Unfortunately, there comes a day when we have to make a decision about what to do with our beloved feline companions’ remains when they cross the Rainbow Bridge. More often than not, humans outlive their pets, and having a plan in place takes a load off, which helps when you’re grieving.
The cost of cat cremation depends on a few factors,1 such as your location, the facility that performs the cremation, and other considerations. It can range from $30 – $240. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the many factors that influence the cost of cat cremation so that you’re better informed to help you make the best decision for your needs.
The Importance of Having a Plan
None of us are keen on thinking of the day when our cats leave us, but unfortunately, it’s something we all have to consider and prepare for as much as possible. This is especially true if a cat’s death is unexpected. However, if your cat suddenly gets ill, you’ll know when the time is near to prepare for your cat’s death, and your veterinarian can help you decide what to do with the remains.
Veterinary practices have professional relationships with pet crematories, which keeps you from having to contact a pet crematory yourself. Your veterinarian’s practice has procedures in place, and they will give you options. For example, some people prefer to take their cat home for burial, and some prefer their veterinarian take care of the remains by cremation.
As far as cremation, you can decide if you want your cat to be cremated in a communal pet cremation, which means your cat will be cremated with other animals that have passed, or you can choose a private cremation. Communal cremation is more cost-effective, but be aware that you will not have your cat’s remains to take home.
How Much Does Professional Cat Cremation Cost?
Cat cremation costs will vary depending on the facility,2 the type of cremation, and your geographic location. As we’ve stated, you have the option of exclusively cremating your cat, or you can select a communal cremation that is cheaper. Most people would rather have their cat’s remains, and remember, communal cremation does not allow you to keep your cat’s remains. Nonetheless, the decision of what to do with your cat’s remains is a personal choice, and there are no right or wrong decisions.
Costs may vary depending on the facility. For example, if your cat passes at an emergency veterinarian clinic, the cost to cremate may be more expensive than your regular vet. However, the cost may be reflected in the visit itself rather than the price for the cremation, as emergency vets also have personal relationships with pet crematoriums. In this scenario, the facility will go over your options and explain the price and choices.
Given there are a few scenarios, we’ve created a chart below to help you get a feel for cat cremation expenses depending on your choice of cremation and geographic location. These costs are estimates and may not accurately represent a particular location or veterinary practice.
Standard Costs of Cat Cremation by Location
|Type of Cremation||West Coast||Midwest||East Coast|
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Some veterinarian practices offer different packages for cremation. For example, some packages offer more than others, which fluctuates the price. Packages may include your cat’s paw print, a wood-carved urn, a customized wood-carved urn, an engraved nameplate, a private ceremony, delivery of your cat’s remains, a keepsake poem, a framed picture of your cat, and other customizations.
You can also opt to view the cremation for an additional fee. If the completion of the cremation falls on a weekend or after hours, you may be charged an additional cost to pick up the remains.
Some cat parents desire to bury their cat in a pet cemetery rather than using cremation services.3 Cat burial, in particular, is not as expensive as canine burial, with costs averaging $60 for the lot and $70 for a simple casket. On the other hand, headstones will probably be the most expensive, with an average cost of $300 for a granite stone.
How Long Does It Take to Get My Cat’s Ashes?
The average timeframe to get your cat’s ashes is usually 2 days to 1 week,4 give or take, as it really depends on the facility used. Your veterinarian’s office will send the remains to the crematory they use, and the crematorium will send the ashes back to your vet for you to pick up.
Some facilities allow you to take the remains home that day, which is ideal if you opt for a private cremation to ensure the remains you receive are, in fact, your cat’s and no others’. Always ensure your vet is aware of the type of cremation you want to avoid a communal cremation if that is not what you desire.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Cremation?
Some pet insurance companies will not cover the cremation itself because it is not deemed a medical procedure, but most will cover euthanasia and burial, which is covered under the end-of-life portion of the pet insurance. It’s important to note that most pet insurance plans will cover end-of-life costs if the reason for death was caused by a medical incident covered by the plan.
However, some insurance plans, like Spot Pet Insurance, will cover euthanasia, cremation, and burial, but most will not cover funeral expenses, urns, caskets, memorial items, or burial plots. When shopping for a pet insurance plan for your cat, ensure you understand the insurance policies regarding euthanasia, burial, and cremation so that you’re prepared when the time comes.
What to Do for Your Cat’s Health
Some people adopt cats because they consider them low maintenance, especially compared to a dog. However, you still need to keep your cat happy, healthy, and entertained.
For indoor cats, life can be monotonous, and it’s up to you to keep your cat entertained and exercised. Obesity in cats can lead to numerous health issues, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. But how do you exercise a cat? For starters, keep plenty of cat toys around for your cat to play with. Laser pointers are excellent for cats because most cats cannot resist chasing the red dot.
You should aim to play with your cat for at least 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Be sure to praise your cat when he engages in play with you. This will inspire more playtime. You should also keep your cat on his toes by introducing new toys often.
Just because a cat is not a dog doesn’t mean you can’t take your cat on walks. You can leash-train your cat for this very purpose, but it requires more time and patience compared to puppies or dogs because cats are naturally independent. Some cats do not have access to an enclosed patio to experience the outdoors, and leash training is an excellent way to give your cat safe access to the outside world.
Lastly, always ensure your cat is getting the optimal nutrition needed for a healthy life. Your veterinarian can help you with your cat’s nutritional needs if you’re ever confused about what to feed.
The cost to cremate your cat varies depending on your location and the facility used. Some pet insurance plans cover cremation, but some do not. If you do not have an insurance plan for your cat, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $250 and up. A private cremation is more costly, while a communal cremation is more cost-effective. However, when the time comes, you have options to consider.
Remember that a communal cremation does not allow you to keep the ashes, as the ashes will contain other pets. You have customizable options with a private cremation, which fluctuates the costs. In the end, there are no right or wrong decisions.