Costopedia / Pets / How Much Does a Cat Cancer Treatment Cost?

How Much Does a Cat Cancer Treatment Cost?

$ $ Chemotherapy $150 - $5K / Surgery $500 - $3K $ $ $ Radiation Therapy $2,5K - $7K

Knowing that your pet has been diagnosed with cancer can be both alarming and scary.

Although dogs have higher rates of cancer than cats -one in four dogs will get cancer-, cancer in cats tends to be diagnosed in later stages, often making it harder to treat.

Cancer generally affects senior pets, and since cats can live up to 20 years, it’s something you should keep in mind as your cat gets older.

Cancer In Cats

The most typical type of cancer in cats is lymphoma, which is directly associated with the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).

This virus can lead to a deficiency in the cat’s immune system, making it easier to get other infections.

There is a vaccine that the veterinarian can administer in two doses as soon as the cat is 8 weeks of age, later applying a single dose after one year has passed.

There are three cancer treatments for cats: chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

But what does each treatment imply? And how much does cat cancer treatment cost?

We’ll discuss these questions in the next sections.


This treatment involves using a group of drugs that are meant to eliminate the cancerous cells in the cat’s body.

They can be administered in different ways: oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intralesional, or intravenous.

The duration and frequency of chemotherapy will be determined by the type of cancer the cat has, which will certainly affect the total cost of treatment.

Chemotherapy for cats can cost from $150 to $5,000.


Surgery is the usual treatment for cats diagnosed with cancer.

The veterinary oncologist will remove the bump or lump (or at least as much as possible) where it’s located.

The regular cost of surgery is between $500 to $3,000.

The cost will depend on the difficulty of the surgery, the location of the tumor, and the time the cat has to be hospitalized or under observation.

The cat might also need follow-up medicines or a combination of treatments (like surgery and radiation therapy), which might increase the overall cost.

Radiation Therapy

It consists of applying high doses of radiation to a specific area of the cat’s body to inhibit cell replication, leading to the destruction of cancer cells.

It can be one or several doses of radiation because it must be adapted to the type and stage of cancer the cat has.

This treatment is commonly used on nasal or brain tumors in cats.

In some cases, it could be combined with surgery before, if it’s necessary to reduce the size of the tumor, or after, to prevent the growth of any cancer cells that could be left behind.

Radiation therapy is the most expensive treatment, costing between $2,500 to $7,000.

Options To Save Money

Cat cancer treatment can be expensive, so there are a few ways in which you can save money and still be able to provide your cat with the best available treatment.

There are three options when it comes to saving money if your cat gets diagnosed with cancer.

Health Insurance

The first one would be getting health insurance for the cat, which would likely cover most of the expenses: tests, diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

This could be a great option, but as with humans, most insurance companies don’t recognize preexistent conditions, so it’s something to consider.

Pharmacy Benefits Plan

The second option would be a pharmacy benefits plan, which allows cats that already have cancer to get discounts on medications and maybe even for veterinary visits or surgery.

Clinical Trials

The third one would be clinical trials, where the cat can have treatments that are still in the research phase.

Some might be free, but not all, so it’s something to keep in mind, as well as understanding that the requirements to get into a clinical trial are often very specific, so the cat might not have the opportunity to qualify for it.

Alessandra Spaziani Lara
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