How Much Does Cat Tail Amputation Cost?

Written by: Staff

Known as a caudectomy, amputating a cat’s tail is referred to removing the cat’s tail.  The tail may be removed due to an infection, if the skin has died due to frostbite, if the skin is being peeled back due to being “de-gloved,” or due to self-trauma.  The most common reason a cat’s tail is amputated, however, is due to a tail injury, such as getting it stuck inside a door or being run over by a vehicle.

Maine Coon - Creative Commons by gnuckx by gnuckx, on Flickr
Maine Coon – Creative Commons by gnuckx” (Public Domain) by gnuckx

How much does a cat tail amputation cost?

The cost of a cat tail amputation will depend on the veterinarian’s office, the billing inclusions, how long the cat has to stay at the facility, your pet insurance policy (if you have it) and where you live.  On average, this procedure will cost anywhere from $500 to as much as $1,100. 

Members on Yelp talked about this topic and most were quoted in the $600 to $1,600 range.

A forum member on The Cat Site said they called around to a few vets and had found the average price was about $670.   In the end, she was able to find a vet who was able to perform the procedure for $300.

The Diary of a Real Life Veterinarian produced a very helpful price guide, saying the average cat tail amputation would cost $300; however, this would not include the pre-op examination, diagnostics, hospitalization or medicine.

Cat amputation overview

Be careful with the quotes you receive from a vet as it may be the price for the surgery only.  It’s important to receive an itemized estimate because some vets may charge an additional fee for the hospital stay, examination, x-rays, blood work, follow-up visits, anesthesia and so forth.

An amputation may either be a complete amputation or partial amputation.  This will depend on the type of injury and what the vet deems the best possible route to take.  Before the vet even considers the amputation, he or she will first perform a complete physical exam and obtain a medical history if they don’t have one.  If the vet suspects the tail is broken, then they may want to perform an x-ray to determine the true extent of the damage.  If a tumor is noticed or the cat was involved in a car accident, then the vet may take more x-rays, aside from the tail, to look at signs of other potential internal damage.  If, in the end, the vet recommends an amputation, then a routine blood test will be ordered.

The surgery will be performed under a general anesthesia, and unless your vet tells you otherwise, your cat will have to fast for at least 12 hours before the surgery.

The recovery, depending on the trauma. can take one to two weeks.  During the recovery period, your cat will need to rest inside a cage while wearing an Elizabethan collar to prevent him or her from licking their wounds.

 What are the extra costs?

Antibiotics and painkillers will be sent home after the procedure has been done.  This, depending on the vet’s office, may be included in the quote or it may be billed separately.

Two to three weeks later, you will need to bring the cat in again to have their sutures removed.  This visit, again, depending on the billing policy, may be an additional charge or can be combined into one estimate.

Tips to know:

Complications, according to Cat World, can be quite common.  This can include poor wound healing, redness, heat, discharge, infections and/or swelling.  If you notice any of these signs, contact your vet immediately.

How can I save money?

Even if you cannot afford the procedure up front, most offices are more than happy to set up simple payment plans.

Call around.  If you know for certain your cat needs its tail amputated, see what other vets in the area may charge, even if you’re loyal to someone you trust.  If you’re able to find a price that’s 30 to 40 percent cheaper, see if your current vet is able to come close to the quote.

A veterinary college, if local, can be a good choice to have the procedure done for a fraction of the costs.

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  1. Anonymous (mary,  Nevada) paid $ and said:

    i just had it done, and it cost $205.00.
    everything for $327.00 🙂
    only thing bad was they do not take pet care credit card…:(

    Was it worth it? Yes

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