How much it costs to get a cat spayed depends on your region. No matter where you live, you generally have at least two choices for a cat spay. Your vet can perform the surgery, though that's generally the most expensive option. Low-cost spay/neuter services are provided by many local humane societies and animal welfare agencies. Kittens as young as 8 weeks can undergo a spay. Since these pediatric surgeries are actually easier than those on older cats, there's no price differential.
If your veterinarian performs the spay, expect to pay in the range of $200. You could pay more if your cat is older, overweight or has a condition making surgery riskier. Your vet will discuss Kitty's health issues with you beforehand and quote a price. You'll probably have to bring your cat in for a blood test before the spay -- a procedure not required by most spay/neuter clinics. Your vet might recommend your Kitty stay overnight. With a low-cost clinic, you'll have to pick Kitty up the same day. You're also establishing or continuing a relationship with your vet, your pet's primary care provider.
Low-Cost Spay Clinics
You generally can find a low-cost spay clinic, run by a national or local nonprofit organization, to get Kitty "fixed." All surgeries are performed by licensed veterinarians. You also can find private veterinarians who participate in programs run by groups such as Spay USA. These vets offer spaying at a discount with a certificate provided by the organization. The discount varies according to the participating veterinarian. While spay prices vary, expect a fee between $50 and $75 for a feline at a low-cost clinic. That usually includes more than just the surgery. Your cat might receive distemper or other vaccinations at the same time, at no additional cost.
Low-Income Spay Programs
If you meet income guidelines, you might qualify for free or considerably reduced spay costs through various charities. For example, Minnesota's Spay Neuter Assistance Program provides inexpensive feline spay surgeries for residents receiving certain government benefits, such as food stamps, unemployment, Social Security disability, Medicaid or "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families." You must provide proof of eligibility to qualify for assistance. As of 2015, low-income participants pay $50 for a cat spay. Contact local animal shelters or rescue groups for information regarding low-income spay/neuter programs in your state.
In Heat or Pregnant
No matter what type of spay provider you choose, it's likely you'll have to pay more for the surgery if your cat is either in heat or pregnant at the time of the operation. That's because the spay is more complicated and time-consuming. Cat's uterine tissues swell when she's in heat, and related blood vessels are engorged. There's also more work involved in spaying a pregnant cat, including fetal removal. Let your spay provider know if the cat is in heat or if you think she may be pregnant.
- Humane Society of the United States: You Can Afford to Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered
- SpayUSA: Certificate Program
- Veterinary Partner: Feline Spay FAQ
- Minnesota Spay Neuter Assistance Program: Client Qualifications
- People for Animals: Services and Fees
- Vetstreet: Why Do Some Vets Charge More for Spays and Neuters Than Others?
- ASPCA: Pediatric Spay/Neuter