Vet Bill for Cat - Is It Too High?

I took my cat (male, approx 1 yr old) for a health check and a desex/microchip appointment in late august. He has never seen a vet prior to this point (was a rescued stray).

The first appointment (health check) was exactly $100, and included the standard 3 vaccinations. After the surgery, I was notified of a negative FIV result and consented to a vaccine which cost $45. The second appointment (the desexing and microchipping) cost me about $664, and seemed abnormally high, and was broken down like this:

Desexing…$199
Microchipping/registration…$87
Level 1a profile…$169
Anaesthesia - nerve block…$0.00
FIV/FeLV test…$98
Vaccine/health check…$111

It ended up costing me $764 in total. What I want to know is whether or not this was still too high a cost for a male desexing. Not looking for a refund at this point just wanting to know if the cost was way out of whack.

Comments

  • +21

    What was the quoted price when you asked for a quote?

  • +19

    was still too high a cost for a male desexing.

    Depends upon your point of view, cat or the owner?

  • +10

    How do you think vets make their money???

  • +33

    The vet was kind enough to provide your cat complimentary anaesthesia before making him an eunuch…doesn't seem like such a bad person.

    • -7

      Euthanasia would have been more effective to stop future bleed to OP's wallet.

  • +5

    Call another vet and ask for a quote. Chances of getting any $s back if other places are cheaper is about zero.

    • +17

      Sounds like the kind of thing you should do before removing you cat's balls…

  • +40

    What are you going to do if it was too high? Ask for the balls to be returned and reattached? 😁

    • +5

      prosthetic nuts perhaps

      • Maybe some big stainless steel ones.

      • +1

        Interesting fact, people do pay for this, for dogs.

  • +18

    that bill is NUTS!

  • +6

    Costs of owning a cat/dog according to the RSPCA NSW:

    https://www.rspcansw.org.au/what-we-do/care-for-animals/owni...

    • +16

      Desexing: approximately $115-$300 (male or female)

      Considering OP only paid $199 for the desexing part of all of the cats medical bills, seems like they got an ok price. Not at the top end.

      Kitten vaccinations: $170-$200

      Again, OP only paid $111 here. Doing well.

  • +18

    $700 for surgery seems pretty cheap. Good on you for investing in a stray.

    I got my cat from the RSPCA already desexed thankfully.

    • +3

      That is the main message, get a cat that is desexed from RSPCA to save cost later on.

      • +5

        Or send a cat to RSPCA. And then offer to adopt a week later.

  • +26

    Yorkshireman went to the vets and asked for his cat to be desexed.
    The vet asked "Is it a tom?"
    To which the Yorkshireman replied "No it's 'ere in t' basket".

  • +1

    Pets are expensive.

    Every time one of my little dogs scratches themselves silly and gets an infection, it's an automatic $300 bill payable to my vet down the road for an injection, antibiotics and cream.

    • +1

      Can you put an antiseptic cream on them first?

      • +3

        How would they know where the scratch is going to be?

        • +1

          You put the cream on the inflamed area after it's been scratched.

    • +1

      We got some wound spray from the livestock supply shop.
      Spray it on new wounds and they never get infected.
      I had a chicken attacked by a dingo. Open wound on the chest, you could see the breast meat easily. Sprayed and taped and a full recovery.

  • +4

    What's Level 1a profile?

    I think the fees are not the cheapest, but probably not ridiculously above market rates. It just happens that you got everything done in one go.

    • +2

      That would be the hourly award rate of the surgeon

      • What's Vaccine/health check…$111?

        • Standard genome altering, 5G broadcasting, government tracking vaccine

  • +3

    It’s definitely worthwhile shopping around with vets to find the best one you feel you can trust, while offering the lowest prices.

    Just recently I had one of those 24 hour big animal hospitals quote me $1000 per day just for IV drip for my cat. I immediately contacted my local vet who quoted me $150 per day for the exact same thing.

    If your first though is that it’s a bit expensive, doesn’t hurt to ring around.

  • +4

    Good on you for rescuing a stray, OP and for being a responsible pet owner by looking after your cat's health and also getting him desexed.

    I know that there are NSW councils that offer a reduction for desexing your pet upon registration. Some councils also advertise free pet desexing from time to time. Could be worth checking with your local council if you get adopted by another stray 😺

  • -1

    The first appointment
    The second appointment

    So this was two different appointments?

  • +3

    Anaesthesia - nerve block…$0.00

    You defo got ripped here.

  • https://ndn.org.au/

    Suprised didnt google before booking in, I remember C.A.T.S use to be called.

  • +3

    Did you vet the place before you went there?

  • +3

    Ahhh, the good old first vet bill experience.

    Happens to all of us atleast once.

    • +2

      True. I’ve had at least a dozen first vet bill experiences.

