Spaying and neutering services can cost hundreds of dollars in some veterinary hospitals. However, a cat reaches sexual maturity at less than one year old. If you don’t want the problems associated with intact felines, and you can’t afford the bill at a regular veterinary facility, there are less expensive options available.
Why spay or neuter your indoor cat?
The mating instinct is strong in cats, and if your female cat is in estrus (heat), or your male cat smells the scent of a female in estrus outside the home, they can run out an open door in a fraction of a second. They are then exposed to diseases from feral cats, injuries from fighting, and the possibility of being hit by a car. A female cat will return pregnant and a male cat may return with abscesses (swollen infected wounds) from fighting.
If you manage to keep an intact cat inside your home, you may wish that they had escaped. A female cat in estrus will cry out and rub themselves on the floor incessantly for days. If they don’t mate or are not spayed, periods of estrus will occur more frequently.
A female cat in estrus will also attract male cats from the area, who will fight outside your window and spray everything in sight with a foul smelling mix of urine and glandular secretions. An intact male cat that is kept indoors will also spray furniture and other household items.
Where can you find cheap spaying and neutering for cats?
There are cat clinics available that offer special prices for spaying and neutering services. However, these reduced prices may only be offered on a limited basis, usually a few days each month. Locations include:
- Veterinary hospitals and private practices
Many private facilities offer sliding scale (income-based) fees for spay and neuter services, and accept certificates from animal welfare groups such as SNAP (Spay and Neuter All Pets). SNAP sells these certificates at low cost, and they can be redeemed at any participating veterinary facility.
Private veterinary facilities may also require that cats be fully immunized against common communicable cat diseases. Shots may be offered at a reduced price, but the cost is additional to the cost of spaying or neutering.
- Local municipal animal shelters
These facilities offer spay and neuter packages on a regular but limited basis, usually one day per week, and will provide some immunizations as part of the deal. However, you may be required to pick up the cat by the end of the day of the surgery, because their boarding facilities are limited.
- SPCA and other animal welfare organizations
The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and other groups offer low-cost cat clinics for spaying and neutering services. Mobile surgery vans are also used to provide these services in low income-areas. Other private animal welfare groups may offer these services or provide vouchers that can be taken to local veterinarians for reduced prices.