How Much Does It Cost To Spay A Cat? Is Spaying Necessary?
If you’re among the many pet parents who wish to keep the cat number in their home at a minimum, then “spaying” should be on your to-do list.
But then, should you get your cat fixed? How much does it cost to spay a cat? Is it really needed?
This is where we come in. Your go-to website for all your cat-related questions, Feline Living just got everything you need on one page.
When it comes to cat spaying, we’re here not just to tell you how much it costs but also to give you all the nitty-gritty details about spay/neuter surgery: its benefits, the best time to get your cat spayed, and more.
Cat Spaying: What It Is All About
Perhaps you have decided to get a pet cat since they’re crazy cute, cuddly, a bit naughty, and playful yet gentle at the same time.
Well, they truly are perfect in their own little ways. But then again, they’re still living creatures with needs. One of which is their need to mate.
As pet owners, one of the things you ought to expect from a cat who reaches puberty (whether it’s a male cat or a female cat) is a stage wherein they become sexually receptive.
Just like teenagers undergoing the awkward stage, the behavior of your pubescent cat is inclined to change.
To reduce undesirable behaviors, castration, spaying, and neutering can be done. But what are spaying, castration, and neutering, and what’s the difference between these three?
Difference Between Castration, Spaying, and Neutering
Neutering is a general term used to describe the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of an animal. This term, also known as desexing or fixing, applies to both females and male cats.
Spaying, aka “ovariohysterectomy,” refers to the neutering or surgical procedure done in a female cat. This operation involves the elimination of the female cats’ ovaries, uterine horn, and uterus.
On the other hand, the neutering of a male cat is known as castration or orchidectomy. The process calls for the surgical removal of the reproductive organs, which are his testicles.
Licensed veterinarians should do both types of procedures. General anesthesia is also required.
Since cat spay surgeries are more complicated than castration, spay surgeries typically last for 60 minutes, while castration lasts for around 30 minutes. Recovery time also typically takes longer for females compared to male cats.
How Much Does It Cost To Spay A Cat?
Now that you know the difference between castration, spaying, and neutering, it’s normal to be concerned about its cost. In this article, we’ll focus on the cost of cat spay/neuter.
The price of neutering varies. Factors that determine the costs include your location and the service provider, and your cat’s condition.
Cost of Spay/Neuter Based On The Service Provider
The average cost to spay is dependent on where cat parents want their pet cat spayed. And when it comes to spaying, pet owners and those who provide care for feral cats have three options:
Private, Full-Service Veterinarian Hospital
Private hospitals usually charge more compared to the other options. In fact, according to The Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Cory Smith, the average cost to spay in a privately-owned veterinarian facility ranges from $300 to $500.
Now, the higher cost here comes with perks that other service providers are unable to offer. Since it is a full-service veterinarian clinic, many would often provide vet consultation and physical exam, constant monitoring during and after the surgery, and bloodwork.
All of which are especially needed by higher-risk pets or male and female cats with health problems or underlying health conditions.
If you plan to purchase or have already bought pet insurance plans for your four-legged animals, check if they provide spay or neuter coverage. This would surely help make the costs of animal neuter surgery more bearable for you.
In addition, if your pet came from an animal shelter, she might already be neutered. The cost for the surgery is typically included in the adoption fee.
Non-profit or Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic
If budget is a concern, you can opt to get your cat spayed in a non-profit or low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Often, the cat spay surgery services in these clinics cost $50 to $100. This will vary, however, depending on where you live.
Quality-wise, you can be assured that these low-cost clinics offer top-notch services since experienced and licensed veterinarians will take care of the surgery. However, given the cost they ask for spay surgery, you can expect these clinics to have limited staffing and devices.
Simply put, services such as routine monitoring and comprehensive physical exam are often unavailable. So, if an emergency arises during an operation, these cases are often referred to a full-service vet hospital.
TNR or Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor Program
Cats who have lived in the wild their whole lives experience little to no human-animal bond. As such, these animals usually avoid human contact.
While feeding them can be done without problems, the option to adopt them as a pet is a different story since adapting to the indoors will be a challenge for them.
Pet parents who are fond of feeding free-roaming, un-owned stray or feral cats can actually help the community reduce animal or pet overpopulation by participating in the TNR program. According to Havahart, the entire TNR process typically costs $50 to $60.
Want to know if this program is offered in your area? Try to contact local welfare groups for animals and animal shelters in your vicinity.