  • +12

    FIV/FeLV is maybe a bit high. In-house snap tests generally $50-70, but they may have used a different product.

    $199 castration is quite affordable. I'm curious what you think a surgery SHOULD be.

    Microchipping fee is bog standard. Vaccine and everything else is cheaper end.

    The second appointment (the desexing and microchipping) cost me about $664, and seemed abnormally high, and was broken down like this:

    That's because you chose to do everything in one day. And if you think $664 is 'abnormally high,' pet ownership is gonna be a shocker.

  • +1

    If you are on pension, health card or low income you can apply for a voucher from the National Desexing Network to get it cheaper. Brought the cost for my male cat down to like $60 but that was about 3 yrs ago.

    Also highly recommend getting any cat that you don't know its history of having a FIV/FeLV test. I got mine checked before vaccinating & he is FIV positive, which explained his medical issue with his teeth. If its negative & goes outside definitely vaccinate for it. Cats can live happily with FIV but are prone to infections. Mine is now 3.5yrs but has no teeth as they had to be removed. Much cheaper to vaccinate than pay that dental bill

  • +1

    I don't know if its super high as I got mine from a shelter and they came with all the fixins by that point, but I just wanted to say I am glad you got your kitty desexed and I hope you two will have many happy years together - pets are the best :)

  • price is for a double neutering

    • +2

      As opposed to single neutering where they only cut one ball off…..

  • -3

    I now understand why people don't desex their animals. I was horrified once when a client's wife told me her husband would be back in a tick, just at the dam drowning a bag of kittens…. Oh yes, not the first time.

    I never went back there!!!

    Considering most shelters like the RSPCA desex all animals before handing them over I refuse to believe desexing, especially male, has to be that expensive. And the other items should have been discussed by the vet. Imagine dropping your car off for a transmission service and they replace the brakes and clutch and air filter without asking…. But sir, they were necessary, ….. Yes, but the bill is now triple what I expected.

    Sigh.

    • +6

      $200 for desexing is expensive? What planet do you live on?

      RSPCA does desex, microchip, and vaccinate their animals, but you also pay an adoption fee which covers these costs.

    • +1

      I refuse to believe desexing, especially male, has to be that expensive.

      I'm curious what you think is the 'right' price to remove your testicles under anaesthetic would be. $189.99?

      • +1

        $10 a nut. Plus scissors and duct tape cost.

    • +1

      Imagine justifying drowning bags of kittens because the desex surgery costs $200.

      If you don’t have $200 to spare, simply don’t keep pet.

      There are shelters that work with vets and offer batch desexing for a very low price (under $100).

  • +2

    OP, there are a few considerations I think you need to consider.

    1. You adopted a stray, which was free. A lot of other people who purchase animals already have their 1st vaccination, and microchipping done already, depending on the age.
    2. Where do you live? For example I used to take our dogs to Bondi Vet, and as you can imagine Eastern suburbs vets are more expensive than other area's, such as where I live now closer to Rockdale.
    3. $199 for desexing is a below average cost. The only confusing bit for myself is that they charged separately for the Vet's time, normally this is included in the desexing cost as one fee. In saying this, they didn't charge for anaesthetic, or the operating room fee.

    Animals are expensive, and I would suggest that you start putting $100/month away into an account just for their vet fees.

  • Interesting fact, meat consumption by cats and dogs in the US outstrips that of humans in Russia.

  • +1

    No about average except for micro chipping my friend is a reg microchipper and charges $25 l am licensed to do only my own animals and it costs under $15 for a good chip.

  • +1

    This is precisely why you go to the RSPCA and rescue a cat. They are fully vaccinated, chipped, and desexed.

    • -1

      Don't you think part of the higher price is including this ?

  • We rescued a community cat, desex FIV test and 1st round of vax cost $220, the guy that adopted him did the 2nd vax so i dont know what that cost

    Note, we had to drive about 30-40 mins to get this price, local places wanted at least $150 more from memory

  • +1

    My cousins used to live on a farm. The way they desexed their cat was to put a rubber band around his balls and a day or two later they fell off. But maybe that's just how it's done in the country.

    • Ouch!

    • +1

      No, that's what they do to sheep.

      • +1

        Geoff's cousin is Jeremy Clarkson and he watched him on Prime Video

  • What is Level 1a profile?

    Back in 2018 in Brisbane
    Desex for male cat was between $110 and 185
    Microchip $50-55
    IV Fluid $80 and pre-anesthetic blood test $95-135 before desex surgery (many vets don't do these if your cat is young and healthy)
    F3 vaccination $85-95

    In 2020
    Titre test which measures the initial F3 vaccine protection level $204 (not many vets do this because they believe in annual booster vaccination)

    In 2021
    Consult fee $70 (cat clinic) to 249 ($249 for 30 mins is homeopathic natural vet)
    FIV $72 (snap test) to 146 (eliza)

    This website is wealth of info on cats from vaccination to illness https://catinfo.org/vaccines-for-cats-we-need-to-stop-overva...

