As a responsible pet owner, you know that you must vaccinate your cat in order to keep her healthy (and how often you need to get them).
In addition, you may want to know which vaccines your cat needs and which ones she can skip. Excited Cats veterinarian Dr. Chyrle Bonk and owner Amy Davis of My Cat Needs This spoke to us to learn more about how much cat vaccinations cost.
Why do cats need vaccinations?
In order to protect your cat from some of the most common feline diseases, you should have her vaccinated regularly.
“You might be thinking that your house cat lives a sheltered life and would never come in contact with any illnesses, but the fact is that you can bring viruses and bacteria in on your shoes and clothes, and your dog or other critters that go outside can also bring them in,” Dr. Bonk said. “So, even if your cat never goes outside, they aren’t fully protected without proper vaccinations.”
What vaccines do cats need?
Core vaccines for cat
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline herpes virus
Panleukopenia, feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are all included in the feline distemper vaccine, which also protects against panleukopenia. Booster shots should be given a year after the first three doses, at intervals of three to four weeks between each dose. This combination can be used for three years after the booster is applied.
According to Dr. Bonk: “Rabies is given after 12 weeks of age; a booster one year later, and then every three years after.”
For the first year, the cat vaccinations cost of these essential immunizations is $40–80, with an additional $20–50 for each subsequent booster shot.
Non-core vaccines for cats
It is only necessary to administer non-core vaccines to cats in high-risk areas due to their environment or way of life. In Dr. Bonk’s opinion, these are best suited for cats who spend a lot of time outside or who interact with a lot of other felines.
- Chlamydophila felis
- Feline leukemia
The leukemia vaccine requires two initial shots given three to four weeks apart, a booster after one year, and then yearly to every three years after, depending on the cat’s level of exposure to the disease. A year of booster shots for some cats may be all that they need, according to Dr. Bonk.
Cats at high risk of infection are given annual doses of Bordetella, bronchiseptica, and chlamydophila felis.
If the three essential vaccines are also administered, the leukemia shot will cost an additional $15–$20 per year, according to Dr. Bonk’s estimate. As far as I know, Bordetella costs the same.”
You never know if you’re going to get a discount on cat vaccines. If you have more than one cat, some veterinarians will give you a discount on the cost of vaccinations, while others will give you a discount on other procedures. Cats who have been spayed or neutered may be eligible for a 10% discount on all vaccines, according to Davis.
Many animal shelters and veterinary clinics may offer discount vaccination clinics where they vaccinate a large number of animals at a lower cost to the customer.
Does cat insurance cover vaccinations?
Most pet insurance policies do not cover vaccinations or other preventative medicine unless a rider is purchased, which can cost a significant amount (aka an add-on to your pet insurance plan). To put it another way, “This means that your insurance premiums will go up,” Dr. Bonk said. “They may only cover the core vaccines and not any additional ones.” Prior to purchasing any pet insurance policy, be sure to read the fine print.
In the event of an emergency requiring surgery, having pet insurance can be a lifesaver. Most pet insurance policies do not cover vaccinations.
If your cat is older and has been diagnosed with a disease that requires special medical attention, pet insurance can help. Getting insurance as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that any conditions that develop in the future are covered, since most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.)
There are many pet insurance options out there, but if you’re looking for the most comprehensive coverage available in the United States and Canada, you’ll want to check out Fetch.