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What is the FVRCP cat vaccine?

What is the FVRCP cat vaccine?

Our Queens vets believe that prevention is critical to helping your cat live a long, healthy life. This is why we recommend all cats receive the FVRCP vaccine to protect them from serious feline health conditions that can sometimes be fatal.

Core Vaccines to Protect Your Cat

The FVRCP cat vaccine is one of two core vaccines your feline friend should have. Core vaccines are shots that veterinarians strongly recommend for all cats, whether they spend most of their time inside or outside. The other core vaccine for cats is the Rabies vaccine, which is not only recommended but actually required by law in most states. 

While you may think your indoor cat will be safe from infectious diseases such as those listed below, the viruses that cause these serious feline health conditions can survive for up to a year on surfaces. This means if your indoor cat sneaks outside for even a short amount of time, they are at risk of coming into contact with the virus and falling seriously ill. 

In this article, we'll discuss which conditions the FVRCP vaccine can protect your cat against and when your veterinarian should give your cat this vaccination. We'll also explain potential reactions and side effects your cat may experience, and what to do if they happen. 

Conditions That the FVRCP Vaccine Protects Against 

The FVRCP vaccine effectively protects your furry friend from three highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (the FVR part of the vaccine's name), Feline Calicivirus (the C), and Feline Panleukopenia (the P at the end of the vaccine's name). 

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) 

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR, feline herpesvirus type 1, or FHV-1) is estimated to be responsible for up to 80 to 90% of infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. The disease can impact your kitty's nose and windpipe in addition to causing problems during pregnancy. 

Signs of FVR include inflammation in and discharge from the eyes and nose, sneezing and fever. While these symptoms may be mild in adult cats and begin to clear up after 5 to 10 days, FVR symptoms may last for six weeks or longer in more severe cases. 

For kittens, senior cats and cats with compromised immune systems, symptoms of FHV-1 can persist worsen. They may lead to loss of appetite, depression, severe weight loss, and sores inside the mouth. Bacterial infections can occur in cats that are already sick with Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and lead to worsening health. 

Even after symptoms of FVR have cleared up, the virus remains dormant within your cat's body and may flare up repeatedly over your kitty's lifetime. 

Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

This virus is a major contributor to upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats. 

Symptoms of feline calicivirus (FCV) include eye inflammation, nasal congestion, sneezing, and clear or yellow discharge from the infected cat's eyes or nose. some cats will also develop painful ulcers on their nose, lips, tongue, or palate due to FCV. Cats with feline calicivirus often suffer from loss of appetite, fever, weight loss, lethargy, squinting, and enlarged lymph nodes. 

Also keep in mind that there are a number of different strains of FCV. Some produce fluid accumulation in the lungs (pneumonia), while others lead to symptoms such as joint pain, lameness, and fever. 

Feline Panleukopenia (FPL)

Feline Panleukopenia (FPL) is an extremely common, serious virus in cats that causes damage to lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the cells lining your cat's intestines. Symptoms of FPL include high fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge, dehydration, depression, lethargy, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. 

Cats infected with FPL also frequently develop secondary conditions due to the weakening of their immune systems. While this disease can afflict cats of any age, it is often fatal in kittens. 

There are currently no medications available to kill the virus that causes FPL, so treating cats with feline panleukopenia involves managing the symptoms such as dehydration and shock through intravenous fluid therapy and intensive nursing care.

When Your Cat Should Receive The FVRCP Vaccination

To provide your feline friend with the best possible protection against FHV, FCV, and FPL your cat should receive their first FVRCP vaccination at around 6-8 weeks old then have a booster shot every three or four weeks until they are about 16-20 weeks old. After that, your kitten will need another booster when they are just over a year old, then every 3 years throughout their lifetime.

For more information about when your cat should be receiving their vaccines see our vaccination schedule.

FVRCP Cat Vaccine Cost

The cost of this vaccination will vary depending on the brand of vaccine your veterinarian uses and where you live. Your vet can provide a cost estimate for the vaccination. 

Risk of Reactions & Side Effects from The FVRCP Vaccine 

Side effects from vaccines are unusual in cats, and when they do occur they tend to be very mild. Most cats that do experience reactions to or side effects from the FVRCP vaccine will develop a slight fever and feel a little 'off' for a day or two. You may notice your cat sneezing after the vaccine. It is also not unusual for there to be a small amount of swelling at the injection site.

In some very rare cases, more extreme reactions can occur. In these situations, symptoms tend to appear before the cat has even left the vet's office, although they can appear up to 48 hours following the vaccination. The symptoms of a more severe reaction may include hives, swelling around the lips and eyes, itchiness, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.

If your cat is displaying any of the more severe symptoms of a reaction listed above, contact your vet immediately or visit the emergency animal hospital nearest to you.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time for your kitten or cat to have their shots? Contact our veterinary team in Queens to schedule an appointment for your kitty companion.

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