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What’s the Price of Cat Abscess Treatment? 2024 Costs & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

a vet checking a cat's lymph nodes

What’s the Price of Cat Abscess Treatment? 2024 Costs & FAQ

If you own a cat that loves to explore the outdoors and has a high chance of encountering wildlife or other pets, they are more likely to get injured. Cats can be territorial, which means the possibility of a fight is high. Furthermore, if you live in a forested area, the likelihood of a puncture wound from a branch or stick is also more likely, and both these wounds are prone to abscesses that will require treatment.

The price of treatment and veterinary care may vary depending on different factors, and abscess treatment for a cat will generally cost between $300–$2,000. In this article, we break them down to help you get a better idea of the cost of cat abscess treatment.

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The Importance of Treating an Abscess in Your Cat

An abscess is an infection on a particular area of your cat’s skin that usually affects both the skin and the underlying tissue. They are typically caused by a puncture or bite wound that allows bacteria to enter the skin, resulting in a pus pocket beneath the skin.

It is extremely rare for an abscess to be fatal, but the prognosis is determined by where it is on your cat’s body, how long it’s been infected, and what bacteria is present.

Sometimes, the abscess may not require medication, but it must be treated so that it heals completely. Otherwise, the infection can spread and cause your cat to become very sick. Untreated abscesses can also lead to antibiotic-resistant ailments.

If your cat has an abscess, your veterinarian can clean the area, prescribe antibiotics, and advise you on proper home care.

Abscess or inflammation on the cat’s neck
Image Credit: Elena11, Shutterstock

cat paw dividerHow Much Does Abscess Treatment Cost?

The cost of treating an abscess in your cat can vary depending on many factors, such as the cost of diagnostic procedures, the severity of the condition, medication, location, and the clinic you choose. It can cost $300–$2,000. On the other hand, a simple procedure that drains the abscess can cost less than $150.

Diagnosing an Abscess

Your veterinarian will need to examine your cat to learn about its medical history and to see if there is a history of bites or puncture wounds. Your vet may perform a blood chemistry test to get an overall view of your cat’s health based on its health history and physical exam.

During this test, your veterinarian will use a very fine needle and a sterile swab to collect a small sample of the discharge to identify the type of bacteria.

Severity of Abscess

If your cat’s abscess is already draining, it may only need to be cleaned and possibly antibiotics. If it hasn’t, it may require sedation for mild surgery. Before surgery is considered, the veterinarian may suggest draining the abscess, but first, they will perform a physical exam to locate the abnormal bump. Once located, the pus will be drawn out with a syringe to confirm the abscess. Hospitalization for a day can cost about $50 for admission. Abscess drainage and wound repair can cost around $50, but if the abscess is huge, the cost of treatment could be as high as $200.

The treatment of an abscessed wound is performed under general anesthesia. Anesthesia typically costs around $85 for the first 30 minutes, with an additional $70 charge for each additional 30 minutes.

Your Location and Type of Clinic

Your location can play a significant role in your cat’s treatment cost. As the cost of living varies by region, so does veterinary care, especially between urban and rural areas. This is true for the type of clinic you choose to take your cat to.

vet checking up cat's condition at vet clinic
Image Credit: didesign021, Shutterstock

cat paw dividerAdditional Costs to Anticipate

When treating an abscess on your cat, the total cost will be in addition to other factors involved in diagnosing and treating. They can be broken down into the following factors.

Consultation Fees and Lab Fees

A consultation fee is standard, no matter what the situation is. Once your vet has done the consultation, they may need to run some tests. If surgery is required, a blood test must be done before an anesthetic is administered. A consultation fee can cost about $50.

veterinarian doctor holds cat
Image Credit: H_Ko, Shutterstock

Rabies Vaccine

If your cat’s abscess is due to a bite wound and your cat’s shots are not up to date, your vet will most likely administer a rabies vaccine. Some states also require that a pet be given a rabies booster if it has been bitten. A rabies vaccination can cost $20–$40. Blood tests may be required to ensure that your cat has not contracted FIV or FeLV. A complete in-house bloodwork panel costs around $140.

Elizabethan Collar

Your cat may require an Elizabethan collar to prevent it from scratching and irritating its wound. These can cost $15–$25, depending on the size.

A gray Scottish straight-eared cat in a platsik veterinary collar
Image Credit: fotoliza, Shutterstock

Follow Up Appointment

Your cat may need a follow-up appointment to ensure the wound is healing correctly and remove stitches if necessary. In some cases, more than one follow-up appointment will be required, depending on the severity of the abscess. A follow-up consultation can cost about $30.

3 cat dividerPrice Range for Abscess-Related Veterinary Services

Consultation fee $30–$50
Drainage and wound repair $50–$150
Medication $10–$70
Anesthesia $85–$160
Surgery $300–$2,000
Rabies vaccine $20–$40
Elizabethan Collar $15–$25
Follow up appointment $30–$50

How Can I Prevent Abscesses?

Cats are territorial, so fights in areas with a high population of cats are common, making bite wounds more likely. Male cats should be neutered to reduce territorial behavior, which can reduce fighting and help prevent future abscesses. If your cat spends a lot of time outside, ask your veterinarian if they should get vaccinated against FeLV. Check its body for bites and scratches regularly, and if you find a puncture wound, trim the hair around it and thoroughly wash it with warm water.

Veterinarian giving injection to cat
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover Abscess Treatment?

Most pet insurance policies cover accidents, which include bite wounds. With that comes services related to the accident, such as sutures, medication, surgery, and hospitalization. If your cat’s abscess is related to a dental condition, it is possible that your insurance won’t cover it since dental coverage is usually an add-on to your policy.

To avoid unnecessary costs, seek immediate veterinary attention for your cat if you notice any troubling signs. You might be surprised to learn that not all pet insurance companies cover exam fees for qualifying conditions, which are typically included in almost every veterinary bill, so it’s essential to check what your policy covers.

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Abscesses can be common in cats, especially if they are outdoor cats. If your cat needs treatment for an abscess, the overall price depends on many factors. The entire process of treatment can cost between $300–$2,000.

Pet insurance can be beneficial in the case of a bite wound, so it should be considered. If you do not have pet insurance, it doesn’t hurt to compare quotes from different providers. If you can’t afford to pay the bill, talk to your vet about payment options they can offer to help you out.

Featured Image Credit: SofikoS, Shutterstock

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