“Beat the Heat” With Low-cost Spay and Neuter at Pittsburgh Area Shelters

two kittens in carrier
The two rescued kittens.

Isn’t it too early to be thinking about kittens? There’s still snow! While you may find new litters of kittens in the middle of the winter, a cat’s reproductive system responds to the length of the day, likely a biological response to keep them from reproducing during times when, seasonally, there isn’t enough food or the weather is inhospitable to kittens. Still, at HCMT clinics in January more than one female cats is often pregnant. Fellow blogger and vet tech Teri Thorsteinson, formerly a breeder of Cornish Rex cats, has written an excellent explanation of “Kittening”, explaining a cat’s reproductive cycle and giving birth.

But why wait until cats are ready to go before spaying and neutering, especially spaying the girls? Cats as young as four months can reproduce. One of the most important considerations is to do it NOW, before cats start breeding in earnest, both indoor cats and those living outdoors as community cats, before last year’s kittens who may not be spayed and neutered answer the call of nature as the days grow longer and we start talking about “kitten season” again.

Kittens can be safely spayed and neutered as young as two months and two pounds. They recover so fast you can hardly tell anything happened to them, and they continue to grow and develop normally.

Often, cost is the biggest hurdle to having pets spayed and neutered. Below is a roundup of low-cost clinics in shelters and organizations in and around Pittsburgh in the month of February. In most cases you’ll need to call ahead and make an appointment, and in some cases there may be a waiting period as ongoing low-cost clinics often fill up fast and one-time low-cost clinics often have a limit.

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Beaver County Humane Society Logo
Beaver County Humane Society Logo

Beaver County Humane Society is kicking off February with a low cost surgery clinic to help the overpopulation of cats in Beaver County

Center Township, PA, January 14, 2015– February is National Spay and Neuter Month and Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) is boldly stepping up to help with the overabundance of cats in the area by providing high quality, but AFFORDABLE vaccines and spay/neuter surgeries.

BCHS is partnering with Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue of Tarentum PA on Sunday, February 1 with the goal of spaying or neutering 50 cats in a single day. Frankie’s Friends has a fully equipped mobile surgery vehicle with a modern, state-of-the-art surgery suite and it will be parked in the parking lot at BCHS at 3394 Brodhead Road, Center Township, PA 15001.

The costs are as follows:

  • Owned cats (pet cats):
    • $50 for a spay surgery (female)/$35 for a neuter surgery (male)
    • Rabies Vaccine $8 and FVRCP Vaccines (cat core vaccine) $10
    • FELV (feline leukemia vaccines) $12 and FELV testing is $20
    • All Cats receive a complimentary flea treatment
  • Feral Cats (wild or stray cats):
    • $40 for surgery, ear tipping, rabies vaccine, and flea treatment
  • Read below for details on the BCHS TNR program as well.

“We are very excited with this partnership with Frankie’s Friends,” says BCHS Executive Director Susan Salyards. “One unspayed cat can produce dozens of kittens in a lifetime, and this is the first of many efforts BCHS is embarking on to help control the cat overpopulation in Beaver County. To make an appointment for your cat(s) please call 724-775-5801 x 114. Appointments are made on a first come, first serve basis. Appointments are guaranteed, walk-ins are welcome but NOT guaranteed.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Susan Salyards at 724-775-5801 x 106 or email at ssalyards@beavercountyhumanesociety.org.

Since 1950 the Beaver County Humane Society has been committed to helping animals in the Beaver County area. Sixty-five years later, more than 4,000 animals receive comfort and care each year.

NOTE: The shelter informed me the mobile clinic is already full, but they will continue making appointments and providing surgeries in the shelter clinic as well to meet the demand. Call soon for your appointment so they can prepare!

The Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) is once again offering a TNR program for community cats in Beaver County.

BCHS offers various TNR packages in order to assist all budget ranges.  To participate in the TNR program, please contact the shelter directly at 724-775-5801 x114 in order to schedule an appointment.

