Spaying or neutering your cat is a big part of properly caring for them. But before you take them to the vet, you need to have a general idea of how much you can expect to pay for the procedure.
This guide will walk you through everything that you need to know when you’re preparing to spay or neuter your cat. Highlighted are the costs for different regions, as well as a few additional expenses to expect.
Note: All the prices in this guide are in Australian dollars, with the US dollar equivalent in parentheses.
The Importance of Spaying and Neutering a Cat
While you might think of spaying or neutering as an elective procedure for your convenience, the truth is that there are many health benefits for your cat.
According to a study by Banfield Pet Hospitals, spayed cats live 39% longer than unspayed cats, and neutered males live 62% longer than unneutered males. A large part of this comes from the fact that fixed cats don’t want to roam as often, and this helps improve their lifespan.
Also, according to the Humane Society, it significantly reduces their chances of developing certain cancers. Spayed female cats are less likely to develop pyometra, uterine cancer, or mammary gland cancers. Neutering a male cat eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and lowers the chances of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Spaying and neutering also go a long way in controlling the feral cat population, which is a major concern in Australia, the United States, and many other areas around the world.
How Much Does Spaying and Neutering a Cat in Australia Cost?
The cost to spay or neuter your cat varies in Australia depending on where you live. Much of the price disparity comes down to the fact that some Australian states offer rebates when you spay or neuter your cat.
Another factor to consider is that in every Australian state, it’s significantly less expensive to neuter a cat than to spay a cat.
Since the prices change so frequently, we tracked down three Australian vets in three different states and got quotes on how much they charge to spay or neuter a cat.
|Spaying||$144 ($99.46)||$329 ($227.24)||$302.60 ($209.01)|
|Neutering||$96 ($66.31)||$183 ($126.40)||$133.25 ($92.04)|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
The chart listed the costs of spaying or neutering a cat in Australia. However, most vets recommend blood testing and post-operative medication to help keep your cat comfortable after the procedure.
Those things cost money, and you need to factor them into your budget. For instance, a New South Wales (NSW) clinic charges an additional $186 ($128.47) for these blood tests and medications. While they’re not always completely necessary, it’s in the best interest of the cat to get them.
We also recommend getting a pet cone (e-collar) in order to keep your cat from licking their incision areas after the procedure. You should pick up this cone beforehand because the vet is likely to overcharge significantly for this relatively low-cost piece.
When Should I Spay or Neuter a Cat?
One of the biggest questions new cat owners have when looking into spaying or neutering their cat is when they should do it. Most vets recommend either spaying or neutering your cat when they’re between 8 weeks and 5 months old. In fact, in Western Australia, it’s a legal requirement to spay or neuter your cat before they’re 6 months old.
Whenever you spay or neuter your cat, you want to do it as early as possible, as this gives them the maximum health benefits and makes the recovery process easier. If you have a choice, aim for somewhere between 3 and 4 months old, but you can do it younger if that’s when you can get the appointment.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying or Neutering?
Most pet insurance companies consider spaying or neutering as a routine expense and won’t cover it.
However, some pet insurance plans do specifically choose to cover these expenses, while others have optional wellness plans that might cover the procedure. But it’s best to view these policies as the exception, not the rule.
If you plan on spaying or neutering your cat, the costs typically fall on you, and pet insurance won’t be of much help in this department.
What to Do for Your Cat After Spaying or Neutering
After you take your cat to the vet to spay or neuter them, there’s specific care for when they come home. The vet should walk you through everything that you need to know and check for after the surgery, but here are three of the most important things.
Now that you know how much it costs to spay or neuter a cat in Australia, it’s time for you to schedule the procedure and start saving! When you call your cat’s vet, ask for a price before bringing your pet in, and if it costs far more than our quotes here, you might be overpaying.
But don’t put off the procedure for too long, or you might end up putting your cat through a more challenging recovery.
Featured Image Credit: Juice Flair, Shutterstock