Cost of neutering a cat
Most species of cat reach sexual maturity at around four months of age, although this does differ from breed to breed. Once your cat has reached puberty, they are able to mate and produce offspring. Neutering/spaying is the process of removing the male/female reproductive organs to ensure that unwanted pregnancies do not happen. Neutering removes the testes in males and spaying removes the ovaries and the womb in females.
What is neutering/spaying?
Neutering or spaying cats results in control of the cat population. A litter usually consists of two to three kittens for a young mother and three to five kittens for an older mother; neutering/spaying may help to reduce the number of homeless cats on the streets.
Read about the benefits and disadvantages of neutering your cat here. Remember, the decision is completely up to you.
What is the cost of neutering cats?
The cost of cat neutering differs from vet to vet and where you are located. As a rough guide, neutering a male cat usually costs around £30-£40, and spaying a female £50-£60. You vet will be able to give you an accurate price.
The cost of neutering goes up if you would like your vet to microchip your cat during the operation. This means that your vet will insert a small microchip beneath your cat’s skin, usually in between their shoulder blades. This chip has your contact information; if your cat gets lost, the microchip can be scanned and your cat is more likely to be returned to you. The cost of inserting a microchip is usually £10, although this can vary.
The costs of postoperative care
Most cats recover remarkably well from neutering/spaying. The only real visible marker of the operation is a patch of shaved fur where the vet has made the incision; the stitches are usually below the skin and you don’t always need to go to the vet to have these removed, as ‘dissolving’ stitches are commonly used.
If your vet recommends post-operative medication, remember to factor it in as an added cost.
Specific food may also be beneficial for a neutered cat. Due to hormonal changes after neutering, your cat’s energy requirements may decrease. Helping your cat to maintain a healthy weight is important, as excessive weight can lead to other health conditions.
Food for neutered cats such as Purina ONE® Sterilcat with Bifensis® has a higher proportion of protein to fat and a combination of essential nutrients. It also helps support urinary health. Consider budgeting for a specific food as part of their postoperative care.
Reducing neutering costs
You may find yourself simply unable to cope with the costs of spaying or neutering your cat, especially if you haven’t planned for them. If this is the case, do not worry. There are several charities in the United Kingdom that will neuter your cat for free or offer financial help. Conditions and criteria differ according to the charity. Some of these charities are:
- Cats Protection
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
- PDSA PetAid
- Blue Cross
You can call their hotlines for more information. Certain vets in your area usually also provide their services at discounted rates, especially for rescued kittens.