Whether you have an indoor or outdoor feline, you must keep up with its vaccination shots. Vaccinations and booster shots help keep numerous preventable health concerns at bay.
But how much do cat and kitten vaccinations cost in Australia? We gathered the most up-to-date information to acquaint you with the most current costs of feline immunisation treatments.
The Importance of Cat & Kitten Vaccinations
Vaccinations are a crucial part of pet preventative health care routines. A qualified vet will consider your cat’s age, lifestyle and where you live to determine which vaccinations your feline needs and the appropriate booster shot schedule.
Immunisation helps protect cats and kittens from infectious diseases typically spread during disease outbreaks. They can also keep certain life-threatening illnesses at bay. While some ailments cats can be vaccinated against are treatable, others are incurable.
Contracting a disease with no effective treatment can doom your feline to pain, stress and, ultimately, premature death. Although cats’ life spans vary, well-cared cats that generally enjoy disease-free lives can live to 15 or more years.
How Much Do Cat & Kitten Vaccinations Cost?
Numerous factors can influence the cost of cat and kitten vaccinations. These factors include the type of immunisation needed, where you live, and the veterinary clinic you visit. The cost of multiple vaccinations at once can be pretty high. Fortunately, the typically recommended immunisation schedules help make the fees manageable for most pet parents.
Kittens need more immunisations, which can cost between AU$170 to $200 during the first year. RSPCA reports show that after that, annual vet checks and vaccinations cost about AU$80 on average. Contact your vet for a more personalised estimate.
|Initial kitten vaccinations||AU$170 to $200|
|Annual booster shots||AU$80|
|Neutering||AU$115 to $300|
|Ongoing flea and worming treatments||AU$100 to $150|
Vaccinations That Cats and Kittens Need
Your vet can vaccinate your cat against numerous diseases. However, the necessary immunisations depend on where you live and your cat’s breed and lifestyle. Getting all the available vaccinations is often unnecessary.
Cats and kittens need core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccinations are the jabs all cats require to be protected against severe and potentially deadly diseases. For instance, all cats need F3 vaccines, which cover them against the three most common cat illnesses. They include Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus.
Non-core immunisations are also necessary depending on where you live, your cat’s lifestyle, and common cat ailments within your geographical location. For instance, if your furry friend roams outdoors unsupervised or frequents boarding facilities, it needs FeLV. This is a non-core vaccination against Feline Leukaemia Virus.
|Core Vaccinations||Non-Core Vaccinations|
|Feline Panleukopenia||Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)|
|Feline Herpesvirus||Feline leukaemia (FeLV)|
|Feline Calicivirus||Chlamydophila Felis|
|Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)|
Australia is rabies-free. Still, you can ask your vet for rabies vaccination to ensure your furball is safe. Rabies is a deadly viral disease spread through scratches or bites from an infected animal.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
If you are looking for holistic preventative healthcare services for your feline, your vet will focus on more than just vaccinations. Other equally crucial treatments that can drive up the costs incurred during your clinic visits include but are not limited to the following.
Exam & Lab Fees
Depending on your feline’s state of health, your vet may recommend taking a few exams and lab tests. This gives the expert a general idea of your cat’s biochemistry profile, how its body is functioning and any possible health concerns. Exam and lab test fees can range anywhere between AU$50 to $100.
Heartworm disease prevention treatments cost between AU$25 to $120. It is a potentially life-threatening disease spread through mosquito bites. Unfortunately, heartworm disease can go undetected until the condition goes from bad to deadly.
One bite from an infected mosquito can infect your cat with heartworm larvae that travel through the bloodstream to the heart and nearby blood vessels. The symptoms of heartworm disease include feline asthma, chronic coughing, vomiting, and the possibility of sudden death.
Desexing & Neutering
Desexing can prevent unwanted pregnancies in female cats. It can also provide health benefits by limiting the risk of mammary tumours and uterine infections. In male cats, desexing lowers the risk of testicular cancer and prostatic diseases. It also alleviates behavioural issues, reducing your cat’s tendency to roam and get into fights that can cause injuries and infections.
