The surgery itself takes only about 15 minutes. The cat usually has to be dropped off first thing in the morning and you can pick them up in the afternoon. Some clinics like them to stay overnight, however. I think I paid about $60 Canadian to get my cat neutered, but I'm not sure because it has been awhile :lol: . You can always call around for prices, just keep in mind that the lowest price might might not be the best thing for your cat. The safest anaesthetics and best quality of care usually cost more. I would recommend getting it done a soon as possible, because it reduces the risk of reproductive cancer and also can help you avoid some unwanted behaviours (spraying, aggression, fighting, wandering).
Okay, since I just brought my boy home this morning from being neutered, I'll go ahead and give you a run down of what I paid:
Surgery: $42 - the only necessary cost, but...
Laser surgery: $25
Pain shot afterwards: $12
PAP (bloodwork): $40
But, like I said, the surgery is the only thing you need to pay for. The rest is for his own comfort and your peace of mind. Obviously, prices also vary from clinic to clinic. Mine made me leave Scooter there overnight (even though he was brought in first thing that morning), but they didn't charge me for keeping him overnight. Others may let you take them home that evening, or some may charge you boarding if they keep him.
You can also check into clinics that work on sliding scales, especially if you're on any kind of assistance. There are many grants out there to prevent overpopulation that help out vet clinics. One of them, the Prevent A Litter program, works almost exclusively with clinics within animal shelters, so check with them as well. When I was working with the shelter, as long as the cat was up to date on shots, the surgery itself was 45$, drop off in the morning, pick up in the PM. I've assisted in neuters as well, and it really is a quick procedure. Not that I'm discounting the discomfort, mind you...