How Much Does It Cost to Vaccinate a Cat? – 2023 Updated

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how much does it cost to vaccinate a cat

You got everything ready—from a cat bowl, cat food, and cat toys to a cat condo—except that you’re clueless about your new family member’s vaccination and checkup needs.

So, how much does it cost to vaccinate a cat? It actually depends on the kind of shots your cat needs. Typically, you must prepare for about $115 to $210 for your cat’s first-year vaccination.

This article tackles the total cost of each vaccination shot and its benefits.


What You Should Know About Shots Cost for Cats


Each cat has different needs. The vet doctors will run various tests and checkups to see which suits your cat. The cost to get cat shots depends on your cat’s age, health, and lifestyle.

Vaccination Type Cost Range
Anti-Rabies $15 – $50
FVRCP $10 – $100
Feline Herpesvirus $20 – $40
Bordetella $20 – $30
Chlamydophila $20 – $45

1. Anti-rabies vaccine


Anti-rabies is a mandatory vaccination in many regions and states. Rabies is fatal, and the survival rate for this virus is rare. The shot will protect cats from this deadly virus. It can be a community problem, so regular vaccination is crucial.

How often your cats need anti-rabies injections depends on the brand the doctor in your area uses. The interval can be six months to 1 year. It’s best to consult the vet doctor about the validity of the vaccine.

  • Anti-Rabies Cost

Usually, the anti-rabies shot can range from $15 to $50. Aside from the area, the vet clinic facilities also affect the price. On the other hand, some countries, states, and regions offer free anti-rabies for their community program.

The cost to get kitten shots varies from one type to another. You can ask advice from other pet parents in your place to know the exact price for vaccination at PetSmart or other clinics.

2. 3-in-1 or FVRCP vaccine


The three-in-one vaccine is called the core or “distemper” vaccine. It is the combination of three vaccine types that fight off life-threatening diseases in cats.

The FVRCP vaccine helps to curb the spread of viruses. It keeps your cats away from deadly diseases, such as the following:

  • Feline Panleukopenia (FPL) – FPL is a fatal virus that deteriorates a cat’s intestines, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. So, when one acquires this virus, one takes a lot of expensive medications.
    Currently, researchers are still looking for a cure for this deadly disease. That’s why getting your cat vaccinated as early as possible is crucial.
    When a cat has an FPL, it affects the overall health and shows symptoms like dehydration, lethargy, increase in temperature, depression, vomiting, and others that weaken the body.
  • Feline Calcivirus (FCV) – If your cats have trouble breathing, eye infection, and nasal congestion, get them checked for an FCV test.  FCV is another deadly virus that affects the respiratory organs of your pets, which also affects their oral conditions.
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis – FVR causes difficulties, especially in elderly, pregnant cats, and young kittens. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis shows mild symptoms in less affected cats. However, those mentioned above are more vulnerable to its deadly symptoms.

Less affected cats show mild symptoms like sneezing, high temperature, and eye discharge. But with proper care and medications, these symptoms only last 5 to 10 days.

However, cats with a more compromised immune system can experience more uncomfortable symptoms, like mouth soreness, lack of appetite, and depression.

More doctors and researchers are looking for more apparent solutions to FVRCP. But the best thing you can do right now is vaccinating your cats.

  • 3-in-1 Vaccine or FVRCP Cost

FVRCP shot’s cost depends on your location and the clinic’s facility. Ask your vet doctor for the price. Typically, the price ranges from $10 to $100.

At Petco, doctors are offering more bang-for-a-buck packages for kitten shots cost. Asking for this option might lessen the overall amount in exchange for checkups and vaccinations.

3. Feline Herpesvirus type


Feline Herpesvirus is another contagious virus that can affect cats of different ages. Infections can happen if your cats use the same bowl or litter tray. If one cat has FHP, there’s a high possibility of passing the virus through saliva.

Although FHV is less menacing than FVRCP, it can affect your cat for a lifetime. It can still be deadly if not addressed immediately. Sadly, those with FHV have a high tendency to have eye diseases.

  • Feline Herpesvirus Vaccine Cost

Like FVRCP, the cost for cat vaccinations for FHV is between $20 to $40, depending on your area, the clinic’s facility, and your cat’s lifestyle.

