Many cat owners feel that their feline companions are more than just pets — they’re furry family members! And we would do anything to keep them healthy and safe. Sometimes, however, the cost of premium veterinarian services can feel astronomical.

That’s why we recommend focusing on the essentials of pet care for your cat. This can help protect your budget while still providing you with peace of mind when it comes to their health. What gives your cat the best defense against illness? Getting vaccinated.

Unfortunately, the cost to vaccinate a cat can be anywhere from $25-80 per shot, depending on where they are administered. Moreover, a kitten’s vaccination schedule starts as early as 6 weeks, continues over several months, and then every 1-3 years thereafter.

Thankfully, low-cost cat vaccinations do exist. Selecting the right provider can save you time and money.

Are the Benefits of Vaccination Worth the Cost to Get Your Cat Vaccinated?

Still wondering if the benefits of cat vaccinations are even worth it? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), vaccines are one of the best ways you can ensure your pets’ overall quality of life and defense against life-threatening illnesses

How do they work?

Vaccines safely introduce small amounts of bacteria to your cat’s immune system. This triggers the production of antibodies to fight off the illness — without actually making your pet sick. That way, if they ever do come in contact with a specific disease, their system is prepared to fight it off. 

Vaccinations are valued for their life saving properties. But they are also an excellent way to avoid spending money in the long-haul on costly medical care for a pet that gets sick because it is unvaccinated.

The Cost to Vaccinate a Cat at Essentials PetCare

As mentioned above, the cost to vaccinate a cat does not have to be out of reach — affordable options do exist

At Essentials PetCare, our veterinarians can help you understand all your options for cat care. This includes which feline vaccine package is right for your pet’s lifestyle. We offer vaccine packages that bundle shots and start as low as $55 for essential, quality cat care. Packages that include lab testing range from $75 to $155. Kitten packages begin at $80.

Why is Essentials PetCare able to offer lower pricing? Because there are no overhead fees like you would find at a full-service vet clinic. So you get excellent care for your pet at a fraction of the price. 

This will ensure your cat or kitten is protected against the odds. 

Which Cat Shots Should You Get?

When you are researching the cost to vaccinate a cat, it’s important to understand the full panel of recommended feline shots and what they protect against. 

However, a vaccination schedule is going to look different based on a few factors, including:

  • Cat’s age
  • Current health
  • Lifestyle, such as whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat

Unable to afford all of their shots? That’s okay. It still protects your cat to get some shots.

So, let’s take a look at the core cat vaccines.

Rabies Vaccine 

The cost of the cat rabies vaccine tends to be fairly reasonable, as this vaccine is often state mandated. Rabies is transmissible between both animals and humans and can be fatal. This means that a rabies vaccine is vital not only to your cat’s safety, but also any people your cat interacts with.

Core Vaccine (FVRCP )

The core vaccines for cats besides rabies are combined into a three-in-one vaccine known as FVRCP. It vaccinates against the following highly-contagious illnesses:

  • Feline Panleukopenia (FVP)
  • Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1)
  • Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Feline Leukemia Vaccine (FeLV) 

The feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) is not considered a core vaccine. However, it is one of the most important vaccines for your cat. It protects against feline leukemia virus, which is transferred through bodily fluids. 

FeLV can cause dire illness and even death in cats. Veterinarians recommend that all kittens receive the FeLV vaccine during their initial vaccine series. Adult cats at risk for contracting the virus should receive the vaccine as well. 

How Often Do You Need to Vaccinate Your Cat?

Most cats need to be vaccinated every 1-3 years for FVCRP, Rabies, FeLV Vaccines, Intestinal Parasite Test, and Deworming.

When you visit one of our Essentials PetCare locations in select Walmart stores, we can help you decide how and when to vaccinate your kitten

The schedule below offers a suggested timeline, but the specific schedule for your feline may vary.

What Is a Typical Kitten Vaccination Timeline?

  • 8 Weeks: FVCRP and FeLV Vaccines, FeLV/FIV Test, Leukemia/Immunodeficiency Virus Test.
  • 12 Weeks: FVCRP and FeLV Vaccines, Intestinal Parasite Test, Deworming
  • 16 Weeks: FVCRP and Rabies Vaccines, Intestinal Parasite Test, Deworming
  • Every 1-3 years:  FVCRP, Rabies, FeLV Vaccines, Intestinal Parasite Test, Deworming

Kittens under six months of age are the most susceptible to disease. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you begin their vaccine process on time

If it is your cat’s first rabies vaccination or you are unable to prove a previous vaccination, a rabies booster is required at one year. Additionally, if your cat is receiving an overdue FeLV (leukemia) vaccine booster or you have no proof of previous vaccination, they must have a negative FeLV/FIV test at the time of the shot.

One of the best ways to keep your pet protected is to finish each course of vaccination you start. Don’t stress if you can’t afford every vaccine at once, though. Even getting the basic vaccines is worth it in the long run to keep your feline best friend happy and healthy!

Essential Tip: View our affordable vaccination packages. Qualifying pet parents can also apply to pay over time on purchases of $150+. 

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