Cat Abscess Treatment Cost & Other FAQs

Three Minutes
May 29, 2023

Cat Abscess Treatment Cost & Other FAQs

Treating a cat abscess can be an expensive procedure, with veterinary bills costing up to $2,000 or more.1 If your kitty’s suffering from a painful, untreated cat abscess, getting them relief is a top priority. But how do you balance that with the realities of your budget? Keep reading to learn more about this condition and how pet insurance could help with cat vet visit costs.

What Is a Cat Abscess?

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket located somewhere on or in the body.2 Many abscesses are subcutaneous, meaning they form beneath the skin. They’re usually easy to see and appear as a reddened swelling that can be firm or soft to the touch. If a subcutaneous abscess has ruptured, it’s usually accompanied by a foul-smelling discharge.

Other abscess types can be harder to find. For example, a cat tooth abscess forms at the root of a tooth below the gumline. Abscesses can also appear internally, within a body cavity or a deep-tissue area.2

What Is a Cat Abscess?

Generally, an abscess is caused by a bacterial infection. There are multiple ways your cat could become infected and develop an abscess. Some of the most common causes include:2

  • Animal bites: If you have an outdoor cat or a cat who interacts with other animals, they could develop an abscess after being bitten.
  • Blood-borne infections: A cat that’s been exposed to blood-borne bacteria could develop an internal abscess in the liver or other organs.
  • Tooth damage: Cats are notorious for dental problems. A damaged tooth could cause an abscess to form at the roots.

How Do I Know if My Cat Has an Abscess?

Abscesses can be very uncomfortable, or even painful, for your cat. Unfortunately, most cats search for solitude when they’re experiencing pain, making it difficult to identify what’s bothering them or recognize a problem in the first place.

Pay close attention to your feline companion’s behavior. Cats are creatures of habit, preferring to eat and play at around the same time each day. If they suddenly change their schedule, either by missing meals or sleeping through playtime, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.

Shivering and panting could indicate a fever caused by the abscess, and you may be able to visibly see an abscess if it’s on the outside of your cat’s body. If any of these signs occur, call your vet to schedule an exam.

Is a Cat Abscess Dangerous?

The risks posed by an abscess depend on its location and severity. A subcutaneous abscess located on the surface could be relatively benign, or it could put your cat at risk for further tissue damage. An internal abscess could be even more dangerous — if ruptured, the bacteria could lead to a widespread infection.2

Regardless of location and severity, an abscess can be a painful experience for your cat. It’s a good idea to get them treated as quickly as possible.

Lumps Can Be Scary. Vet Bills Don’t Have To Be.

Find Out More

What’s Involved in Cat Abscess Treatment?

When you bring your cat to the vet for abscess treatment, your vet will likely take a sample of the pus, so the bacteria can be identified. This allows the vet to prescribe the most effective antibiotics to combat the infection and prevent it from spreading.2

In the meantime, your vet may remove the abscess. This is the most immediate and effective way to bring your cat relief and put them on the path to recovery. Usually, abscess removal can be done in the clinic without hospitalization. The process may involve draining and flushing the pocket or removing it surgically. If the infection was caused by a foreign object, it will need to be removed as well to prevent another abscess from forming.2

Once the abscess has been removed, your vet may prescribe painkillers along with antibiotics to help your kitty recover. It’s important to give your cat the medication for as long as prescribed. Follow your vet’s advice to help make sure your cat gets healthy and stays healthy.

How Can Pet Insurance Help With Cat Abscess Treatment Costs?

Getting your cat the help they need is important, but it can be costly — especially if they’re unexpected expenses. Here are just a few of the costs typically involved in abscess treatment:1

  • Examination: $30 – $100
  • Lab tests: $80 – $200
  • Abscess draining: $100 – $800
  • Surgical removal: $300 – $2,000

Prices vary depending on the severity of your cat’s abscess and the intensity of the treatment required. Where you live can also impact treatment costs, as clinics in large cities may charge more than those in rural areas.

Cat abscess treatment with pet insurance

Fortunately, a cat insurance policy can help cover some of these costs.3 Here are a few examples of real cat parents who were reimbursed by MetLife Pet Insurance for abscess treatment:4

  • At less than 1 year old, Dubbs the kitten developed an abscess in his cheek. Surgical removal cost nearly $780, but Dubbs’s parents were reimbursed about $625 — nearly the full cost!
  • Five-year-old Manx cat Luther went to the vet with an abscess, and the vet bill was just about $1,030. Thanks to his cat insurance policy, Luther’s owners got a reimbursement of over $620.
  • Senior cat Tad was 15 years old when he needed a dental extraction to remove his tooth abscess. This procedure cost his family almost $490, but they received a reimbursement of more than $330.

With savings like that, a MetLife Pet Insurance policy may be worth it for you. Our comprehensive coverage is designed to help your cat get the care they need, when they need it. Don’t let a vet bill get in the way of their health and happiness. Find out how much you could save with a free quote today.

Help Protect Your Cat From Pain

1 “What Is the Cost of Cat Abscess Treatment? (Updated in 2023)”, Hepper

2 “Abscesses in Cats,” VCA Animal Hospitals

3 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

4 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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