How Much Does a Cat Abscess Treatment Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

An abscess is defined as a lump or sac that contains pus, generally caused by bacteria, a foreign material or parasite.  You will usually know if your cat has one if there’s swelling in the area as well as a redness-like color.  As time goes on, the wall surrounding the pus will begin to thin out, eventually rupturing and draining out.

In some cases, your cat’s natural white blood cells will be able to destroy to destroy the invading culprit; however, if your cat is unable to naturally fight off this abscess, then you will need to consult with your veterinarian for treatment options.

Ivan’s back from hospital by Newtown grafitti, on Flickr
Ivan’s back from hospital” (CC BY 2.0) by Newtown grafitti

How much does a cat abscess treatment cost?

The cost of treating cat abscess depends on your geographical location, the experience of the veterinarian, the required treatment, necessary medications, tests and if other procedures are required.  On average, surgery for removing a cat abscess can around $300 to $2,000.  On the other hand, a simple “lancing” procedure that just drains the abscess can cost less than $150.

According to Vetary.com, the cost can range anywhere from $200 to more than $3,000, depending on the severity of the abscess.  The website notes the national average is $700.

Dr. Krista Magnifico talked about the costs at her clinic for one cat she had worked on:  $50 for the exam, another $30 for the antibiotics, $20 for the NSAID, $25 for the SQ fluids and $30 for the antibiotic, bringing the grand total to $155.

Cat abscess treatment overview

The cost of treating cat abscess should include the veterinarian’s fee, consultation, treatment fee, anesthesia, antibiotics and/or the post-surgery treatment.   This isn’t always true, however, as many clinics will have its own billing policy.

An abscess most often occurs in the mouth, head, limbs, back, and base of the tail.  An abscess may include puss with a foul-smelling discharge if it was drained, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, lameness, listlessness, swelling, hot or missing fur, and pain.

Before the surgery is even considered, the veterinarian may recommend trying to drain the abscess, but before doing so, they will perform a physical exam to locate the abnormal bump.  Once located, a syringe will be used to draw out the pus to confirm the abscess.  If this can help get rid of it, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight off any remaining bacteria for the next few weeks.

The treatment, again, depending on your cat’s circumstances, may include the cutting, draining, and removal of necrotic tissue under sedation or a general anesthesia.  A surgical drain with a regular flushing may also be required for a larger abscess.  The veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics after the procedure as well to attack the underlying bacterial infection.  Most cats will only have to be on this medication for up to three weeks.

As for recovery, your cat should recover within the week as long as the treatment has gone according to plan and you stick to the antibiotic schedule.

What are the extra costs?

Extra costs may be incurred if complications resulting from the cat’s abscess were to occur.

The medication, after the procedure has been performed, should cost $10 to $30.

Every vet is going to bill differently, and the estimates above may or may not include the anesthesia, fluids, and/or follow-up visits.  Be sure to talk with your vet to know what’s included with the payment.

After the procedure, a cone will be needed to prevent the cat from licking the abscess.  A good cone can cost $10 to $20.

To play it safe, most vets will administer a rabies vaccine if they aren’t up to date.

Tips to know:

If your cat experiences an abscess, bring it to the veterinarian for immediate treatment.  Take note that the abscess may lead to infection, which can eventually get into the bloodstream and lead to septicemia if you ignore it.

You need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of an abscess so you can recognize it.  First, you may see a bump or some swelling near the wound.  There may also be puss seeping from the wound, forcing the cat to lick the wound throughout the day.  If the abscess is in the mouth, the cat will probably not want to eat.  Overall, the cat will be very lethargic since this is the only way they show pain.

Do not try to find alternative solutions online as this can only harm your cat if you don’t treat it.  If you do not have the money, many vets in your area will be more than happy to work out a payment plan for you or even refer you to a local organization that may be able to help.

How can I save money?

To avoid unnecessary expenses, give your cat immediate veterinary attention as soon as you see signs and symptoms or if you suspect that your pet is suffering from an abscess.

It doesn’t hurt to get more than one quote, even if you’re loyal to one vet.

If you can’t afford to pay the bill in full, talk with your vet to see if they can set you up with payment plans or even recommend you to a non-profit that’s able to help you with your situation.


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Average Reported Cost: $245

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  1. William Miles (Spannaway,  WA) paid $245 and said:

    Our cat had a massive abscess in her front leg from a cat bite. The $245 we paid was for simple abscess removal, medication, etc. However, he did surgery to remove dead tissue that was present from her paw all the way up her leg that he didn’t charge us for. What a blessing to find that vet.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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