Many Australian cat owners are required to have their cats spayed or neutered by a certain age due to mandatory desexing legislation in certain states or territories. Even if you don’t live in one of those areas, it’s still a good idea to have your cat spayed or neutered. Not only does it help reduce the number of feral and homeless cats, but it also has numerous health benefits for your pet.
As a surgical procedure, however, desexing a cat can be one of the pricier items on the veterinary bill.
So how much does it cost to spay or neuter your feline friend in Australia? We checked sample prices from clinics across Australia to give you a better idea of how much your budget should be.
The Importance of Spaying or Neutering a Cat
Spaying or neutering a cat involves surgically removing the reproductive organs of a female or male cat so it can no longer reproduce. The benefits of desexing cats are well-documented, and this includes:
1. Reducing the number of unwanted cats
Cats can reproduce as early as 5 months old, and females can get pregnant up to 3 times a year. A litter can have anywhere from 2 to 10 kittens, leading to a rapid population increase if left unchecked.
2. Protecting Australia’s ecosystem
Cats—mostly feral ones—kill 2 billion animals in Australia every year. They do the most damage in the bush, where native wildlife is struggling to survive. In fact, feral cats have driven over 12 species to extinction and even to the brink of dying out.
Even in urban areas, stray cats hunt down birds, reptiles, and other small animals. Spaying and neutering cats, including pets, are one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce their population and, consequently, the damage to Australia’s fragile ecosystems.
3. Improving cat health and behaviour
Desexing cats can help pets live healthier, safer, and happier lives. For instance, spaying eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer in female cats. Meanwhile, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in male cats.
Neutered male cats are also less likely to roam and get into fights with other cats. Finally, spaying or neutering can help reduce the amount of yowling, marking, and other behaviours that can be associated with an unaltered cat.
How Much Does Spaying or Neutering a Cat Cost?
The price of desexing your cat can vary wildly depending on factors like your cat’s age, health, sex, location, and the vet clinic you choose.
To give you a clearer picture of the cost of desexing your cat in Australia, here’s a sample price list from select vet clinics across the country. All prices are in Australian dollars:
|Victoria||South Australia||Sydney||New South Wales|
|Spay (Female Cats)||AU$245.00||AU$302.60||AU$329.00||from AU$785.00|
|Neuter (Male Cats)||AU$162.00||AU$133.25||AU$183.00||from AU$380.00|
As you can see, spaying a cat is always more expensive than neutering one. That’s because spaying involves abdominal surgery, during which the vet removes the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
Meanwhile, neutering is a much simpler procedure since it just involves removing the testicles, and in most cases, this can be done without making any complex incisions.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to qualify for low-cost spaying or neutering services. For instance, Australians in Sydney with a health care card or pension concession are eligible for discounted desexing. Melbourne also offers a desexing voucher scheme.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Apart from the surgery itself, spaying or neutering your cat comes with other costs. Generally, you’ll also need to budget for the following:
Keep in mind that these costs vary from clinic to clinic and aren’t always included in the desexing fees. Make sure to ask your vet for a complete list of fees and services so you won’t be surprised come payment time.
What’s the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Cat?
The best time to spay or neuter your cat is around 5 to 6 months before they reach sexual maturity. It also depends on where you live in Australia:
Remember to check your local council’s regulations for any other desexing laws in your area.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying or Neutering a Cat?
Most pet insurance companies consider spaying or neutering as a routine expense and won’t cover it.
However, some pet insurance plans do specifically choose to cover these expenses, while others have optional wellness plans that might cover the procedure. But it’s best to view these policies as the exception, not the rule.
If you plan on spaying or neutering your cat, the costs typically fall on you, and pet insurance won’t be of much help in this department.
How to Prepare for Your Cat’s Spay or Neuter Procedure
The thought of your beloved cat undergoing surgery may be daunting, but it’s actually a very safe and straightforward process. Most healthy cats recover in a few days with no lasting negative effects.
To make the experience less stressful for you and your cat, keep these tips in mind:
Once the procedure is done, ask your vet for advice on how to care for your cat at home. Follow all instructions to the letter, especially when it comes to medication. Cats can be notoriously finicky, so make sure to keep a close eye on your furry friend.
Having your cat spayed or neutered can significantly enhance both their quality of life and your relationship with each other. While it does come at a cost, it’s ultimately worth it.
We recommend comparing prices around before deciding on a clinic to ensure you get the best and most affordable service. Additionally, explore local resources to see whether you qualify for any discounts or special offers.
Overall, spaying or neutering your cat is an important step toward keeping them healthy and happy. With a bit of preparation and some TLC after the procedure, you can look forward to many years of joy and companionship with your beloved cat.
Featured Image Credit: Pecherskaia, Shutterstock
- The Importance of Spaying or Neutering a Cat
- How Much Does Spaying or Neutering a Cat Cost?
- Additional Costs to Anticipate
- What’s the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Cat?
- Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying or Neutering a Cat?
- How to Prepare for Your Cat’s Spay or Neuter Procedure