What vaccines does a kitten need and when?

I am looking into the costs for a "free" kitten from a friend of mine. We are trying to decide if we will take one or possibly two of the kittens, but must carefully consider the cost. I was looking into the vaccinations offered at PETCO by, but found the information confusing. The kitten schedule they recommended was featuring an expensive package, and I am wondering what is really necessary, and what can be done a little later in life. If I can spread the cost of the vaccinations out over months or years, I may be more able to afford two kittens. The single vaccines/services offered are: rabies, FVRCPC, Feline Leukemia, round/hook worm de-wormer, tapeworm de-wormer, and a variety of blood and stool tests.

The kittens will be strictly indoor, but their mother is indoor/outdoor. Also, are there any other low-cost vaccine options I can explore?

Asked by Saramina on Sep 27th 2008 Tagged vaccinations in Kittens
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Kittens need their combo vaccine (FVRCPC) starting at 6 or 8 weeks and it is a series of 3 shots, with 2 or 4 week intervals in between. This is essential for building a healthy immune system, so no you cannot delay them or what would be the point of vaccinating?

Rabies would not be necessary for an indoor only cat, nor feline leukemia. I do not vaccinate for these if indoor-only because of the unnecessary risk of side effects. But this does mean your cat must remain indoor only. Definitely do de-worming and stool tests for parasites.

Vaccines are -not- expensive. If you have to ask about cost concerns on here, then definitely do not get two cats. If you have to ask about whether or not you can delay vaccinations or not give them at all, please consider not getting a cat. A FVRCPC shot or a vet visit cost about the same amount as a high quality bag of cat food, so if you can't afford that, please don't get a cat and then give it mediocre care.

Atrus answered on 9/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I see that you live in MA from Saramina's profile page. The SPCA and Humane society offer low cost vaccination clinics and in MA there is a certificate you can get for a low cost spay/neuter based on economic need. Check out their websites for info. I also see from the pics that your family is already attached to this kitten so talking you out if it is probably not an option? But I would agree with Atrus that there is a lot of cost involved in providing proper care over the cat's lifetime so please consider just one kitten for now. I have 4 cats and I spend a lot on vet bills and on food and litter. An injury to Bailey's tail cost me $350. My spay bills were $300 each. An annual check up with booster shots just cost me $110. (rabies shots are a law in CT) Kira has a sinus infection and that just cost me $100 at the vet and $50 for antibiotics at CVS. There are so many costs to consider, not just the first ones. You don't want to have to deny your pet medical care when she needs it.

Kira answered on 10/3/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Like the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch", there's no such thing as a free kitten! First, to minimize costs, go online or check a local shelter to see if they have low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter clinics. We in Pgh. area are fortunate to have a vet clinic that does only that - Spays $47, Neuters $29, vaccines & testing are offered in packages. Can be up to 1/6 the cost of a regular vet! But you will need that regular vet later for annual exams or emergencies! If mama has been outdoors, you have the possibility of internal/external parasites, Feline Leukemia, and Feline AIDS (in addition to not knowing identity/health condition of the father/fathers). I would go for at least 2 sets of FVRCP vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart; rabies IF required by law (as often is); Profender is a one-time topical wormer that takes care about everything; flea med application (you could get away with combing kittens w/ a flea comb to avoid that cost!). Then spay/neuter around 6 months old.

Member 833961 answered on 6/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Puddy Cat and Angel

I do know they don't need rabies or feline leukemia. I'm not sure about the worm medicine. I know when they are older, they don't need worm meds. I just get distemper for my kitties. They don't need blood and stool tests either, unless they develop problems. Also check with your local farm stores, fleet farm, tractor supply stores. You can buy distemper vaccines there. Don't do the live virus that goes in the nose and eyses. Its hard to administer.

Puddy Cat and Angel answered on 9/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


What is necessary is the series of kitten vaccines (an initial FVRCP vaccine, two boosters of this, plus rabies). Please ignore any advice to skip the rabies, even if your cat will be indoor-only. If your cat bites someone in your home or at the vet and isn't current on rabies, they'll likely be quarantined at the local city/county shelter, as rabies is legally required most places. Feline leukemia vaccine can be skipped if the cat will be indoor only and won't be in contact with any unvaccinated cats. Since mom is indoor/outdoor, you should test the kittens for Leukemia and FIV before vaccinating. Where I work we generally give two de-wormers. Other than the the FeLV/FIV blood test, you shouldn't need "a variety of blood and stool tests." Most communities have low-cost spay/neuter and shot clinics. If your finances are such that you need to use those services, stick to one kitten. If you run into a serious illness or injury, you don't want to be caught short.

Julius answered on 9/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer