Pet Wellness Guides > Cat Intestinal Blockage Surgery Cost in 2024 - Pet Insurance Review

Cat Intestinal Blockage Surgery Cost in 2024

Posted: 02/26/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Cat , Health problems , Top Tips

Intestinal blockages in cats are life-threatening and far more common than you might think. When they say curiosity killed the cat, this is partly what they are talking about. When our curious fur babies decide to nibble on things they shouldn’t, like Christmas tree tinsel or a bit of yarn, these objects are hard to digest and can end up passing through the stomach, into the intestines, where they can cause a blockage. Surgery is required in these emergencies. But what exactly does the cat intestinal blockage surgery cost and does pet insurance cover it?

Types of Intestinal Blockages

There are actually three types of intestinal blockages a cat may encounter:

Complete Intestinal Blockage

As the name suggests, a complete intestinal blockage means the entire GI tract has been blocked by a foreign object. Sometimes these blockages can even occur from a massive hairball. Cats with a complete obstruction will show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Uncharacteristic behavior (hissing)
  • A notable lack of appetite

If you have ‘one of those cats’ that tends to get into things and nibble and they show any of these signs, get them to a vet or ER clinic immediately!

Partial Intestinal Blockage

The second type of blockage is a partial blockage. In this scenario some but not all of the digested food is allowed to pass through. There are usually similar symptoms, though often a cat with a partial blockage will show no signs at all. This, sadly, can then lead to complications such as an infection or, in severe cases, life-threatening sepsis.

Linear Intestinal Blockage

Linear blockages occur when your cat has ingested something long and thin, like a bit of ribbon. At first, she may show no signs of a problem. However, as the days pass the long ribbon can become tangled in the intestines, causing oxygen deprivation and serious damage. There is also a risk that some of these foreign objects can cut through the intestinal wall, leading to leaking into the abdomen.

When Should You Seek Veterinary Help?

If you suspect your cat has swallowed something they shouldn’t have, there is really no time for hesitation. Get them to the vet ASAP. Your vet – or if your vet is closed –  a vet at the nearest emergency clinic can perform an ultrasound to see if there is in fact a foreign object obstruction. If you get your cat to the vet pronto, before the foreign object has a chance to leave the stomach and head for the intestines where it can become lodged, the vet can remove the object through less invasive methods such as endoscopy or induced vomiting. [NEVER try to induce vomiting in your cat – always consult your vet first.]

Post-Surgery Recovery

If it is confirmed that your cat has an intestinal blockage, surgery will be required. The recovery journey post-surgery is a bit of a rollercoaster and depends on the severity of the damage. There’s a notable risk of abdominal infection, and your vet might recommend keeping your furry friend in the hospital until the infection risk is down and their appetite returns to normal.

Cost of Intestinal Blockage Surgery

As you can probably imagine, intestinal blockage surgery is a very serious and intensive procedure. Because of this, it tends to come with a hefty price tag, with costs ranging any

Now, let’s address the financial aspect. Intestinal blockage surgery can be a bit heavy on the wallet, with costs ranging from $2000 to $10000 or more, according to CareCredit. The expenses vary based on factors like your location and the severity of your cat’s condition. If you’re a pet parent with insurance, there’s a silver lining—some or all of the costs might be covered.

What Will Pet Insurance Cover?

When it comes to surgical procedures, pet insurance coverage can include exam fees, anesthesia, vet and tech time, overnight observation/hospitalization, prescriptions, follow-up care, rehabilitation, and more. Some plans even offer additional coverage for procedures like spaying and neutering.

How much your policy will reimburse you depends on the reimbursement rate you choose. Most policies these days have reimbursement rates between 70% and 100%. 

It should be noted that the higher your reimbursement rate, the higher your monthly premium. But most pet parents don’t mind paying a bit more each month knowing that should a serious accident or illness strike, they will get the coverage they need to save their fur baby’s life.

Prevention is Key

Since predicting your cat’s sudden culinary interests is a challenge, keep tempting items out of reach. Elastic bands, small hair ties, and those enticing strings off cuts of meat should be stowed away. And a friendly reminder: skip the tinsel at Christmas—it may sparkle, but it’s not worth the health risk for your furry friend.

Oh, and if you’re thinking about enrolling your cat in a pet insurance plan but aren’t sure which providers are best, here are the top pet insurance providers – in order – based on over 150,000 authentic reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,453
4.5Pets Best7,180
4.3Pet Assure12





The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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