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How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost? Updated Cat & Kitten Vaccine Pricing for 2024

  • All cats should have the FVRCP vaccine, which protects against three feline illnesses: distemper, feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus.
  • Cats also need vaccinations for rabies and feline leukemia, two contagious illnesses that increase the risk of premature death.
  • Your cat may need optional vaccinations to protect it against chlamydia and Bordetella.
  • If you can’t afford the fees at your regular veterinary clinic, look for a low-cost vaccination clinic or try administering the vaccinations yourself.
  • Some pet insurance plans cover routine expenses, including vaccinations, making it easier to care for an adult cat or kitten. We recommend to use an online comparison tool to easily compare plans and prices.

Whether you have a domestic shorthair or a fancy purebred, your feline friend needs your help to stay healthy.

One of the best things you can do to protect a cat is to make sure it gets regular vaccinations. These injections prevent serious diseases, giving your cat the best shot at living a long, healthy life.

But how much do cat vaccinations cost? We created this guide to help you plan ahead for your cat’s routine expenses.

We’ll break down:

  • What vaccines your cat needs
  • How much cat and kitten vaccinations cost
  • A recommended cat vaccination schedule
  • Why it’s important to vaccinate your cat against common illnesses
  • How you can reduce the cost of cat vaccinations

Top pet insurance providers that pay for vaccines

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What vaccines do cats need?

Cats need several core vaccines to prevent infectious illnesses.

Your veterinarian may also recommend a few optional vaccines, especially if your cat spends time outdoors or comes into contact with other animals at boarding facilities.

We’ll take a look at these core and optional vaccines below.

Core vaccines for cats

Every cat should be vaccinated against the following:

One single vaccine, the FVRCP, protects against three illnesses: feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus. Your cat needs separate vaccines for rabies and feline leukemia.

Optional vaccines for cats

Consider getting these non-core vaccines to keep your cat safe from infectious illnesses:

How much do cat vaccinations cost?

Here’s what you can expect to pay for each cat vaccination.

Vaccination Cost
FVRCP $20 to $40
FeLV $25 to $45
Rabies $20 to $30
Bordetella $10 to $30
Chlamydia $20 to $40

Cost of additional vet services

Vaccinations are important, but your kitten needs other veterinary services to get the best possible start in life.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) compromises the immune system, increasing the risk of serious infections. Unfortunately, no vaccine is effective against all FIV strains. During your kitten’s first vet visit, your veterinarian may recommend testing for FeLV and FIV at the same time. This costs anywhere from $40 to $80.

Your kitten also needs protection from fleas, ticks and heartworms. Flea and tick prevention may cost anywhere from $40 to $200 depending on which preventive method you choose. Heartworm prevention is a little less expensive, costing $25 to $120. If your kitten has symptoms of roundworms or other parasites, your veterinarian may recommend a fecal test, which usually costs between $20 and $40.

Even if the fecal test is negative, your kitten may need deworming, as it may have parasites in its digestive tract even if your vet doesn’t see them in the stool sample. Deworming costs an additional $25 to $130.

How often do you need to vaccinate your cat?

Vaccination isn’t something you do for a kitten and then forget about.

Adult cats also need vaccines to protect them from serious diseases. This includes indoor cats, as there’s always a chance that an indoor-only cat will get out of the house and come into contact with an infected animal.

Cat and kitten vaccination schedule

Talk to your veterinarian about this suggested cat vaccination schedule.

