Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

The essentials

  • Spaying a cat typically costs more — On average cost to spay a female cat ranges from $50 to $500.
  • Neutering tends to cost less — On average cost to neuter a male cat ranges from $25 to $150.
  • It’s best to spay or neuter early on — Veterinarians typically recommend spaying or neutering kittens at around five to six months old.

Spaying and neutering cats is as commonplace as routine vaccinations, but if you’re new to having a feline friend, you might be wondering how much your wallet will be affected.

Getting your furry friend “fixed” helps prevent unwanted cat pregnancies (and potential health complications) while keeping feral cat populations under control. It also increases your furry friend’s quality of life as a result. Here’s what you need to know about the costs of cat spaying and neutering, and other key considerations as you start your journey of cat ownership.

What is spaying and neutering?

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Spaying and neutering, aka “fixing” a cat, refers to the surgical procedures of sterilizing your pet. Both neutering and spaying are procedures where the reproductive organs of a cat are removed so you don’t end up with an unexpected litter of kittens. 

Spaying refers to the female surgical procedure where the uterus and ovaries are removed, while neuter surgery is the process of removing the testicles of a male cat. 

Spaying and neutering are both routine procedures in the pet world. However, spaying a cat tends to take a little longer — and cost more — since it’s a more invasive surgery than neutering.

How much does it cost to spay a cat, on average?

On average, it may cost pet parents more to spay a cat rather than neuter a cat. This is because spaying is typically a more complicated operation. The average cost to spay a cat is around $300. However, the cost can range anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on a variety of factors and your geographical location. 

Here’s a quick run-down of average spaying costs for your cat. 

  • Private veterinary practice. Getting a cat spayed at a private veterinary practice can range anywhere from $300 to $500.
  • Rescue organizations and animal shelters. Your local animal shelters or rescue organizations will charge less at around $50 to $150.
  • Mobile clinics. Pop-up or mobile clinics are one of the most affordable ways to get your cat spayed at around $50 to $80.

How much does it cost to neuter a cat?

Neutering a cat is a lower cost than spaying. The average cost of a neuter surgery for a male cat ranges anywhere from $25 to $150. Similar to spaying a cat, the cost of neutering can depend on the type of facility — e.g. mobile clinic vs. private veterinary practice. 

Often, local humane societies or mobile clinics offer free or low-cost neuter services. These are “no frills” procedures and don’t come with all of the recommended extras — like IV fluids or pre-anesthetic bloodwork that a private veterinary clinic will offer.

Why do costs vary from place to place?

Several different factors can play into your service’s end price. These include: 

  • Geographical location. Where you live is going to be one of the biggest factors in the price of spay or neuter services. Large, metropolitan areas will typically have higher prices than small towns.
  • The type of facility. Will you be taking your furry friend to a high-quality private veterinary practice, an animal shelter, or a mobile neuter clinic? The type of facility will determine how much you’ll have to fork out.
  • Complications during the surgery. Getting a cat fixed is a routine procedure, but sometimes the unexpected occurs during surgery like a reaction to anesthesia or internal bleeding. And just like humans, cat patients may have side effects during or after the procedure.  
  • Additional services. If you opt for extras like pre-anesthetic blood screening, a catheter, hydrating IV fluids, or special monitoring during the surgery, you’ll likely be spending some extra cash. 

Additionally, if a veterinarian discovers that a female cat is pregnant or in heat during the procedure of being spayed (as sometimes pet owners may not be aware their cat is pregnant), additional costs will be incurred.

👉 Spaying isn’t typically covered by pet insurance for cats because it’s considered an elective procedure. However, many pet insurance providers offer supplemental pet wellness plans to offset the cost of preventive care, which may include spaying or neutering surgeries.

Free and low-cost cat neutering

Your local community likely has several charitable organizations that offer subsidized or free spaying and neutering services to individuals who qualify. 

Additionally, if you’re adopting a cat from a local animal shelter, the spay or neuter procedure is often included in the adoption fee. Some private rescue groups might also offer spay and neuter programs for free before they are sent to their fur-ever homes.

👉 If you’re looking for low-cost or free spaying and neutering services, the ASPCA offers several resources for pet owners. PetSmart also has a free and low-cost search tool.

