Having your cat spayed or neutered is beneficial in many ways. It cuts down on unwanted pregnancies that add to the overpopulation of cats. It can reduce the risk of certain health issues, like testicular and mammary gland cancer. It can stop a male cat’s desire to roam, potentially getting lost or injured. It can also reduce marking, or spraying urine, from male cats. Finally, it can end aggressive or territorial behaviors and help cats feel calmer. They will live healthier, happier, and sometimes longer lives.
PetSmart realizes this through in-store Banfield Hospitals. With more than 1,650 stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, PetSmart does more than just sell pet supplies. In 1994, PetSmart founders Jim and Janice Dougherty formed PetSmart Charities. These programs include PetSmart’s in-store adoption centers, disaster relief, grants for animal welfare agencies, and low-cost spay and neuter services. The average cost of a spay surgery for adult cats is $325. The average neuter cost is $240.
Let’s look at how cats can be spayed or neutered through PetSmart and what the estimated cost will be.
Banfield Pet Hospitals
Banfield Pet Hospitals are located in select PetSmart stores. When you bring your cat to PetSmart for veterinary care, any treatment, surgeries, and examinations take place inside these hospitals. They are full-service veterinary clinics with the option to purchase wellness plans for your pet.
Optimum Wellness Plans
Banfield in PetSmart offers Optimum Wellness Plans for your kitten or cat. A spay or neuter surgery can be factored into this plan to have your feline buddy altered when they reach the appropriate age.
Optimum Wellness Plans work by dividing the cost of the entire year into smaller, easier-to-manage monthly payments. This way, you can bring your cat in for their routine preventative care without running into any surprise costs.
Banfield Kitten Plan
For kittens younger than 6 months old, Early Care plans are available. They include the following:
The Early Care Plus includes everything above with the addition of one spay or neuter surgery and a 10% discount on Banfield products.
The cost of these plans varies from state to state. On average, they start at $26 per month.
If you opt to have your kitten spayed or neutered only, the price will also vary by state and depend on your kitten’s age. For kittens under 6 months old, the average spay cost at Banfield is $280. The average neuter cost is $190.
Banfield Cat Plan
Cats over 6 months old can also receive Optimum Wellness Plans. These include everything in the Early Care Plan, including a spay or neuter surgery if necessary. Additionally, the plans include a dental cleaning, urine testing, further diagnostic testing, and preventative X-rays.
The average cost of a spay surgery at Banfield for adult cats is $325. The average neuter cost is $240.
Compared to private practice veterinarians, where the cost of the spay or neuter by itself can cost over $500, these Optimum Wellness Plans have been a financially friendly way to help people provide their animals with the veterinary care that they need.
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Why Does It Cost More to Spay Than Neuter?
Spaying is a major surgical procedure that involves removing the ovaries and uterus of a female cat. Before the surgery takes place, your vet will want to draw the cat’s blood for testing to make sure she is healthy enough for the surgery. Diagnostic testing, anesthesia, pain medicine, and time in the operating room using resources all cost money. These things are factored into the price of the surgery.
There is more involved in the operation for spaying than neutering. Neutering is the removal of the testicles of a male cat. Removing them requires less work than removing a cat’s uterus. The operation does not take the same amount of time or resources. The recovery time can also vary greatly. No matter which operation your cat needs, the cost of both will always be higher at a private veterinarian’s office.
Low-cost spay and neuter surgeries are subsidized by tax dollars and donations. While the cost is much lower at these places than at a vet’s office, there is typically no bloodwork done beforehand. The cost is significantly lower because the clinics performing the operations are high-volume facilities. They spay and neuter all day, every day, intending to reduce the number of homeless and unwanted pets. Many of these facilities offer no other veterinary services besides spaying or neutering. Have your cat examined by your regular veterinarian to make sure they are healthy before bringing them to a clinic for their surgery.
For 26 years, PetSmart Charities has been partnering with nearly 4,000 nonprofits and governmental entities across the United States and Canada to transform the lives of people and pets. It’s helped over 9 million pets get adopted and has provided low-cost spay and neuter services to prevent millions more from adding to the overpopulation crisis.
Find a PetSmart Charities low-cost spay and neuter clinic in your area. Prices at these clinics will vary depending on your location and the type of surgery that your cat needs. Average prices at low-cost facilities start at $20 and can go up to $125 in some areas.
Some clinics offer blood tests for your cat to check for FIV and feline leukemia. They may also offer vaccinations and microchipping. These services can be added for an additional cost.
How Old Should My Cat Be Before Spaying or Neutering?
Some people don’t know when their cats should be surgically sterilized. This confusion has led to more unintended cat pregnancies. Female cats can go into heat as young as 4 months old, but the average age is 6 months of age. This means that as young as 6 months old, your female cat can get pregnant.
Male cats reach sexual maturity between 4 and 8 months of age. As young as 4 months old, your male cat could start to reproduce.
Early spaying and neutering are promoted by shelters and rescue groups to guarantee that adopted pets won’t reproduce. Most pet adoptions are only done once this procedure has been completed. This surgery can safely be performed on pets as young as 6–8 weeks old. As soon as they reach the proper weight, which is normally 2 pounds, they can be altered. Animals in rescue are spayed and neutered as soon as possible so they can go on to find forever homes.
A standard spay or neuter surgery for your pet should be performed when they are 5–6 months old. Waiting until after the cat’s first heat cycle, when they are 8–12 months old, is a belief that has been a cause of many unintended pregnancies and unwanted kittens. The surgery can be performed at this age and older, but the risks for health problems and reproducing increase as the cat gets older.
Having your cat spayed or neutered is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for them as a pet owner. It will keep your cat healthier, happier, and safer. In addition to reducing pet overpopulation numbers, spayed and neutered cats are at a reduced risk for health complications and behavioral issues.
PetSmart offers reduced and low-cost spaying and neutering at its Banfield clinics or through any of the clinics that it partners with throughout the United States and Canada. The goal of these facilities is to reduce the number of homeless pets. The price of the surgery at these clinics can be hundreds of dollars less than a private veterinarian would charge. If your cat is ready to be spayed or neutered, contact your local PetSmart for more information or search the website for low-cost clinics in your area.
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