Cat Insurance – Pet Insurance claims for cats

Cat health costs how much Bow Wow Meow pet insurance


How much could your cat’s health realistically cost you?

The general consensus is that owning a cat is a lot cheaper than owning a dog. While this may be true, there are many potential hidden costs that come with cat ownership too. Budgeting for toys, cat food and flea medication is all very well, but what is harder to prepare for is the often unforeseen costs that will arise, mostly concerning your cat’s health.

While it’s expected that each cat will need some degree of veterinary care at some point throughout their lives, it is difficult to account for the more serious illnesses that can, and commonly do develop in cats as they mature. Although it’s true that dogs will (on average) cost more to care for over their lifetime, cats with serious health conditions will cost a substantial amount of money to care for too.

Cats do tend to have fewer veterinary visits overall, but when they do have an accident or contract illness, treatments can still run into thousands of dollars.


Outdoor cats are more at risk when it comes to health concerns simply because they are exposed to more. They encounter other animals, different insects and different foods or substances. They also tend to climb in places that are not as safe as being indoor and they can potentially end up near roads.

Having said that, this does not mitigate all the risk for indoor cats. Accidents can happen indoors and being indoors does not provide protection from common cat health issues.

Since cats are more sedentary by nature and can be good at hiding symptoms (compared to their canine counterparts) it is often difficult to pick up if that something may be wrong. Often, if left too long without going to a vet, their condition can deteriorate, and you may be left with a very ill cat that requires expensive vet care.

Common cat health conditions and costs

Some of the most common healthcare costs for Aussie cat owners in 2022 were for vomiting, gastrointestinal conditions  and dental disease. Here is the breakdown of some average and highest claim costs for a variety of health conditions experienced by cats during 2022, according to Petsure’s claim figures.


Average cost  Highest cost
Vomiting  $636 $9,464
Gastritis  $627 $13,862
Dental disease  $815 $4,928
Diarrhoea $375 $8,836
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease $1,330 $19,414
Ear infections $347 $7,771
Osteoarthritis $357 $5,387
Skin allergies $451 $4,990
Bite injury $695 $11,350
Constipation/ obstipation $2,408 $25,687
Diabetes mellitus $1,208 $41,947
Heart disorder $1,060 $6,764
Urinary bladder stone $1,796 $14,634
Tick paralysis $1,859 $20,348


As you can see from the above table, some of the claims for cat health conditions can be very significant, with the highest claim cost being a hefty $41,947 for diabetes mellitus. Other conditions such as FLUTD, constipation / obstipation and tick paralysis were also very costly for cat owners in 2022.


What does this mean for our pets and our pockets?

Pets experience accidents or illness at any age, with PetSure research showing the lifetime cost of owning a pet is around $30,000.

The researchers also revealed the most common health conditions for dogs by age category:

  • For cats aged under 12 monthsdiarrhoea
  • For cats aged between 1 and 8 yearsvomiting
  • For cats aged over 8 years osteoarthritis


Top cat health conditions cat health care Bow Wow Meow pet insurance

Why is cat insurance important?

Since there is no Medicare for cats, it is often difficult to fund large veterinary fees if an unforeseen event occurs, particularly when it is a serious accident or illness that can end up costing thousands. Pet insurance is an affordable way for owners to plan ahead for unexpected veterinary expenses. This is usually why owners choose to insure their cats as the other alternative is not a pleasant one (the reasons why pet owners choose euthanasia is if there is really no way to treat your cat or if the cost is not affordable for the pet owner).


Unsure how serious it is?

Bow Wow Meow policy holders can get a complimentary VetChat consult membership which gives you access to 24/7 online vet consults. If you are unsure about any symptoms your pet is experiencing, or have any concerns about your pet’s health, you can contact them anytime via video or live message.

Find out more about our pet insurance options


When is the best time to insure a cat? 

If you are a new kitten owner that is contemplating pet insurance, know that the best time to obtain pet insurance is when they are young and have no pre-existing conditions. If there are already existing health conditions (prior to getting a policy or within the 30 day waiting period), it will generally be excluded from cover.  Kittens can be covered from 8 weeks of age and as they usually do not have any pre-existing conditions at this time, it is definitely a favourable time to get pet insurance.

Rememer that premiums typically rise each year as your pet gets older and is more likely to experience health issues.

Cat health costs how much Bow Wow Meow pet insurance


Pet insurance means being prepared

Owning a pet is a long-term financial commitment. The best thing you can do as a loving pet parent is to know what costs could be around the corner in order to be prepared if your cat does become sick—you’ll most likely need a number of vet visits, maybe even a surgery and ongoing medications. Sadly, these costs can often be too much for people to afford.

If in doubt, the best way to prepare for any illnesses your cat may develop is to organise cat health insurance.

Because it is difficult to predict the costs of veterinary care, it can help to have measures in place to help prepare for the unexpected. Pet insurance can help by covering a portion of the eligible vet bill if the unexpected does happen. Many an owner can attest to just how life-saving cat insurance can be.


Pet Insurance reviews from cat owners

I would like to say a big thank you to Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance who have been nothing but helpful after my cat Summer fractured her thoracic limb. Poor Summer was hit by a car - something that I never thought would happen. She managed to make her way home thankfully, as it could have been much worse. The saying goes "Cats have 9 lives" and they always land on their feet, so I find most cat owners don’t think about these things happening to their cats. Summer was limping and we took her straight to the vet. After multiple x-rays we found out her thoracic limb was fractured and potentially surgery would be involved depending on how bad the fracture was she may have had to have her leg amputated. Hearing this broke me. I’m sure any pet owner can understand the stress that me and my family went through, as pets are just like members of the family. Luckily Summer’s fracture didn’t require surgery. She was required to be enclosed for 6 - 8 weeks and was given pain killers. Thankfully Summer has made a full recovery thanks to the fantastic vets that took care of her. Thank you, Bow Wow Meow, for making the claims process for summer an absolute breeze. The claim was sent through by our vet and within 5 days our claim was paid. The process is so easy, and they have an online portal where you can see how your claim is going. Not many people think about these things with cats and then when it happens not only are you stressed about your pet but also about veterinary bills which can be quite costly. Luckily Bow Wow Meow paid our claim almost instantly, meaning we were not out of pocket for long. The process was quick and easy. I can’t recommend them enough. The premium is affordable, and both my cat and dog are insured with Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance. Realistically what I pay for Pet Insurance I spend on coffee per week. If I had not had Pet Insurance, I would have been at the least $2,000 out of pocket. Thank you again Bow Wow Meow, now Summer is back to her old self and hanging out with her sister Cleo.
Gorgeous cat Summer was in a car accident which fractured her thoracic vertebrae. After initially being told her leg may need to be amputated, she recovered fully after being enclosed for 6-8 weeks. Her mum is so grateful that she had insurance for Summer and was able to claim almost $2,000 back quickly and easily.
Our wonderful cat Lily was diagnosed with kidney stones at the age of seven. She went from being a perfectly healthy cat to a very sick cat overnight. She had to have major surgery to insert a SUB device which required her to be in ICU for a week. The stress of having a critically ill cat was made easier knowing that she had insurance. Our vet submitted the claims to Bow Wow Meow on our behalf and our claim was paid out very quickly.
Poor Lily was in ICU for a week after she suddenly became very sick with kidney stones and had to undergo major surgery.
*Please note, any pet insurance advice provided is general only. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover.

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