Costs associated with spaying and neutering

There are all kinds of things that can drive the price up or down when getting a cat fixed. To make sure you’re cat has the most comfortable procedure, you may want to consider asking your veterinarian about these extras which may be an additional charge.

Pre-op exam

No matter where you take a cat to get spayed or neutered, it’s likely that the vet will perform a routine check-up to make sure your feline friend can go under anesthesia safely.


If your cat has a pre-existing condition, your veterinarian will likely run some additional tests before the surgery to ensure xs everything runs smoothly and safely.


While anesthesia is not an option, the amount a cat is given can cause the price to fluctuate a bit. An anesthesia dose is determined by the weight of your kitty, so if your cat is more like Garfield, they’re going to require more anesthesia than a kitten.


A catheter is typically inserted so that if your cat urinates during surgery, there isn’t a mess all over the operating table.


From beginning to end, spaying a cat takes 15-20 minutes, while neutering typically takes anywhere between 5-20 minutes. Removing the uterus and ovaries or testicles is done using a scalpel or laser. Male cats don’t typically need stitches when neutered, but your female cats will likely need to come back for a visit 10-14 days post-op to have sutures removed manually unless the veterinary surgeon used dissolving stitches.

Claw trim

While a claw trim may sound completely off-topic, any cat owner who’s tried to trim their cat’s claws understands this pain and likely has the scars to prove it. So it’s commonplace for most veterinarians to offer a claw trimming service while a cat is under anesthesia. Kill two birds with one stone.

Post-op recovery

It’s normal for cats to be disoriented and even throw up after surgery, so most places will have a veterinary nurse keep your kitten company post-op to provide them with some extra support and love after they come out of anesthesia. After observing your cat to make sure everything is normal(ish), a nurse will contact you to take them home.

Pain medication, antibiotics, and sedatives

To make sure your cat has a comfortable, calm, and infection-free post-op, your vet will send you home with a goodie back of medications. These usually include pain medications of some sort, antibiotics, and sedatives if necessary.


Aka “the cone of shame,” e-collars are designed to keep your cat from licking and biting at their sutures. Without an e-collar, your cat could accidentally open up their stitches, which means a trip back to the vet.

What are the benefits of getting a cat spayed?

Most cat owners elect to get their females spayed to prevent pregnancies and an unintended litter of kittens. Cats reproduce quickly — the average unspayed cat can have up to three litters of kittens in one year, with an average of four kittens per litter. 

However, there are some other big benefits of spaying a cat that goes above and beyond the responsibility of reproductive care. 

  • Long-term health benefits. Spaying a female cat protects from urinary infections and mammary cancer, both of which can be life-threatening.
  • Prevents naughty behaviors. Spaying a cat reduces roaming, excessive howling, and spraying furniture when a female cat is in heat.

🚨Even if your cat lives exclusively indoors, veterinarians recommend having them spayed between five and fifteen months .

What are the benefits of getting a cat neutered?

Similar to spaying female cats, the most common benefit of neutering male cats is to prevent an unwanted litter of kittens and help control feral cat populations. 

However, neutering helps prevent health problems — such as lowering a cat’s risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues. Neutering a cat also helps with behavioral problems, making them less likely to roam, fight, and mark their territory on indoor furniture. 

Kittens are, without a doubt, really cute. Who doesn’t love them? However, unless you’re ready to be a full-time kitten wrangler, electing you get your cat spayed or neutered is the 101 of being a responsible cat owner to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to get a male cat neutered?

The average cost to neuter a male cat ranges anywhere from $25 to $150.

Is it cheaper to spay or neuter a cat?

It’s chapter to neuter a cat as it’s a less invasive surgery. Most neutering costs range from $25 to $150, whereas spaying costs range from $300 to $500. However, there are many low-cost options for both.

What is the best age to neuter a cat?

Veterinarians will typically suggest the best time for neutering kittens at around five to six months of age. However, Early neutering can be done at approximately six to eight weeks of age. Full-grown adult cats who’ve reached sexual maturity can also be spayed or neutered. 

When should you spay a cat?

Even if your cat lives exclusively indoors, veterinarians recommend having them spayed between five and fifteen months. Adult female cats can still be spayed. 

Do male cats change after being neutered?

Most behavior changes in male cats after being neutered are positive, specifically a reduction in unwanted, sexually driven behaviors such as marking territory and roaming. Some male cats tend to gain weight as they age.