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How Often Do Cats Need Shots? What Should You Know?

How Often Do Cats Need Shots? What Should You Know?

It is important to carry out a series of cat vaccinations if you want to see your cat healthy for years to come. Otherwise, you are susceptible to serious diseases that, under certain circumstances, can leave permanent sequelae or, in the worst case, cause death.

Adult cats require vaccinations less often than kittens, once a year or every three years (depending on when was the last time). You should know what vaccine your cat needs and when he/she needs it. If you opt to vaccinate your cat, make sure he is in excellent health, dewormed, and well-fed.

How Often Do Cats Need Shots?

Vaccinations protect your cat from viruses and germs that cause diseases. They can also boost their immune systems. Your veterinarian can advise you, whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, which vaccinations are best and how frequently your feline should be immunized. It is typically determined by their age, overall health, and way of life.

The doctor will also consider how long immunizations are meant to last and how probable it is that your cat may come into touch with a certain disease. In addition, many municipal and state governments have rules governing immunizations such as rabies.

Kittens should begin receiving vaccines when they are 6 to 8 weeks old and continue until they are around 16 weeks old. Then they must be boosted a year later. The injections are delivered in a sequence every 3 to 4 weeks. Adult cats require fewer doses, generally once a year or every three years, depending on how long vaccination is supposed to last.


What You Should Know?

If you wish to vaccinate your cat, you must first ensure that he is healthy, dewormed, and properly nourished. The kitten gets dewormed around the age of six weeks. The vaccine’s success is dependent on completing these conditions since failing to do so may cause your kitten to become much more ill. If your cat is unwell or weak, the vaccination will not affect, or the immunological impact will be insufficient.

Vaccination protocols vary amongst veterinarians. Some would argue that immunizations are effective for up to three years. Others will insist on yearly boosters. Boosters are less expensive and easier to give than whole fresh immunizations.

Even among vets, there is disagreement on this point. Vaccinations are a touchy subject in feline husbandry. Some view yearly immunizations to be an unnecessary cash-grab as a veterinary surgery charge for immunizations.

Cats with weakened immunity as a result of age or sickness are also ideal candidates for yearly immunization. A cat’s body can be fragile, and illness can have long-term consequences. If your cat gets out, it’s a good idea to get him vaccinated once a year. This is not profiting from a veterinary but rather capitalizing on your emotional attachment to your pet. It is a precautionary approach to dangers that may cause sickness.

Do Indoor Cats Need Shots?


Because indoor cats seldom come into touch with other unknown kittens, they are rarely affected by infections. There are, however, common feline infections that can be spread without the requirement for contact with other felines. This is the case with distemper (panleukopenia) and cat flu, for example (rhinotracheitis). As a result, indoor cats should be immunized against these infections as well.

What Vaccines Do Indoor Cats Need Yearly?

Vaccinating your cat, like people, can prevent him or her from several dangerous or life-threatening diseases. Anyone who adores their cat will want to keep an eye on it in this way, and vaccination is an essential component of a good preventative healthcare program.

Vaccination is often administered as an injection. It can also be administered as drops in the eyes or nose. It is a medication designed to protect cats from a specific viral infection by triggering an immune response to protect the cat if it is later exposed to the virus.

Vaccinations May Contain

Live organisms that have been engineered so that they will not cause disease can increase for a short period after the vaccine has been delivered to elicit a favorable immune response.

Killed organisms have been killed and are usually mixed with additional agents/chemicals to stimulate a healthy immune response.

Recombinant vaccines are a newer form of vaccination in which pieces of one organism are combined into another, then vaccinate a cat.

Before being approved for use in cats, all vaccinations must pass stringent safety and effectiveness testing. When used correctly and as directed, they are safe and provide critical protection for cats against various infections.

Some people are persuaded to take “homeopathic vaccinations.” These, however, should never be utilized since they lack scientific support and cannot elicit the exact immunological response required to give protection. Use only the vaccinations that your veterinarian advises.


What Illnesses Should I Vaccinate My Cat Against?

Various vaccinations will be accessible in different nations since some illnesses are not present everywhere, and vaccines are not always approved in every country.

The most often used vaccinations protect against the following infections:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV, cat flu)
  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)
  • Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1, cat flu)
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Rabies

Core And Non-core Vaccines

Vaccinations are classified into two types: core vaccinations and non-core vaccines because of the widespread or severe nature of the illnesses being protected against. The core vaccinations are considered necessary for all cats. Non-core vaccinations are only administered to cats if there is a real danger of infection, and immunization will offer adequate protection. Non-core immunization requirements will depend on the cat’s age, lifestyle, and interaction with other cats. It would be beneficial if you always discussed with your veterinarian what shots your cat could need.

Core Vaccines

Feline panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia virus causes severe and often deadly hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Outbreaks of this viral infection are widespread, and a substantial proportion of afflicted cats die.

Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus (cat flu)

Vaccines for feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV) are always given jointly. These two viruses are the most common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats.


Rabies is a serious illness, and though it is more frequent in dogs (and is more usually transmitted from dogs to people than from cats to people), cats can be infected and serve as a source of human infection.

Non-core vaccines

Other vaccinations are considered “non-core” and are administered when immunization might give important protection for a specific cat.

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

FeLV is a serious illness normally transmitted via fighting, mutual grooming, and sharing food/water bowls and litter trays. The queen also infects kittens before birth.

Chlamydophila felis

This is a bacterium that causes conjunctivitis in cats. Young kittens in multicat families are more likely to be impacted, and moderate upper respiratory symptoms may also occur.

Bordetella bronchiseptica

It is another bacterial illness in cats that can be part of the upper respiratory infection complex. It is not as frequent as FHV-1 or FCV, but it can be problematic in certain cats, particularly stressed cats and cats from big colonies. The bacteria can also cause pneumonia in young kittens on occasion.

Feline immunodeficiency virus

Vaccination against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is accessible in certain regions but not all. This virus is fairly prevalent in cats, particularly those that go outside and engage in fighting.

How frequently should my cat be vaccinated?

All kittens should have their core immunizations as well as any additional immunizations agreed upon between you and your veterinarian. The first immunization course is usually administered at 8-9 weeks of age, followed by a second injection 3-4 weeks later. A third vaccine is now commonly recommended around 16-20 weeks of age to guarantee the kitten is adequately protected.

Other vaccines

Other vaccinations may be accessible in certain countries but not in others. The efficacy of these vaccinations is carefully reviewed, and none of them should be considered “core” vaccinations. Among those that are offered are:

  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Microsporum Canis
  • Giardia lamblia
  • How much do cat shots cost?
  • According to some sources, the average cost of cat vaccination is.
  • For a rabies vaccine, around $20
  • For a 3 in 1 vaccine $35,
  • For the Feline Leukemia Vaccine $34,
  • For the PureVax Rabies $37.

Disclaimer: This is not the same cost in every state for our cat immunizations. You can contact your veterinary doctor for more accurate prices.


Vaccination is a relatively safe practice that has significantly decreased the weight of various deadly diseases. However, no vaccination will ever be completely free of side effects. Therefore it is critical to carefully select which immunizations are required for each particular cat and determine how frequently they should be administered. None of the current vaccinations is 100 percent effective, and cats acquire an inbuilt resistance to several viruses as they mature.