Unless you’re wanting to breed your cat, it is essential that you spay or neuter them to avoid unwanted pregnancies and pet overpopulation as well as helping to limit unwanted behavior around the mating season and keep your cat safe. The cost of spay surgery is often the reason many people chose not to get their cat spayed, as it can be quite expensive. However, the benefits of spaying a cat far outweigh the negatives of the cost. Here we will be running through the pros and cons of spaying as well as answering the question of “how much does it cost to get a cat fixed?”
What is Spaying?
Spaying, otherwise known as an ovariohysterectomy, is a surgical procedure that entails the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus of a cat to prevent future reproduction. By making the cat sterile you can ensure that unwanted pregnancy will never be an issue – which is easily done in the free-roaming cat community. Spaying will remove any possibility of your cat having any kittens in the future, which in turn helps to prevent further increase of the cat population.
The Cost of Spaying or Neutering a Cat
We implore future cat owners to take the cost of neuter surgery into account before considering purchasing or adopting a cat, for the good of both the cat and the cat population. Spaying should always be done by licensed veterinarians in either veterinary surgeries or licensed neuter clinics to ensure your pet’s health.
How Much Does it Cost to Spay a Kitten?
The average cost to spay and neuter a cat sits between $300-500. This is because spaying is an invasive surgical process that requires specialist equipment and delicate aftercare to ensure your cat recovers safely. Caring for your cat post-spay surgery can be a great way to develop the human/animal bond with your new feline companion, as they will be extremely vulnerable and need to feel safe around you in order to be comfortable.
More Affordable Options
The most affordable option of them all would be to adopt a cat from one of your local shelters that has already been spayed. However, if you adopt a cat at an early age then you will likely have to spay/neuter them yourself. If you find that you are strapped for cash, there are ways that you can get financial assistance for the procedure:
There are some low-cost clinics that offer more affordable spaying services for owners in need of some financial help as part of a charity organization. You may need to provide proof that you are in need of their help before they will assist you, however, seeing as spaying is such an essential part of cat ownership, they will do whatever they can to help. Such an organization could lower the cost to as little as $50.
Government Assistance Schemes
Some governments offer assistance for cat owners that are struggling with the cost of neutering or spaying their cats. These schemes do often require detailed proof of your financial situation before you can get access to financial aid. But if successful, it could significantly reduce the cost.
Vet Sign-Up Offers
Whichever vet’s office you sign up to might offer a start-up pack that includes low-cost spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, and even cat food dietary consultations. Be sure to check for such offers when you sign up before looking to get your cat spayed.
Animal Shelter or Humane Society Releases
The majority of states are now required by law to spay and neuter cats and dogs before releasing them from shelters. If a cat needs to be neutered before leaving the shelter then the adoption fee may be impacted by between $10-40 depending on the shelter, however, this works out much cheaper than spaying your cat privately.
When To Spay A Kitten or Cat
If you are purchasing or adopting a kitten from 8 weeks old, you will need to start thinking about when you plan to have her spayed. The same goes for having a male cat neutered. It is not a simple case of arranging a spay or neuter appointment for a set date, as the cat’s age, health, behavior, diet, and environment are all factors in deciding the best course of action. Some cat spay appointments are set for before the kitten’s first heat, others can be after the first heat has passed.
Be sure to seek veterinary advice before arranging the neuter surgery, as females can be quite severely adversely affected if they have their reproductive tract removed at the wrong time.
What is the Benefit of Spaying?
There are quite a few benefits that come with having your feline pets spayed and neutered, including:
Pet overpopulation is an ever-growing concern in light of the rise of pet adoption and abandonment in recent years. Overpopulation leads to the euthanization of cats in shelters in order to make space for those being surrendered or abandoned. Furthermore, it can lead to more cats in the streets and the spread of disease within the cat community.
Reduces the Risk of Several Health Issues
Both male cats and female cats benefit health-wise from being spayed or neutered. Neuter surgeries can significantly reduce the likelihood of a host of health problems including:
- Breast Cancer (AKA Mammary Cancer)
- Diabetes (reduces hormonal interference)
- Epilepsy (reduces hormonal interference)
- Prostate Problems (in males)
- Testicular Cancer (in male cats)
- Urinary Tract Infections
Eliminates The Risk of Other Health Issues
Not only are there several health problems that can be significantly reduced by spaying your cat, but there are also multiple severe health complications often seen in un-spayed cats that can prove terminal if untreated (or even when treated) that can be completely eradicated:
- Ovarian Cancer
- Uterine Cancer
- Uterine Infections
- Pregnancy and birth-related complications
Reduces Undesirable Behaviors
Pet owners will unspayed cats often experience cycles of unsociable behavior as a result of their cat being in heat. This is particularly troublesome for pet owners that have taken in feral cats, as feral cats have much stronger and less refined instincts as a result of developing in the wild, meaning they can be almost completely unapproachable during their heat cycles. The behaviors include:
- Aggression (defensive behavior)
- Urine marking (scenting for a male cat)
- Yowlings (attracting male attention)
- Frequent rolling and rubbing against furniture (scenting for males)
- Clawing of furniture (anxiety and stress)
Q: How much does it cost to fix a cat?
A: The cost to spay and neuter cats can vary depending on the state that you live in. However, the standard cost of spaying a cat sits between $300-500. Though it is possible to get financial assistance if needed.
Q: Why is spaying a cat so expensive?
A: Cat spaying is a surgical procedure that required specialist equipment, anesthesia, and aftercare. In some cases, there can also be health complications following a spay surgery which can lead to additional veterinarian costs post-surgery.
Q: At what age should a female cat be spayed?
A: This should be determined by your veterinarian, as they may feel that your cat needs to be spayed before her first heat as a form of medical intervention, especially when alongside additional health problems such as diabetes and epilepsy. However, most female cat owners will have their vet spay their kitty after the first heat to give them more time to develop.
Q: Do indoor cats need to be spayed?
A: Yes. Indoor cats have often been known to escape the home during mating season in search of a male to copulate with. Even though you may not have any intention of breeding them, or even letting them out, cats can be quite determined when nature calls to them. Additionally, keeping a cat locked indoors during mating season can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, as they want nothing more than to be outside searching for a mate.
Q: Do female cats change after spaying?
A: Generally speaking, a female cat becomes calmer following her spay surgery. She will go through several weeks of lethargy, possibly reduced appetite, and potential depression as she adjust to the absence of a uterus and heals from her surgery. However, so long as you support her through her recovery and keep her comfortable and comforted, she should bounce back given some time and patience.
Q: Is spaying covered by pet insurance?
A: Not normally. Most pet insurance companies don’t tend to offer cover for routine services, as these are costs that pet parents should expect to pay when deciding on having one. Pet insurance usually only covers illness, disease, and surgery costs. When looking at cat insurance policies, be sure to read carefully through all of the options.