How much does it cost to spay or neuter a cat?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to spay or neuter a cat?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to spay or neuter a cat?

$300 – $500cost to spay a cat (vet's office)
$200 – $400cost to neuter a cat (vet's office)
$35 – $150cost to spay or neuter a cat (non-profit / clinic)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$300 – $500 cost to spay a cat (vet's office)

$200 – $400 cost to neuter a cat (vet's office)

$35 – $150 cost to spay or neuter a cat (non-profit / clinic)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Tara Farmer
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Average cost to spay or neuter a cat

The cost to neuter a cat is $200 to $400, while the average cost to spay a cat is $300 to $500. The cost to spay or neuter a cat depends on its age, if it's in heat or pregnant, and whether you visit a vet's office or non-profit animal clinic.

Cost to spay or neuter a cat - chart
Cost to spay or neuter a cat - chart
Cost to spay or neuter a cat
Location Average cost to spay (female) Average cost to neuter (male)
Private veterinarian $300 – $500 $200 – $400
Non-profit / low-cost clinic $50 – $150 $35 – $100
Mobile pop-up clinic $60 – $90 $40 – $80
Needs-based program $10 – $60 $10 – $50

Private veterinary practice vs. low-cost alternatives

Many non-profit organizations and mobile clinics offer low-cost—and sometimes free—spay and neuter services. Some programs are needs based, but many offer these services to everyone. These clinics typically offer basic spay/neuter procedures and are best for young, healthy cats that don't require any specialized care.

A private vet's office costs more but is the best choice for older or high-risk cats. These facilities have services that low-cost alternatives typically do not have the funding to provide, including:

  • Full exam, vet consultation, and pre-op bloodwork to test for underlying medical issues that increase the risk of surgical and post-op complications

  • Catheter and IV fluids to stabilize blood pressure

  • Monitoring temperature, CO2 levels, ECG, and blood pressure during the surgery

  • Enough staff to closely monitor each cat before, during, and after the procedure

A veterinarian putting a protective cone on a cat after a procedure
A veterinarian putting a protective cone on a cat after a procedure
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Cost factors of spaying and neutering

The main factors affecting the cost of sterilizing your cat are:

  • Location –Spaying and neutering cost significantly more when performed at private veterinary offices and full-service animal hospitals, but these locations also offer more advanced and specialized services.

  • Staff – The education and experience of the staff assisting the veterinarian and monitoring your cat before, during, and after the procedure often impacts the pricing. An office with a full staff of certified veterinary technicians (CVTs) costs more to operate than one with veterinary assistants trained in-house.

  • Payment method – Some facilities reduce the cost if you pay cash for the procedure.

  • Cat's gender – The spaying procedure required for female cats takes longer and costs more than the neutering procedure for male cats.

  • Female cycle – The cost to spay a cat in heat or pregnant is typically higher due to the increased risks and more complicated surgical procedure.

  • Cat's age & health – Your vet may recommend additional pre-op lab testing for cats older than 2 years to check for common health problems. They may also put the cat on fluids to reduce the anesthetic risks.

  • Cat's size – Larger cats may require more anesthesia.

  • Vaccinations – If your cat is not up to date on their vaccines, the vet or clinic may do them at the same time, which increases the total cost.

  • Complications – Unexpected complications can increase costs. While problems are typically rare during spaying and neutering, possible issues include reaction to anesthesia, internal bleeding, and post-op bleeding or infection.

A veterinarian and a vet tech examining a cat
A veterinarian and a vet tech examining a cat

Benefits of spaying or neutering a cat

Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, spaying or neutering offers many benefits to help them live a longer, healthier life:

Spaying benefits – female cats

  • Increases the cat's lifespan

  • Eliminates heat cycles and their associated undesirable sounds and behaviors

  • Reduces the number of unwanted cats and overpopulation

  • Reduces the risk of mammary cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer

  • Reduces the desire to roam and find a mate

Neutering benefits male cats

  • Helps cats live longer

  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and decreases prostate disease risk

  • Reduces or eliminates undesirable behaviors like spraying or marking

  • Reduces the desire to roam, lessening roaming-related risks like car accidents and fights

  • Reduces aggression and fighting with other male cats

  • Helps limit overpopulation

Cat spaying & neutering FAQs

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

Spaying—also called ovariohysterectomy—refers to the process of sterilizing female cats. This procedure typically involves removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.

Neutering refers to the process of sterilizing male cats. Neutering is a simpler procedure, where the surgeon removes both testicles.

When should you spay or neuter a cat?

The best age to spay or neuter a cat is right before or when it reaches sexual maturity, typically around 4 to 5 months old. This time frame allows the kitten to grow to a decent size and still prevents unwanted pregnancies and undesirable behaviors associated with fertile cats.

  • Veterinarians spay or neuter cats as young as 8 weeks old, but most recommend waiting until the 4- or 5-month mark. Waiting helps reduce the risk of surgical complications and bone fractures later on in life.

  • Vets can spay cats while they're in heat, but there's an increased risk of complications due to enlarged blood vessels. Spay a cat before its first heat when possible.

How long does it take to spay or neuter a cat?

Spaying a cat takes 15 to 20 minutes if there are no complications. Neutering a cat takes 2 to 20 minutes on average. Factoring in pre-surgical prep time, administering the anesthesia, the spay or neuter surgical procedure, and post-op care, most surgeries are completed in less than an hour.

How do you care for your cat after spaying or neutering?

Follow all the discharge instructions your veterinarian or clinic provides to ensure a safe and speedy recovery. This typically includes keeping a closer eye on your cat, watching for signs of distress, confirming they are urinating normally, and monitoring the incision site for redness, odor, discharge, or swelling.

  • Make sure your cat's food, water, and litter are easily accessible after the surgery so they don't need to jump or move around a lot.

  • The recovery time for cats after a spay or neuter procedure is typically 10 to 14 days.

Does pet insurance cover the cost of spaying or neutering a cat?

Most pet insurance plans do not cover the cost of spaying or neutering because, even though these surgeries are important and highly recommended, they are typically considered "elective surgery" for insurance purposes.

Get free estimates from vets near you.

Some insurance companies offer preventative care plans that may include spaying or neutering in the coverage. Check with your pet insurance provider for details and options.

Questions to ask your vet or spay/neuter clinic

Spaying and neutering are among the most common surgeries performed on cats, and most veterinarians have done them hundreds or thousands of times. However, not every veterinary office or clinic has the same standards. Consider asking these questions to ensure you choose the best facility for you and your cat:

  • Do you perform pre-anesthetic blood work?

  • Who will be performing the actual procedure?

  • What do you monitor during the surgery, who does the monitoring, and how are they trained?

  • What sanitation protocols does your office follow?

  • What do you use to sterilize the surgical instruments, and are they sterilized after each procedure?

  • What does the price include?

  • Will my cat have medication to take home?

  • Will you send my cat home with detailed after-care instructions?


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