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What’s the Price of Spaying or Neutering a Cat in Australia (Costs in 2024)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

veterinary-doctor-puts-the-bandage-on-the-cat-after-surgery

What’s the Price of Spaying or Neutering a Cat in Australia (Costs in 2024)

Many Australian cat owners are required to have their cats spayed or neutered by a certain age due to mandatory desexing legislation1 in certain states or territories. Even if you don’t live in one of those areas, having your cat spayed or neutered is still a good idea. 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.

While costs can vary wildly, you can expect to spend AU$150 up to AU$750 or more when spaying or neutering a cat in Australia. Let’s learn more about the costs and what to expect with a spay or neuter procedure in Australia.

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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 they 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.

cat neutered
Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

2. Protecting Australia’s Ecosystem

Cats, primarily feral ones, kill 2 billion animals in Australia2 every year. They do the most damage in the bush, where native wildlife struggles to survive. In fact, feral cats have driven over 12 species to extinction.

Even in urban areas, stray cats hunt down birds, reptiles, and other small animals. Sterilising cats is 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 associated with an unaltered cat.

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How Much Does Spaying or Neutering a Cat Cost?

neutering cat on a vet's operating table
Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

The price of desexing your cat can vary depending on factors such as 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. Neutering is a much simpler procedure since it just involves removing the testicles, and in most cases, it 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.

If you don’t qualify, try messaging the RSPCA3 or contacting the National Desexing Network4 for references to low-cost desexing services in your area.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Aside from the surgery, spaying or neutering your cat comes with other costs. Generally, you’ll also need to budget for the following:

  • Preoperative Blood Tests: To ensure your cat is healthy enough to undergo the procedure, the vet will do a few blood tests to check your pet’s organ functions.
  • Anaesthesia: This is a mandatory part of having your cat spayed or neutered. It keeps them safe, comfortable, and still during the procedure.
  • Painkillers: To reduce post-operative discomfort, the vet may recommend a course of painkillers.
  • Antibiotics: To ward off infections, the vet may also prescribe a course of antibiotics.
cat blood sample
Image Credit: SingingMedia, Shutterstock

Optional Expenses:

  • Vet Boarding Costs: Spaying and neutering are usually outpatient procedures, and you can take your cat home after the surgery. In case of complications, however, they may need to stay with the vet for a few days.
  • Pet Sitting Costs: Your cat will need to be watched closely after the procedure, especially if you have a female kitty. If you can’t be around, you may need to hire a pet sitter to help with your cat’s recovery.

Remember 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 when payment time comes.

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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:

  • Sydney requires cat owners to desex cats on or before 4 months of age. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for an annual permit until they’re spayed or neutered.
  • Within the Australian Capital Territory, it’s an offence to own an unaltered cat over 3 months old unless you have a permit.
  • South Australia requires all cats to be desexed on or before they’re 6 months old unless you qualify for an exemption.
  • Cat owners in Western Australia are also required to desex their cats on or before they turn 6 months of age.

Remember to check your local council’s regulations for 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 cover these expenses, while others have optional wellness plans that might cover the procedure. However, 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 will not help much.

pet insurance coverage
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

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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 a very safe and straightforward process. Most healthy cats recover in a few days with no lasting adverse effects.

To make the experience less stressful for you and your cat, keep these tips in mind:

  • Prepare a quiet and comfortable space for your cat to recover in. It should be away from other pets and children, with no access to stairs or any areas that may involve jumping.
  • Talk to your vet about preoperative fasting. Some clinics require cats to fast for 12 hours before the procedure, while others may be okay with a few hours.
  • Make sure to bring a carrier when you take your cat to the vet, as it’s the safest way to transport them.
  • Buy an Elizabethan collar, or “cone of shame,” before the procedure. This will prevent your cat from licking or biting the area while healing. As an alternative, you can also find post-surgical shirts or wraps.
  • Consider taking a few days off work to help your cat during the recovery process.
  • Some cats lose their appetite after the procedure, so consider buying a can or two of special recovery food to help them return to their normal eating routine.

Once the procedure is done, ask your vet for advice on caring 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.

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Conclusion

Having your cat spayed or neutered can significantly enhance their quality of life and your relationship. While it does come at a cost, it’s ultimately worth it. We recommend comparing prices before deciding on a clinic to ensure you get the most affordable service. Additionally, explore local resources to see whether you qualify for discounts or special offers.

Overall, spaying or neutering your cat is an essential step toward keeping them healthy and happy. With some preparation and TLC after the procedure, you can look forward to many years of joy and companionship with your beloved cat.


Featured Image Credit: Maria Sbytova, Shutterstock

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