How Much Does a Cat X-ray Cost?

Written by: Staff

A cat x-ray is needed as part of your pet’s annual physical exam or as a way to diagnose certain diseases or problems.   The cost of a cat x-ray will depend on the vet, type of x-ray, the number of x-rays needed and geographical location.

X-rays will use a type of radiation known as electromagnetic waves.  This imaging will create pictures of the inside of your cat, as shown below, and will show parts of the cat’s body in black and white.  Bones will absorb the mode, showing in white, while tissues will absorb different amounts of radiation, showing in a grayer tone.

Gizmo X-Ray 2 by ArtBrom, on Flickr
Gizmo X-Ray 2” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  ArtBrom

How much does a cat x-ray cost?

The average cost for cat x-ray is $100 to $250 per x-ray, but each additional x-ray may cost less than this.  The main factor is often which body part needs to be x-rayed. X-ray for the extremities and smaller areas of the body can cost less than the abdomen or chest.  This won’t include the office examination fee and if sedation is needed.  It won’t include additional lab work if abnormalities were found.  When everything is factored in such as the office examination fee and sedatives, the costs can be closer to $300 to $450.

The Northern Illinois Cat Clinic says the prices vary depending on the vet and the type of x-ray required.  A chest and abdomen x-ray, for instance, can cost $100 to $250, while dental x-rays for a cat can cost $75 to $150 to x-ray all of the teeth.

A professional veterinarian on Just Answer said the price can vary from state to state; however, a leg x-ray should be about $80 to $250.

Cat x-ray overview

Common x-rays include the legs, abdomen, and chest, and during most x-rays, the vet will place the cat in the appropriate position in order to get the details that he or she needs.  In most instances, the cat may have to be sedated if it doesn’t stand still.

Chest x-rays, for example, will be taken to diagnose asthma, tumors, broken ribs, heart disease or pneumonia.  The abdomen x-rays can determine if there is any organ damage, bladder problems or urethral obstructions.  An x-ray in the mouth can show teeth and gum related illnesses as well.  Lastly, a leg x-ray could be taken if the vet thinks the cat’s leg is either broken or sprained.

A film, together with a CD, is usually included and should be kept for personal records and in case a second opinion is desired.

What are the extra costs?

If the cat is not cooperating, sedation might be necessary to get the appropriate x-ray.  This can cost an additional $30-$100 extra.

Sometimes, a blood exam is necessary before the procedure is done in order to pinpoint the exact issue.  X-rays do not always diagnose a cat’s problem, so your cat may need extra tests done as well.

If other problems are found during these x-rays, additional tests may be required.  For example, if the vet spots a problem with the heart, an additional EKG may be required in order to look more into the heart.

Some offices, while rare, may not be able to interpret the results and will have to send it off to a radiologist.  This can be an additional $65 to $95 to have the results read.

How can I save money?

Check your local humane society or local shelters as many of them have veterinarians for a lower fee.

A pet insurance policy may be something to think about since these policies often cover these procedures if they are deemed medically necessary.  Like a health insurance policy for a human, you will just have to meet your deductible before the company reimburses you.

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