This vaccine is recommended, especially if your cat spends more time outdoors with other fellows. But this protection is still crucial even if your cats spend more time indoors.

Optional Cat Vaccinations Cost

Although your cat has undergone several vaccination shots, your cat may have more protection against bacteria by having the following optional vaccinations.

1. Bordetella vaccine


Bordetella is a bacteria that affects your cats’ respiratory health. Some symptoms include sneezing, fever, eye discharge, and coughing.

Usually, Bordetella can be cured by simple medications recommended by vet doctors. It can last from 7 to 10 days. However, this can be fatal to kittens with low immunity and experiencing extreme stress.

  • Bordetella Vaccine Cost

Adding 10 or 15 bucks more to your cat vaccination prices budget isn’t too big, right? Yes, you need to extend for another vaccine session or maybe two.

Sometimes, vet doctors recommend your cats get two vaccinations for Bordetella, and this may cause $20-$30. These low-cost cat vaccinations shots are crucial, especially if you are bringing your cats to a groomer.

2. Chlamydophila Felis vaccine


Another non-core or optional vaccine is for Chlamydophila Felis. This is a must if your cats spend more time outdoors or socialise with other cats.

If you are considering this vaccine, it’s best to contact your cat’s vet doctor to gain more information. But if they recognize that your cats are at risk of felis organism exposure, they will ask you to prepare for the vaccination.

  • Chlamydophila Felis Vaccine Cost

Again, the price of cat vaccines depends on various factors. But typically, the price is around $20-$45. Ask for a quotation from the nearest vet clinic to give you more insight into the budget you need to prepare.

The Benefits of Kitten Vaccinations

As a responsible pet owner, you give everything your cats need—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Their physical health should be on the priority list, especially for kittens.


  • Vaccination keeps your kittens healthy.

Vaccination protects your kittens from fatal diseases and viruses, like panleukopenia, feline herpes, and calicivirus.

Little kittens are more susceptible to health issues, most likely if they are not getting enough antibodies from their mother cat.

Due to the lack of these antibodies, their immunity lowers, making them more vulnerable to sickness. So, vaccinations can help them fight these diseases when their immune systems fall short.

  • Kittens can enjoy life more as they grow older.

It’s hard to keep your cat in a four-corner room without anyone they can play and socialize with for their emotional needs. Sometimes, bringing them outdoors to play positively impacts their mental health.

When kittens have complete vaccinations, you have peace of mind to bring them anywhere with you.

How Often Should I Vaccinate My Cat?


The frequency of your cats’ vaccinations depends on the type of shots.

  • Anti-Rabies: Start at two months and have your cats vaccinated after a year.
  • Panleukopenia, FHV, and Calicivirus Shots: Start at six weeks with the 3-4-week interval until four to five months. Wait until a year to give another dose.
  • FeLV Shots: Start at two months, then another shot after three to four weeks.
  • Bordetella Shots: Start at one month, and revaccinate annually.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it OK not to vaccinate my cat?

No, there will be severe consequences if you leave your cats unvaccinated. Even though they are indoor cats, it’s best to keep them safe at all times.

What happens if I don’t vaccinate my cat yearly?

Without vaccination shots, your cats are more susceptible to diseases. Viruses like panleukopenia are fatal. So, get your cats vaccinated to prevent them from acquiring this.

How long can cats go without shots?

Kittens can wait for one to five months before taking another shot. Afterwards, and when they become adults, vet doctors can administer their vaccination annually.

How many shots does a cat need?

Cats need four core vaccinations. Rabies vaccination is only one shot, while the others need 3-4-week intervals before getting another shot. There are also three minor shots to prevent chlamydophilia felis, bordatella, FIV, and FeLV.


Vaccination plays a significant role in keeping your cat healthy and living a long happy life. Once you decide to have another family member in your home, it is your responsibility to sustain their overall needs.

So, how much does it cost to vaccinate a cat? Generally, you need to spend $115 to $125. But don’t worry. Everything will be worth it.

Instead of spending money on your cat’s medication, it’s a wiser choice to focus on prevention.

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