If you are old enough to recognize Bob Barker, you would probably be remembering him saying the catchphrase “Help control the pet population; have your pets spayed or neutered.” at the end of every episode of the game show “The Price is Right.”
Neutering, is the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part. “Neutering” is often used incorrectly to refer only to male animals, but the term actually applies to both sexes.
The male-specific term is castration, while spaying is usually reserved for female animals. Castration involves removal of the testicles while Spaying involves removal of the ovaries.
Neutering is considered the most common and most humane method of sterilization of animals. In fact, in the U.S., different animal welfare groups encourage pet owners to subject their animals to be neutered or spayed to prevent the births of unwanted litters, therefore preventing overpopulation of stray animals. In some states, it is required that all adopted pets be sterilized first before heading to their new owners.
Average Cost of Cat Neutering
The average cost typically ranges from $50 to $100. It mainly depends on the location and type of facilities. Neutering is cheaper than spaying because the procedure is simpler.
Sample kitten neutering price per location are the following: $122 in Ohio, $169 in West Virginia, and $340 in Illinois.
In low-cost shelter or clinic, you can get one for around $30 to $50.
What About Spaying a Female Cat?
Spaying, which is a more complicated procedure, usually ranges from $100 to $200.
Just like neutering, the exact amount for the process depends on the location and the type of clinic where you want the procedure done.
Specialized clinics and shelters that focus on this procedure alone charge way lower, usually ranging from $50 to $70.
Private veterinarians generally are the most expensive, usually. For such vets, the price average in Kansas is $219, $250 in California, and $590 in Illinois.
Why You Should Neuter/Spay Your Cat?
You may have seen some stray cats feeding on trash cans, wandering the streets, parks or at the back of restaurants languishing over leftover foods. For many years, city and country animal welfare and control agencies are mandated to deal with stray dogs alone. This miscalculation resulted in some 70 million feral cats in the U.S.
Some bird and wildlife advocates blame these innocent looking felines to be responsible for the decline of bird population and other animals and therefore threatening public health. Some experts estimate that yearly, cats kill hundreds of millions of birds and more than a billion small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. Because of these figures, the said advocates wanted cats to be taken to animal shelters where they are most likely be killed.
The outcry caused the adverse reactions from feral cat advocates who said that cats cannot be blamed for killing wildlife. These resulted in mass sterilization in the 90’s led by thousands of volunteers throughout the country.
But aside from addressing the overpopulation problem, the decision to neuter or spay your pet can be as important to pet owners in general.
• Sterilization improves your cat’s health – spaying your female cat before going into “heat” reduces the risk of cervical cancer and eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer. It can also minimize the risk of mammary cancer since there would be limited hormones that would encourage the growth of cancerous tumors.
• Reduce its unruly behavior – unneutered pets are more assertive, and in cats, the urge to spray is incredibly high. It is one of the cat’s ways of claiming a spot as their territory, that is, by leaving their scent.
Also, unneutered male cats are driven by hormones to defend their territories and are constantly on the lookout for possible mates.
• Save on pet care – because they can no longer reproduce, you can save on additional cost for taking care of another cat.
What are the Problems Caused by Stray Cats?
Aside from being a threat to birds and other wildlife animals, the following issues can be caused by feral cats:
- They occupy public areas where people should exclusively be
- They will root through garbage cans, rip open garbage bags, steal food from your own family pets
- They produce foul musk scent during mating season
- They create noise when they fight with other stray cats and during mating
- They pose a threat to pet cats
Where to Find?
Looking for a good veterinarian can be very easy. Start with asking your fellow cat owners or breeders especially those who have been doing so for many years. They undoubtedly have created or maintained a good relationship with a trusted veterinarian.
Also, some websites can help you locate some of the most affordable pet services in your area and around the U.S. Find a low-cost spay/neuter program here.
To ensure the liver and kidneys are functioning properly, most veterinarians offer the option to do blood work before administering anesthesia. This procedure typically costs around $40 on top of the neutering.
If your cat is overweight or in heat, expect to pay $25 to $30 more.
In case the cat is pregnant, an additional amount of around $50 to $100 is expected to be paid, depending on the stage of pregnancy.
Laser surgery can add up to around $30 to $50, if available.
Just like any other surgeries, be it in human or animals, it is not without any risks. But they are very rare.
It includes surgical risks such as ligatures slipping, contamination of the surgical field, abnormal bleeding due to clotting disorder, bruising, among others. There may also be cases where cats react differently to anesthesia.
There were cases where spaying will be done twice as a part of an ovary may be missed for the first time if it was hidden in the abdomen.