cost?

Pet insurance premiums are determined by a range of factors, such as the age of the animal, the breed, their health and where you live. For example, if you have a pedigree cat such as a Siamese, they can be more expensive to insure because they tend to suffer from inherited diseases. If you have a moggy, they are usually cheaper.

Taking out a new policy for a senior cat is likely to be pricier than insuring a kitten, due to the extra health issues they often have.


However, the best pet insurance for older cats may well work out cheaper than the unexpected vet bills, prescriptions and/or ongoing treatments that you’d have to pay if you didn’t have insurance.

The level of vet fee cover will also determine the cost of the policy: a lower level will be cheaper than policies with a higher amount of cover, we recommend choosing a level of cover that best suits your needs.  We have six options ranging from £2,000 to £12,000.

Bear in mind that to keep prices affordable, insurers often require owners with older pets to make a “co-payment”. This is a proportion of the vet fees after the excess is deducted.

With John Lewis Pet Insurance, owners of pets aged 9 years or over make a co-payment of 20% on the rest of the vet’s treatment costs, in addition to your chosen standard excess.

How can I reduce the cost of pet insurance?

There are a couple of ways you can reduce the cost of the insurance premiums. One is to select a lower level of vet fee cover. The other is to increase the amount of excess, however this would mean that in the event of making a claim you would be paying a higher amount. 

John Lewis Pet Insurance offers excess options to suit your budget, helping you lower your premiums without any loss of cover. 

You can select an excess of £60, £80, £100, £140 or £250 (or £500 for vet fee levels of £5,000 and above) for the treatment of an accident or illness. By choosing to pay more when you claim, we can bring your premium down. However, be aware this will increase the amount you pay when you need to make a claim.

Not yet covered by John Lewis Finance?

Get a quote for our comprehensive lifetime pet insurance by calling us on 0330 102 2490 or get a quote online.

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*For dental care up to your chosen Vet Fee limit. 
If your pet has a dental check every 12 months: once it has had its first check and your vet has done any necessary work, should your pet suffer from tooth decay or gum disease before the next 12-month check, or if tooth decay or gum disease are seen at the time of the next check, we pay.

If your pet doesn’t have a check every 12 months, or if the work required is not done, we will only pay;

1) For teeth or gums if they are damaged in an accident,

2) If an underlying illness causes tooth decay or gum disease, or

3) To remove teeth as treatment of an illness which is not gum disease or tooth decay.


John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales no. 233462. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

Copyright © John Lewis Partnership
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