Your Pets’ Condition & The Cost Of Neutering
The best time for your furry friend to be spayed or neutered is before she feels that “first heat.” Now, this varies depending on your pets’ breed and living conditions.
But frequently, cats experience this when they are 5 or 6 months old. To be sure, though, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian.
Price-wise, a neuter surgery costs less for cats that have not experienced their first heat since the procedure is much easier. The spay procedure gets more complicated if the female cat is in heat or pregnant.
Can I Get My Cat Fixed For Free?
Nowadays, nothing comes for free. Thankfully, getting a spay or neuter surgery for free is possible.
Since money doesn’t grow on trees and the increasing population of cats is becoming a problem, many organizations, vets, and animal shelters are ready to provide a helping hand.
Whether you require financial assistance for your pets’ health-related needs or you’re in search of an institution that offers free or low-cost spay or neuter services, you can check out ASPCA and the Humane Society.
Common Misconceptions on Spaying Debunked
Are you still hesitating to get your cat fixed? It might be because of the following beliefs. Worry no more because we are here to bust all the spay myths.
Spaying Must Be Done Only After Your Pet Conceives
As mentioned, spaying costs more and gets more complicated when it’s done after the first heat.
If you’re not equipped to take on the responsibility of taking care of your queen’s new set of kittens, don’t hand over the duty to your local shelter because their hands are already full. In this case, your best course of action is to spay your feline friend.
Cats Get Fat After Getting Spayed
While spaying may cause weight gain, this can easily be solved by giving your cat smaller portions. Looking for a mate during a cat’s heat cycle requires a lot of energy.
Since that desire no longer exists, the amount of food they ate prior to the procedure should be lessened since they no longer burn as many calories as before.
Benefits of Spay/Neuter Surgery
As pet parents, we understand how much you value the health of your pet cat. You’re probably wondering if getting your cat fixed comes with any health benefits, and the answer here is a big YES.
Cat owners can sigh a breath of relief since neuter surgeries provide a couple of good stuff that would benefit you and your cat.
One apparent reason for getting a spay/neuter surgery is to control the cat population. Each year millions of cats are being killed. Neuter ensures that the number of unwanted pregnancies and uncared-for kittens are reduced.
Risk of Diseases is Significantly Lowered
Yes, with neutering, you’re actually helping improve the quality of your pet cat’s life. If you don’t believe it, The Cat Hospital veterinarian Dr. Robin Sturtz backs this statement up by saying that a neutered female or male cat lives longer based on statistics.
In male cats, neutering helps prevent testicular cancer. Neuter procedures on a female cat, on the one hand, help reduce breast tumors and uterine infections (both of which are considered cancerous).
Unpleasant Behaviour is Lessened
No matter how lovable your furball is, a devoted cat owner can still lose their patience when their cat starts to feel restless and aggressive. Urine spraying and loud mating calls might even cause some to lose their temper.
The good thing is that spay/neuter helps reduce unwanted behavior in both female and male cats. Simply put, apart from lengthening your cat’s life, you can also have more stress-free moments with your cat after being neutered.
As you can see, the health benefits of neuter outweigh the cons. If you’re happy with one cat, then your furry pal is better off getting spayed. This simple action doesn’t only help you and your cat, but it also helps the community.
The cost isn’t an issue since low-cost options are now available. But if you’re still not sure if your cat should get fixed, then seek the expert advice of a vet. As always, your vet should be your point person for any cat health-related concerns.
What is the best age to spay a cat?
The optimal age to spay/neuter a cat is before it reaches 5 months of age. For owned cats, the optimal age would be 4 to 5 months; for cats in shelters, the optimal age could be as early as 8 weeks.
Do female cats change after spaying?
Overall, your cat's personality should not change, Brömme says. Spaying eliminates heat cycles, and cats can be extremely affectionate and vocal during a heat cycle. As a result, your cat might seem a bit calmer after getting spayed because she no longer will have these cycles.
How long does it take a cat to recover from being spayed?
Most spay/neuter skin incisions are fully healed within about 10–14 days, which coincides with the time that stitches or staples, if any, will need to be removed.
What happens if you don't spay your cat?
They are also more likely to contract and spread diseases, such as feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Intact males are at greater risk for testicular cancer and prostate disease. Intact females have a higher risk of mammary and uterine cancer and serious uterine infections.