Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Is the Average Cost of an Overnight Vet Stay in 2024? Pricing Guide

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

cat at vet with owner and veternarian

Adopting a cat means committing to taking care of his essential needs, such as food, grooming, and playtime, and giving him all the attention and love he requires. You also know that it is essential to plan a budget for veterinary care. However, if your cat has had surgery or is suffering from an injury or illness, your veterinarian may recommend that he stay overnight to ensure a full recovery.

Therefore, you must be emotionally and financially prepared if this situation occurs. Read on to find out the average cost according to your region, the reasons that may justify an overnight hospitalization, and how to plan ahead.


The Importance of Leaving Your Cat Overnight at the Vet

Most pet parents hate going to the vet as much as their furry babies. But whether it’s for an emergency, scheduled surgery, or post-op care, your cat will eventually need to spend a night at the vet, even if it breaks your heart. However, this hospitalization is necessary to ensure constant monitoring of your pet and to administer medication at specific times. In addition, an overnight stay allows the supervision of your pet by a professional (technician or veterinarian), as well as an additional reassessment examination if necessary.

In other words, your beloved cat will be in good hands.


How Much Does an Overnight Vet Stay Cost?

The costs of an overnight stay at the vet for your cat can vary considerably. For example, emergency surgery will cost significantly more than post-operative care following routine sterilization.

The cost may also vary depending on the size of your pet. However, this applies especially in the case of large dogs, since they will need a larger cage and a greater quantity of medication, which is obviously not the case for cats.

Costs will also fluctuate depending on where you live in the United States, the number of vets in your area, and the length and complexity of care.

vet assessing birman cat
Image Credit: Stock Asso, Shutterstock

Price Range of Overnight Vet Care

The table below provides a general breakdown of the broad categories of diagnosis and treatment your cat may need if hospitalized in a US veterinary clinic or hospital. These prices vary depending on your location and the treatments required.

In addition to hospital charges and appropriate professional fees, there may also be billable time for additional care. These services may need to be performed by a technician or veterinarian. This care may include abscess drainage, wound treatment, stitch extraction, etc. Be sure to discuss this with your vet beforehand to avoid a hefty bill.

Exam/Consultation $100–$150
1–2 Day Hospitalization

(vomiting/diarrhea, seizures)

3–5 Day Hospitalization

(kidney failure, blocked cat, parvo)

Emergency Surgery

(bloat, foreign body, hit by a car)


Related: How To Prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) In Cats (Vet Answer)

Additional Costs to Anticipate

It is almost impossible to foresee all the costs that could add up to the total bill. However, it is highly likely that additional blood tests, medications, X-rays, and diagnostics will be required. Here is an overview of the costs to expect, based on estimates from Emergency Vets USA.

General Blood Work $80–$200
X-rays $150–$250
Ultrasound $300–$600
Wound Treatment & Repair $800–$1,500
Oxygen Therapy

(heart failure, pneumonia, asthma)


How Often Should I Expect My Cat to Stay Overnight at the Vet?

If your cat is neutered, healthy, has no chronic or acute illnesses, visits the vet regularly for routine check-ups, and never goes outside, you may never have to leave him for an overnight stay at the clinic or hospital.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, as accidents happen and sudden illnesses can appear when you least expect them. Therefore, it is better to be prepared for any eventuality.

cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover Overnight Vet Costs for Your Cat?

Most pet insurance covers some or all of the costs associated with hospitalization.

For example, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance covers accident-related injuries and emergencies, such as broken bones, wounds, or toxic ingestion. It also includes accident-related services, such as X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, blood tests, sutures, medications, hospitalization, and surgery.

But beware! You must pay the full amount upfront because insurance companies only pay after the fact.

If you are looking for a pet insurance plan that offers great value, Spot's customized plans can be adjusted to suit your pet and your budget. You may be able to cover your pet at a cost that suits you.

What to Do to Prevent or Prepare for Overnight Vet Costs

If you want to avoid the hefty emergency vet bills, like an overnight stay in the hospital, you’ll need to make a game plan ahead of time. Here are some tips to ensure the well-being of your cat without emptying your bank account:

  • Monitor your cat’s weight. A slender animal generally lives two years longer than an overweight animal. Obesity is the cause of several health problems such as diabetes, so make sure your cat gets enough exercise and doesn’t eat too many treats.
  • Eliminate poisonous plants from your home. Some indoor plants are toxic to cats. The list is readily available on the Internet, including the Pet Poison Helpline and ASPCA websites. This precious information may save you an emergency visit to the vet!
  • Get your cat vaccinated. Vaccination is the best way to prevent disease. Not to mention that the costs are much lower than those of treatments if your cat were to fall ill. In addition, the majority of vaccines are only necessary every three years.
  • Don’t neglect regular vet checkups. Have you found a suspicious mass on your cat’s body, or is he lethargic and eating with less appetite? Consult immediately: waiting even 24 hours can significantly worsen the condition of your pet, which can lead to more numerous and invasive treatments and, therefore, more expensive.
  • Compare veterinary clinic prices. The costs of consultations and treatments vary from one establishment to another. So, be sure to ask what is included in the price and what procedures are recommended, but optional, such as blood tests.



An overnight vet stay is a trying situation, both for you and for your beloved cat. To avoid putting even more stress on your shoulders, make a plan now. Find a veterinarian you trust, talk to him about available payment options, get your finances in order, and consider getting pet insurance. Because even if you take great care of your beloved feline, you can’t control everything. And if you ever had to leave your cat at the vet overnight, you’ll have a bit more peace of mind.

Featured Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database