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Published: Jan 31, 2024 3 min read

There are many reasons why you should spay/neuter your cat. Besides controlling the cat population, it can prevent uterine infections as well as ovary and testicular cancer. When adopting a cat, it’s important to include the cost of spaying or neuter procedures into your budget.

But what is the average cost and the best place to neuter your cat? Read on to learn the different options available to pet parents regarding neutering their cat, the differences in cost and the long-term benefits of sterilization.

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What is spaying or neutering?

Spaying or neutering refers to the surgical procedure and veterinary practice of removing an animal’s reproductive organs. Spaying refers to removing the ovaries and uterus of a female cat, while neutering refers to removing the testicles of a male cat. It is commonly called sterilization or castration.

An anesthetic is administered during the neuter surgery, which is usually administered by licensed veterinarians through spay/neuter clinics, animal hospitals or sometimes non-profit animal shelters.

The Humane Society asserts that sterilization benefits pet health and communities by helping curb pet overpopulation and helping your cat lead a healthier life.

Cost of spaying or neutering your cat

As with most things, the cost of spay/neuter services varies on a number of factors. Having your cat neutered at a private veterinarian’s office will probably cost more than doing it with a mobile clinic. This is because a veterinarian will probably require blood work as well as have the option to have your pet stay overnight to recover.

Local animal shelters also usually run low-cost cat neutering services, including TNR (trap-neuter-return) services for feral cats. These shelters can also offer services for pet owners and even include financial assistance for those who qualify.

Unfortunately, most pet insurance companies do not offer coverage for spaying or neutering. Depending on where you live and what provider you decide to use, neutering your cat can cost anywhere from less than $100 to upwards of $400. There are some free options available, including spaying and neutering services provided by the ASPCA if you qualify.

In general, the most affordable spaying and neutering services are usually provided by mobile clinics which will not have your cat stay overnight and will require less prep before the actual process.

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How much does it cost to neuter a cat FAQs

Does my cat need to have a litter before getting spayed?

It is a common misconception that a cat needs to have a litter of kittens before getting spayed. In fact, getting spayed before her first heat cycle can increase your cat’s health and wellness by lowering her chance of getting urine infections and ovary cancer.

Does pet insurance cover cat spaying?

Although multiple pet health organizations suggest sterilization as a way of maintaining pet health, pet insurance companies in general do not cover spaying or neutering of cats as it is considered an elective procedure.

Can I get financial assistance for neutering my cat?

Some cat neutering or spaying services offer low-cost programs, financial assistance or even allow for you to spay or neuter your cat without having to pay anything at all. The ASPCA hosts a list of low-cost spay/neuter programs categorized by region, including specific programs in New York, California as well as other options throughout the country.