TNR Program Prices (prices subject to change):

Price Package A-$30 Includes:

– 1yr Rabies Vaccination
– Spay/neuter surgery
– Eartipping
*Felv/FIV testing can be added to package A for $30*

Price Package B-$65 Includes:

– Initial FVRCP vaccination (needs booster in 3-4 weeks)
– 1yr Rabies vaccination
– Spay/neuter surgery
– Eartipping
– Flea preventative
– Dewormer

Price Package C-$95 Includes:

– Initial FVRCP vaccination
(needs booster in 3-4 weeks)
– 1yr Rabies vaccination
– Spay/neuter surgery
– Eartipping (optional)
– Flea preventative
– Dewormer
– Felv/FIV testing

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Animal Friends Logo
Animal Friends Logo

Beat the Heat at Animal Friends

Animal Friends offers a $20 spay for female cats in February.

Get your female cat fixed for only $20 this February! Unplanned births create millions of pets with no place to call home. Beat The Heat‬ before spring by calling our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Department at 412.847.7004 or by visiting www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org for more information. Funding provided by PetSmart Charities.

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Spay Days Every Tuesday Through Friday at Animal Rescue League Plus TNR Program

Animal Rescue League Logo
Animal Rescue League Logo

Available all year the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center offers a flat price of $63 for spay/neuter, vaccines and more.

From their website: For just $63 your cat can be spayed or neutered, given a rabies vaccine, FVRCP (distemper) vaccine, flea treatment, and nail trim.

Spay Days appointments for cats are scheduled Tuesday-Friday.  All surgeries are by appointment only.

If the pet is already vaccinated the surgery is $43, but you MUST bring proof of vaccinations with you at drop off.  Drop off times for surgery are between 8:30 & 10am. The cat MUST be in a carrier! Pick up times are between 6 & 7pm.  The night before surgery the cat should have no food after 6pm and no water after midnight. If you have a kitten under the age of 6 months, he or she should have no food or water after midnight.

Please call 412-345-7300 x 211 to make an appointment.

ARL TNR Program

(Updated and added January 26, 2015)

To help feral cat caregivers, the Animal Rescue League discounts spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats.  For $30, our clinic will spay or neuter a feral cat, provide a rabies vaccine, and ear-tip the cat to identify him or her as already spayed or neutered.

Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane approach for feral cats. Though this program, outdoor cats are humanely trapped, brought to the clinic, spayed or neutered, receive a rabies vaccine and ear-tipped (for identification purposes) and returned to their outdoor home.

  1. Identify that there is a feral cat in your neighborhood (more…)
  2. Schedule an appointment with Clinic: 412-345-7300 x 211 or tjones@animalrescue.org
  3. Trap the cat(s) the evening before the scheduled surgery
  4. Safely transport the cat(s) to the Animal Rescue League between 8:30am and 10:00am the day of your scheduled appointment.
  5. Pick the cat up at the designated time and follow post surgery instructions before returning the cat to its natural environment.

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Western Pennsylvania Humane Society logo
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society logo

Spay Day Every Sunday at Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

Female cats can be spayed and given vaccinations every Sunday at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, and a TNR program for stray and feral cats is also available.

Low-cost spay for owned cats $65 per cat

From their website: Our spay day program is for the friendly, healthy feline whose owners would prefer to have vaccinations and surgery all in one day. This cost effective program is $65 and includes the surgery, rabies and fvrcp vaccination, and a microchip. This program only occurs on Sundays.

Unlike our other feline spay and neuter programs, your cat will NOT receive an examination by the veterinarian. We recommend a veterinarian exam prior to surgery and refer you to our other programs. However, we understand that this program may be the best fit for some.

If your cat is current on vaccines; medical records are required at the time of drop off. Prepayment is expected and space is limited. There will be a $10.00 administration fee applied for any no shows and you will no longer be allowed to participate in this program.

You will be contacted after payment is received (this may take up to 48 hours to receive an e-mail or call) to schedule a surgery day.

TNR for feral cats $30 per cat

From the website: The Western PA Humane Society is a partner in Three Rivers Feral Project, which is an initiative to provide low-cost spay/neuter/vaccination services to area caregivers who care for feral cat colonies. This program is available to feral colony caregivers who practice Trap-Neuter-Release, which is the humane solution for feral cats.