Generally, vets recommend desexing before your cat hits puberty. It is still possible to schedule the operation even if your cat is older than six months of age. The service cost is between AU$115 to $300, depending on the vet clinic, age, and breed of your feline friend.
Kittens and newly adopted cats need to be microchipped. Microchipping is crucial in quickly identifying your pet if it gets lost or winds up in a shelter. You can schedule the service once your kitty is 10 to 12 weeks or older.
Microchipping involves installing a tiny computerised microchip underneath your pet’s skin. On average, the service will cost around AU$60, depending on the clinic you visit.
Flea and Worming Treatments
Fleas are a common external parasite that can make your cat stressed and uncomfortable. If your cat is scratching a lot, it probably needs a flea treatment. Your vet will recommend the best treatment plan depending on your furry friend’s lifestyle. While some treatments are scheduled monthly, your vet may also recommend boosters after every 3 to 6 months.
On the other hand, worms are the most common internal parasites of cats. If it has been a while since you last dewormed your cat, it almost certainly has tapeworms and roundworms living in its gut or intestinal tract. Some of the symptoms of having worms include chronic diarrhoea and lethargy.
Kittens need deworming every two weeks until they turn 12, then monthly until they are six months old. After that, they should be dewormed routinely after every three months. Flea and worming treatments cost roughly AU $100 to $150.
How Often Should I Vaccinate My Cats & Kittens?
Your kittens should receive their first vaccination jabs within the first six to eight weeks of life. The shots help to boost their immunity and protect them from opportunistic infections that may attack their fragile and immature immune systems.
Furthermore, the felines require vaccinations until they reach 16 weeks of age. Typically, vets schedule these immunisations every 2 to 4 weeks. This ensures the kittens have proper protection even as they lose maternally derived antibodies.
Adult cats also require regular booster shots throughout life. Depending on your cat’s health, its lifestyle, where you live, and the type of vaccine given, it may require annual booster shots or after every three years. If your adult cat has unknown immunisation history, your vet will provide it with two jabs spread out within 3 to 4 weeks. The feline can then proceed with the annual booster shots.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Vaccinations for Cats and Kittens?
Pet insurance offers a practical option to lower the overall cost of healthcare services for cats and kittens. Most policies cover a reasonable fraction of the cost of emergency services and surgical procedures. Unfortunately, they often don’t offer any reimbursement for vaccination costs.
Comprehensive pet insurance policies offer the highest level of coverage. The policy will cover routine care add-ons, allowing you to seek reimbursement for a portion of the expense incurred seeking vaccination. You can also save a substantial amount on other routine treatments like microchipping, worming, dental care, and feline desexing.
For more accurate information, consult with your policy provider. Find out the level of coverage your policy offers and the extras you stand to enjoy if you upgrade to a higher level of coverage.
What to Do for Your Feline in Between Vaccination Appointments
Right after your cat receives a vaccination, it may develop adverse reactions. The most common reactions include soreness on the injection site, reduced appetite, low-grade fever, and lethargy. These mild symptoms typically don’t last for more than 24 hours.
It is crucial to monitor your furry friend and return to your vet if it shows signs of being acutely unwell.
Fortunately, most cats and kittens show no vaccination side effects. Here are a few vaccination aftercare tips that may come in handy.
Vaccinating your feline friend is as easy as making an appointment. Most vets will also recommend vaccinations as part of the standard wellness services. Generally, the cost and perks of seeking preventative care for your cat or kitten far outweigh the cost of treatment for preventable or potentially deadly diseases.
Featured Image Credit: Vovantarakan, Shutterstock
- 1 The Importance of Cat & Kitten Vaccinations
- 2 How Much Do Cat & Kitten Vaccinations Cost?
- 3 Vaccinations That Cats and Kittens Need
- 4 Additional Costs to Anticipate
- 5 How Often Should I Vaccinate My Cats & Kittens?
- 6 Does Pet Insurance Cover Vaccinations for Cats and Kittens?
- 7 What to Do for Your Feline in Between Vaccination Appointments
- 8 Final Thoughts