    • $249 for 30 mins is homeopathic natural vet

      see, the problem is they specialise in ducks and not cats

  • +2

    Don't worry about it, it is only a one off (or is that 2 balls off) job
    The main point is, do you like the way they treated your cat?
    Did your cat seem to like the vet?
    Will that be your main vet? You go every year for a check-up & injection (you can do the worming & fleaing yourself)
    Will you use that vet if your cat ever (I hope he never does) get sick or injured? Put some money aside in a separate bank account under your cat's name & use it for when he needs to go to the vet for his yearly inspection or if an emergency arises

    I paid $300 for a kitten from RSPCA 17 days ago as they are chipped & fixed she is. But in that time I have yet to hold her as she is a wild one, that is why I picked that 3-month-old kitten as no-one would ever pick her. I held her once, and it took a week for the swelling in my fingers to go down, she bit them that hard & ripped my arms up; I should have worn my welding gloves - do'h. I just fill up the water & the dry bowls & try different wet foods every few days. I hear her rustling around in the dunny then quickly hide behind the fridge, she will be too big one day. So it is 17 days & I haven't held my kitten properly & it has been a week I think (I am old & my mind is older) since I have seen here, but I know Ellie is inside somewhere. Aren't cats fun :)

  • I don't know where you live but I've used the Greencross Vets program across two states in the last 10 years for my pets. A lot of vet clinics use their program which costs me about $40 month but this includes things like unlimited free consultation fees ($60-$90 saving right there each visit) Free yearly vaccinations, 10% off medications, free yearly blood tests and a range of other services. The free consultation fees I think are worth it alone.

    Edit… It's also called Healthy Pets Plus

    • At almost $500 a year probably comes out fair.

      To be honest, unless you are into pure bred cats, you might only go to the vet once or twice in their lifetime. Maybe I've been lucky.

      • +1

        Well done guys you have found the highest margin insurance there is and you think its a bargain hehe .

        • It's fair if you have pure breds and try and look after them. For some rspca pick up, very expensive.

  • +1

    There is a big diff between regional and metro vet pricing.
    I had a quote for a teeth clean and removal of a tooth for a cat - in Melb metro suburbs I was quoted $700 to $1200 (depending on whether a vet needed to get involved instead of the nurse/whatever). I had the same thing done in regional by the vet for $374.50.

    Scale and polish (grade 1&2) inc GA $180
    Dental extraction (difficult) $160
    Loxicom 0.5MG Cat 30ml (bottle) $34.50

    Just posting this in case anyone needs to get something done for their pet and can't afford it - perhaps they can look outside metro areas

    • Not sure about the exact price but when the cat got her teeth done it cost between $450 to $500. I think it's a fair price, while it was a straight forward procedure, and she didn't need to stay overnight, she she had to have GA.

      We've never used a vet from a chain (e.g. Greencross), so not sure what the price comparison is. We're very happy with our vet, a guy who've been seeing at least once a year since we adopted the cat six years ago (we're in Brisbane).

  • +4

    Most of it comes down to overheads, just like any other business:

    . Building rent - not cheap
    . Full time receptionist on at least $30 an hour
    . Elec, water, gas, internet, website etc
    . Some money for the vet themselves to be able to purchase a house, car, provide for their family etc

    I think people should realise were not in the good ol days where you get a cat and dog and thats it. Going to the vet, getting registered, desexed etc is all part of the mandatory process and will set you back a good amount of coin.

    • Exactly. Vets don't get around town in a Mercedes. It's a high stress job not a high paying one.

  • +3

    That's a place I don't ask for a discount. My cat is nicknamed money bags.

    • That's a place I don't ask for a discount. My cat is nicknamed Fleece Me .

  • +2

    Ask the vet if he can remove yours seeing you didnt have any to ask them for a quote upfront anyway.

  • +1

    Sadly as an owner of 2 dogs those prices actually look not to bad. Vets can and will cost you more than a trip to your doctor.

    • Worst part is that most of the medicines they give the animals are actually human medicines.

  • +1

    Its less than $100 per ball.

    Not too bad. Vets don't make a heap.

    You can't really ask for a refund.

  • +1

    Ive been quoted $900 for my lab to have 6 Xrays. Anesthesia required.

  • +2

    All looks pretty normal to me.

  • Check the Wikipedia page about the RSPCA. Budget: 100 Millions! Pets enjoy federal protections, humans only have state courts!

  • I've got two cats and paid around those prices. Pets are expensive but having another best friend is priceless

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