What Is the Cost of Cat Urinary Treatment? (Updated in 2023)
By Jessica Kim
Urinary tract disorders are fairly common in cats. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is one of the more common urinary tract disorders that cats will encounter1. It’s an umbrella term that encompasses several different urinary tract conditions, including urinary tract infections, bladder stones, feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), and bladder and urethra cancers.
Treatment and prognosis for FLUTD will vary depending on the type of condition and its severity. Generally, a cat urinalysis can cost between $40-$85, antibiotics for your cat can cost $175-$300, and a cat cystotomy can cost $1,500-$4,000 depending on your location.
Because cat urinary treatment regimens will vary, it’s important to be prepared for the time and costs it’ll take to help your cat recover. Here’s the latest information on costs related to cat urinary treatment.
The Importance of Cat Urinary Treatment
It’s important to keep track of your cat’s bowel movements and urinary health. Cats that have FLUTD may display the following signs2:
- Painful urination
- Difficulty or straining to urinate
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Urinating outside the litterbox
- Blood in urine
- Excessive licking of genital area
Many different factors can cause FLUTD. Environmental factors, like changes in routine, moving homes, and multi-cat living situations, can put a cat’s health at risk of FLUTD3. Unsanitary litter boxes can host bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can trigger urinary infections. Sometimes, a cat’s diet can affect the production of bladder stones.
The most common treatment for FLUTD is an antibiotic regimen. Cats must take regular doses of antibiotics for a specified number of days, and improper or incomplete follow-through can lead to recurrences of FLUTD. FLUTD is also painful for cats. So, it’s important to stay on top of treatment to completely cure your cat and eliminate the pain for good.
How Much Does Cat Urinary Treatment Cost?
Treatment costs don’t really depend on your cat’s age. You may experience different prices based on location. Cities with higher living costs tend to have more expensive treatment prices. You can also find some affordable care veterinary clinics that offer reduced costs for low-income families.
Costs will also depend on the type of treatment your cat receives. For example, cats with UTIs will have to go on an antibiotic regimen, while cats with bladder stones may need a cystostomy.
Here are some common treatment costs you can expect for a cat with FLUTD.
|New York, NY||Chicago, IL||Houston, TX||Phoenix, AZ|
|Urinalysis||$50 – 85||$40 – $70||$40 – $75||$40 – $70|
|Antibiotics||$200 – $300||$175 – $250||$175 – $200||$170 – $200|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Your veterinarian will complete a physical exam when you schedule an appointment for your cat, so you can expect to pay exam fees. Other types of diagnostic tests, like bloodwork, may also be included in the exam.
Cats that encounter recurring cases of FLUTD often require a diet change. You may have to switch over to wet cat food or a veterinary diet. These prescription diets are often much more expensive than regular high-quality cat food. You may also need to incorporate probiotics into your cat’s diet. Some cats with chronic bladder infections and certain bacterial UTIs can benefit from ingesting probiotics.
FLUTD often requires follow-up appointments. Depending on your cat’s condition, your veterinarian may schedule more tests or prescribe other forms of treatment.
How Often Should Cats Get a Urinalysis?
You can request your veterinarian to complete a urinalysis when your cat appears healthy. Doing a urinalysis can give you peace of mind and can give you information on your cat’s overall health. For example, urinalysis can help you detect ketones and glucose levels, which can help determine if your cat has diabetes. The pH levels in urine can also indicate other infections.
It can also be helpful to request urinalysis for cats with a history of FLUTD. Getting results from a urinalysis can help you see what kinds of treatments are working and if your cat is at risk of any other infections or diseases. For example, you could start your cat on a veterinary diet and look for any significant positive changes from an updated urinalysis.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Urinary Treatment?
Yes, pet insurance can help pay for different treatment and care costs related to FLUTD. An accident and illness pet insurance plan can help cover diagnostic testing, like urinalyses, cystoscopies, and bloodwork. Surgeries are included in accident and illness plans, so your cat will most likely be covered if it requires a cystotomy.
Pet insurance can also help pay for medication, including antibiotics, and post-operative treatments prescribed by your veterinarian. Some pet insurance plans include coverage for alternative therapies and holistic treatments.
Just keep in mind that pet insurance companies will not pay for any tests and treatments for pre-existing conditions. So, if your cat has a history of FLUTD and you get pet insurance after its initial diagnosis, your pet insurance won’t help pay for any treatments related to the diagnosis. Some pet insurance companies do offer to pay for some pre-existing conditions if your cat is cured and remains symptom-free for at least 12 months.
Overall, it’s important to make sure you get clear answers about the coverage a pet insurance plan provides before enrolling to ensure you can submit claims for veterinary costs related to FLUTD.
Top 3 Tips to Prevent FLUTD in Cats
Many different factors can trigger FLUTD, so cats with even the most vigilant owners can end up with some form of it.
1. Reduce Stressors
Since there may be links to stress and higher risks of FLUTD, try to create a calm and peaceful home where your cat feels safe. You can place its food and water bowls in a quiet and secluded area where your cat can eat and drink undisturbed. Placing litter boxes in quiet areas can also help reduce stress. Just make sure that they’re not placed too close to food and water stations, as cats are very sensitive to smell.
2. Prevent Boredom
Boredom can also lead to stress and anxious behaviors. So, make sure your cat has plenty of toys to play with and vertical spaces to climb. Your cat will appreciate perches and resting areas in higher places, so you may want to invest in a cat tree or create safe pathways for your cat to climb to higher zones.
3. Take Care of Litter Boxes
It’s also important to be mindful of litter boxes. Make sure that there are enough litter boxes in the home. Each house should have the same number of litter boxes as cats plus one extra litter box. So, if you have two cats, you should have a minimum of three litter boxes.
Make sure to clean the litter boxes frequently to curb the spread of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Litter Boxes should also be deep-cleaned every several weeks to kill off germs that can trigger FLUTD.
Diagnosing and treating FLUTD can be a frustrating and long process, and you could end up spending thousands of dollars on cat urinary treatment. Fortunately, pet insurance can help pay for some of the costs, and there are also some specific things you can do to prevent reoccurrences of FLUTD.
It’s best to be proactive and prepare for issues before they arise. So, make sure that your home is a clean, safe, and stimulating environment for your cat. You can also do some research on pet insurance and consult your veterinarian to determine how to best care for your cat’s healthcare needs.
Featured Image Credit: Gleb Usovich, Shutterstock