Included in the $30 per cat fee is spay or neuter surgery, a one-year rabies vaccination, a dose of flea treatment, and an ear-tip to identify the cat as an altered cat who is part of a managed feral cat colony. Any feral cat or kitten over the age of three months is eligible for this program. (Note: A feral is different from a stray cat. A stray cat is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned. Feral cats are born in the wild and are unable to be safely handled)

Appointments must be made in advance for TNR, and openings are available weekdays and Sundays. Drop off is between 8:00 and 9:30 AM and pick up is between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. Each cat must arrive at our clinic in a humane box trap. Traps should be covered with a towel or a sheet in order to make this experience less stressful on the feral cat.

Register Online for both programs, or call Molly Vandora at (412)321-4625 ext. 213

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Washington Area Humane Society Feral Cat and Spay-Neuter Program

Washington Area Humane Association logo
Washington Area Humane Association logo

The Washington Area Humane Society in Washington PA offer a variety of services for routine dog and cat care including spay and neuter, vaccinations, deworming, flea & tick prevention, nail trimming and ear cleaning.

Regular Spay and Neuter Appointments

The clinic is available to anyone with a pet. Cats can be spayed for $90.00 and neutered for $60.00. Price includes an E-collar for your pets health and safety after surgery. Feline Combo Test is required prior to Spay or Neuter

An appointment must be scheduled for all clinic procedures. Call 724-222-7387

Feral Cat Surgery Instructions

This program is for Feral Cats only!

  • Feral Cats must be in a trap.
  • Traps are available for use with a $20.00 deposit per trap that can be applied to the cost of surgery, when trap is returned.
  • The cost is $30.00 for a feral cat- includes  surgery, Rabies vaccination, FELV/FIV testing and ear tip.
  • Does not require pre-registration
  • Payment must be made at time of drop-off, no appointment necessary.
  • Cash or Credit Card only.
  • If the cat shows any sign of illness, the vet has the right to refuse surgery and you will be asked to take the cat back.
  • Please contact the Society for drop-off dates and times.
  • Pick up is same day as surgery.

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Homeless Cat Management Team Free for Ferals Clinic

For 15 years HCMT has served over 1,000 cats per year. Clinics in the spring and summer often treat over 100 cats at each clinic, roughly twice each month, and more with mobile clinics.

On February 8 the clinic will be free for feral cats brought in traps. For owned cats or rescues the regular charges apply. Here is how the clinic works:

You must pre-register for any clinic.

  • First, call 412-321-4060 and leave a message; someone will return your call and complete your pre-registration.
  • Second, once you have pre-registered for the clinic you want to attend, and you will receive a confirming phone call to be included in the clinic. Feral cats MUST arrive in a standard humane box trap (Havahart, Safe-guard, Tomahawk, Tru-Catch, etc.) for the safety of all involved. Rescue and owned cats can arrive in carriers.

All clinics are held at the HCMT’s clinic at 207 Allegheny St, Tarentum, PA 15084.

If you have any questions, please call the hotline number and ask, and visit www.homelesscat.org for details, other clinic dates, and charges for owned and rescued cats.

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City of Pittsburgh Free Cat and Dog Spay/Neuter Program

In February 2012 Pittsburgh’s City Council approved a program sponsored by Council President Darlene Harris that provides vouchers for up to five pets per household to Pittsburgh residents (the city has a limit of five pets per residence). The bill allocated $170,000 toward the program, yet the city spends much more than that in combined animal control costs.

How the program works

Determine residency: This program is available all year round to residents of all neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh. To determine if your neighborhood is within city limits, reference this neighborhood map.

Pet limits: Pet owners are limited to five surgeries per address because the city has a limit of five pets per residence.

Complete the application: Apply by completing an application for each cat or dog. Residents can also apply for feral cats if the colony is in the City of Pittsburgh.

Prove city residence: Pet owners and/or caregivers must prove city residence by showing—

  • two bills with a valid city of Pittsburgh address
  • a driver’s license or equivalent form of identification with a valid city address.

Applicants will be contacted with appointment place, date and time, and pre- and post-surgery instructions.

Caretakers may also purchase a microchip for a pet at the time of surgery for $3.00.

Read more about it, and if you are a City of Pittsburgh resident you can also download an application here: http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/animalcontrol/spay_neuter.htm.

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Other spay/neuter and low-cost veterinary options

Please check my Shelters, Assistance, Spay/Neuter page for opportunities in Pittsburgh and beyond.


Read more articles about Health and Safety and Veterinary Medicine.

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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