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What’s the Price of Cat Vaccinations? (Costs in 2024)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

ginger cat having vaccination

What’s the Price of Cat Vaccinations? (Costs in 2024)

VET APPROVED

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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One important task that we can do as cat parents is to make vaccinations a priority. An initial round of vaccinations will keep your kitten healthy as they grow into adulthood, but vaccinations should not stop there. There is a vaccine schedule to follow throughout your cat’s entire life to ensure their health and safety.

Knowing that vaccinations are a responsibility to take seriously for the duration of your cat’s life might lead you to wonder what the cost of cat vaccinations will be this year. It’s a great question that deserves a thorough answer! Here is a breakdown of vaccination costs and insight into other aspects of vaccinating a cat.

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The Importance of Having Your Cat Vaccinated

All cats, especially kittens, are susceptible to various infectious diseases. Vaccinations help reduce the risk that your feline will become infected with a disease and minimize the chance that they could spread an illness to other cats.

Vaccines are the most effective way to protect against viruses and bacteria that can threaten the health, if not the life, of your cat. Even indoor cats should receive vaccinations as they can still be exposed.

An indoor cat’s immune system may not be exposed to as many dangers as an outdoor cat’s, so their bodies may be less inclined to know how to deal with an invading bacterium or virus. Vaccinations ensure that an indoor cat’s immune system can stand up to even the most aggressive diseases they could encounter.

vet holding cat for vaccination
Image Credit: bmf-foto.de, Shutterstock

How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost?

The cost of a cat vaccination varies from place to place, region to region, and sometimes depends on how old the cat is. It also depends on the types of vaccines that the cat is getting. Four vaccinations are recommended for all cats and include rabies, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, and feline rhinotracheitis. The latter three listed are combined into one vaccination and are typically referred to as a “distemper” vaccination.

Here are a few examples of what these major vaccinations could cost you, whether you’re located in the Southeast, West, Southwest, Northeast, or Midwest:

Vaccination Type Florida New York Oregon Texas Kansas
Rabies $33 $35 $35 $33 $33
Distemper combination $47 $49 $49 $47 $47

Keep in mind that these prices are for just one clinic or service provider per region, so the exact costs will depend on where you live and the kind of establishment you decide to use. Many states offer discounted cat vaccinations (as well as discounts for spaying and neutering) through county programs and established animal welfare organizations.

So, if you want to save money on vaccines, contact your local humane society or animal shelter to find out if any discount programs are offered in your area before reaching out to a veterinarian or vaccine clinic. If you can’t find a discount program to utilize, it’s a good idea to call multiple service providers to get quotes so you can make comparisons and confidently choose the most cost-effective place to take your cat.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Most vaccination rates include the visit cost, so you shouldn’t have to pay more just to see the veterinarian or technician. If in doubt, make a quick call to verify whether additional charges can be expected for any reason. There are also a few other vaccinations that may benefit your feline depending on their age, health, lifestyle, and susceptibility to certain viruses and bacteria.

Prominent among these are feline leukemia and Bordetella. Like the core vaccines, these additional immunizations can vary in cost depending on your location, service provider, and cat’s age. There should be no additional costs to worry about when vaccinating your cat unless you pair the vaccine administration with a wellness checkup or another type of service, in which case, you’ll be responsible for paying for those services, too.

Veterinarian-holds-a-black-American-Shorthair-cat
Image Credit: 89stocker, Shutterstock

How Often Should I Have My Cat Vaccinated?

Your cat’s vaccination schedule will be different when they are a kitten than when they are an adult. The core vaccinations require administration every few weeks for a kitten, but adults only need them every 1–3 years. The rabies vaccine is required after 12 weeks of age, a year later, and then every 1–3 years.

You can expect to head in for vaccines often until your kitten is about 4–5 months of age. Visits to your service provider will significantly decrease thereafter. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

Type of Vaccination Initial Doses Recommended Boosters
Rabies Once at 12 weeks or older, then 1 year later Every 1 or 3 years, depending on the type of rabies vaccine administered
Core Once at 6–8 weeks, then every 3–4 weeks until the age of 16 to 20 weeks Every 1–3 years
Bordetella (Non-core) Once at 4 weeks or older Annually or as determined by your vet
Feline Leukemia (Non-core) Once at 8 weeks or older, then again 3–4 weeks later None for strictly indoor cats, annually for cats that go outdoors or as directed by your vet

Your veterinarian should provide a specific vaccination schedule that highlights precisely when you should be taking your cat in to get their vaccinations. It’s never too late for a cat to get vaccinated, so don’t avoid getting yours inoculated just because they missed their kitten vaccines.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Vaccinations?

Most pet insurance policies do not usually cover cat vaccinations. Instead, they focus on reimbursing you for the costs of surgery and treatment due to accidents and illnesses. However, some pet insurance companies offer supplemental add-on coverage, usually referred to as wellness coverage, that covers at least some of the costs of cat vaccinations as well as annual exams.

If you already have pet insurance, call your provider to find out if wellness coverage is already a part of your plan or if you can add the coverage. If you aren’t yet signed up for a pet insurance plan, read the fine print to see if cat vaccines are covered in some form.

person holding a pet insurance policy
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

What to Do for Your Cat Between Vaccinations

Fortunately, not much must be done between vaccinations to keep your kitty healthy and safe. If possible, keep your cat indoors to optimize protection. It’s also a good idea not to allow your cat to encounter stray, ill, and unknown animals.

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Conclusion

Cat immunizations are important, and it’s a good idea to start preparing and budgeting now by understanding the costs and schedules to expect. Vaccines can protect your cat from incurable diseases and prevent them from infecting other cats. Hopefully, this guide has made the topic clearer so you know exactly what you’re getting into when vaccinating your cat.

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Featured Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock

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