Vaccine Timing
Rabies 8 weeks old; boosters every 1 to 3 years during adulthood
Distemper Starting at 6 weeks; every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten is 16 to 20 months old; booster 1 year after final kitten dose; booster every 3 years for the rest of the cat’s life
Feline herpesvirus Starting at 6 weeks; every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten is 16 to 20 months old; booster 1 year after final kitten dose; booster every 3 years for the rest of the cat’s life
Calicivirus Starting at 6 weeks; every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten is 16 to 20 months old; booster 1 year after final kitten dose; booster every 3 years for the rest of the cat’s life
FeLV One dose starting at 8 weeks followed by a second dose 3 to 4 weeks later; booster recommended at 1 year old; continued vaccination isn’t necessary for indoor-only cats
Bordetella Start as early as 4 weeks of age; booster shots once per year
Chlamydia Start at 16 weeks of age; give one booster 3 to 4 weeks later; annual boosters for adult cats

What are the benefits of vaccinating my cat?

Vaccinating your cat protects it against serious, sometimes fatal, infections. This helps to improve the quality of their life and can also increase their lifespan.

Every vaccine protects against specific viral and bacterial organisms, protecting your cat if it comes into contact with other animals or shares food, toys and bedding.

Many municipalities also require rabies vaccinations for cats, so keeping up with the recommended vaccination schedule may help you stay in compliance with the law.

Are there any risks in vaccinating my cat?

Vaccines may cause mild side effects, such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever and vomiting.

In rare cases, vaccination leads to a condition called injection site osteosarcoma. This condition develops when a tumor develops in the same place where a cat received one of its vaccines.

Generally, the benefits of giving the FVRCP, feline leukemia and rabies vaccines outweigh the potential risks, but talk with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Does pet insurance cover cat vaccinations?

Pet insurance doesn’t usually cover the cost of vaccinations.

However, some companies offer wellness plans. These types of pet insurance plans cover things like the FVRCP shot and other types of routine care.

Even though cat insurance typically won’t cover vaccines, it’s still a good idea to purchase a policy. This can help reduce the high cost of vet bills if your cat gets sick or injured. To find the best pet insurance policy for your cat, we recommend using an online comparison tool. This way, you can easily view multiple options at once and compare the cost of pet insurance plans.

How to save on the cost of cat vaccinations

If you have limited funds, you can still get your cat the care it needs.

Here are some tips to help you save on the cost of cat vaccinations:


Go to a low-cost vet clinic

Animal rescue organizations often sponsor these clinics to reduce the spread of disease in their communities.

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Purchase vaccines directly from a veterinary hospital.

It’s possible to do this with some vaccines. When you do this, you have to pay for the vaccine itself, but you don’t have to pay for an exam fee or injection fee.

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Purchase a wellness plan.

While most pet insurance plans typically don’t cover vaccines, a wellness plan may help to cover some types of preventative care. We recommend using an online comparison tool to compare plans and pricing. Our guide to cheap pet insurance can also help you to find an affordable plan.

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FAQ: Cat vaccinations

How much are cat shots?

Cat vaccines typically cost between $15 and $45.

What vaccines does my cat need?

Your cat should get the FVRCP, the feline leukemia vaccine and the rabies vaccine.

How much do kitten shots cost?

Kitten vaccinations cost around $15 to $40 each.

How much does deworming cost for kittens?

Deworming is more expensive than kitten shots. It can cost up to $130.

When should a kitten get its first shots?

Some shots start as early as 6 weeks of age, while others aren’t necessary until a kitten is at least 16 weeks old. Ask your veterinarian for more information.

How many shots does a cat need to be fully vaccinated?

A cat needs three shots to be fully vaccinated: FVRCP, rabies and feline leukemia.

About the Author

Leigh Morgan
Leigh Morgan Personal Finance

Leigh Morgan is a seasoned personal finance contributor with over 15 years of experience writing on a diverse range of professional legal and financial topics. She specializes in subjects like navigating the complexities of insurance, savings, zero-based budgeting and emergency fund development.

In the last five years, she’s authored over 300 articles for credit unions, digital banks, and financial professionals. Morgan is also the author of “77 Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” a book focused on helping caregivers protect the elderly from financial scams.

In addition to her writing skills, she brings real-world financial acumen thanks to her previous experience managing rental properties as part of a $34 million real estate portfolio.