What pre-op procedures are really necessary before spaying a cat?

My cat Roxy, 6 mos. old, is going in to be spayed. The Vet is charging $70 which only include basic anesthesia and surgery. The Vet is suggesting that she also has a Pre-Anesthetic Blood Profile ($48), IV Catheter & Fluids ($32), Pain Medication ($29-$55) and an Elizabethan Collar ($10-$15). Roxy has already had all of her kitty vaccines but has not yet gotten a rabies vaccination ($28). The total cost for the spaying will run over $200 if I do everything they suggest. I've read that spaying is a relatively simple procedure. Roxy is a young, healthy cat who is kept indoors. Vets are in the business to make money. I love Roxy and want only the best for her (within reason) but can anyone tell me what pre-op procedures are REALLY necessary prior to having this procedure?

Asked by Roxy on Feb 23rd 2012 in Health & Wellness
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I've assisted with mass spay/neuter clinics for cats so I'll give you my opinion on those things. Pre-anesthesia blood profile is to test for a rare complication where a healthy cat will die just from anesthesia, I've seen it happen once in about 2000 cats we've done, up to you whether $48 is worth that peace of mind. IV fluids are usually only really necessary when there are complications which are rare, I would authorize them to use them if there is an emergency but stress that money is tight. Pain meds are critical; it might only take 5-15 minutes but it's a major surgery and she will be in major pain without them. It is almost impossible to get a cat to wear an E-collar and it's so stressful I would skip that unless she develops a problem biting at her surgical site. And the rabies vaccine isn't that important for indoor cats, but may be legally required in your jurisdiction.

Most vets aren't just in it to make money; a lot of this stuff is so expensive because of supplies.

Cali answered on 2/23/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Linus (Dreamboat #72a)

I would recommend pain meds. Cats are good at hiding pain. A spay is "routine" but still abdominal surgery and pain meds are recommended. Pre-surgical labs are kind of "optional" with a healthy kitten or young cat, but I've always had it done to make sure they can handle the anesthesia and screen for any potential problems. With a middle age or older cat (7 years or older) I know many vets consider it mandatory before surgery. I would wait on the e-collar. If she leaves her stitches alone - you don't need it. If she starts bothering the incision, you can always pick one up later. The IV catheter & fluids is a good idea. Fluids help keep kitty hydrated and maintain blood pressure. IV access is always good in surgery in case of complications or emergency... but kind of "optional" with a healthy kitten and a short, routine surgery like a spay. Vets have to make money to support themselves, but in an ideal, perfect world, this would all be recommended unless money is tight.

Linus (Dreamboat #72a) answered on 2/23/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'd skip the Pre-Anesthetic Blood Profile & Elizabethan Collar & I'd probably skip having this done at the vet too. I'd search around until I found a low cost spay/neuter clinic in my area. Most low cost clinics don't charge more than $65 to spay a cat period. When my parents got 6 of their cats fixed, they didn't do blood work or have them wear a collar & they didn't get charged for every little thing because they went to a low cost clinic.

Twinkle answered on 2/24/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My cats are all fairly young so I have been through 9 spays in the last 5 years and I have to say the only thing you listed that I would personally leave out is the e-collar. None of mine needed that. I do not like to leave anything to chance when it comes to my babies and pre-anesthesia bloodwork is always a good idea. I have forked out a ton of money for these guys for vet care and I do not personally believe that my vet is trying to make me pay for anything that is not absolutely necessary to ensure the safety and best outcome of the surgery. However, if the base cost is $70 and you are ok with leaving off the pain meds, iv cath, etc then that is great that you can still use your own vet and get a price similar to those low cost spay/neuter clinics. Rabies vaccines are a law in most states so even though mine do not go outside, I do recommend that vaccine. God forbid if she ever gets out by mistake, or a rabies carrying critter ever got in, it's just safer to be vaccinated.

Allie answered on 2/24/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer