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What is the FVRCP cat vaccine?

What is the FVRCP cat vaccine?

Our vets in Jackson believe that prevention is critical to helping your cat live a long, healthy life. That's why we recommend all cats receive the FVRCP vaccine to protect them from serious feline conditions.

Core Vaccines to Protect Your Cat

The FVRCP cat vaccine is one of two core vaccines your kitty should have. Core vaccines are shots that are strongly recommended for all cats, whether they spend most of their time indoors or outdoors. The Rabies vaccine is the other core vaccine for cats — it's not only recommended but actually required by law in most states. 

It's a common belief that indoor cats are safe from infectious diseases. However, viruses that cause serious feline conditions can persist on surfaces for up to a year. This means that even a brief outdoor excursion can put your indoor cat at risk of contracting the virus and falling ill. 

To safeguard your cat against such conditions, we'll discuss the FVRCP vaccine, its benefits, and when your cat should receive it. We'll also cover potential reactions and side effects of the vaccine, as well as what you can do if they occur.

Conditions That The FVRCP Vaccine Protects Against

The FVRCP vaccine is a reliable way to safeguard your beloved feline friend against three extremely contagious and potentially fatal diseases. These include Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Feline Calicivirus (C), and Feline Panleukopenia (P).

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1)

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

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

Symptoms of FHV-1 may persist and worsen for kittens, senior cats, and immune-compromised cats, leading to loss of appetite, severe weight loss, sores inside the mouth and depression. In cats that are already sick with Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, bacterial infections often occur, leading to worsening health. 

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

Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

This virus is a major cause of upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats.

If your cat is infected with feline calicivirus (FCV), you may notice symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, eye inflammation, and clear or yellow discharge from their nose or eyes. Some cats may also experience painful ulcers on their tongue, palate, lips, or nose due to FCV. Loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, squinting, and lethargy are common signs of FCV in cats.

It's important to note that there are a number of different strains of FCV, some produce fluid buildup in the lungs (pneumonia), and others lead to symptoms such as fever, joint pain, and lameness.

Feline Panleukopenia (FPL)

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

Cats infected with FPL frequently develop secondary infections due to the weakened state of their immune systems. While this disease can attack 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 Recieve The FVRCP Vaccination

For optimal protection against FHV, FCV, and FPL, it is recommended to have your cat receive their first FVRCP vaccination at approximately 6-8 weeks old. Subsequently, your kitten should receive booster shots every three or four weeks until they reach 16-20 weeks old. Following this, a booster shot is required just over a year later. Thereafter, booster shots are recommended every three years for the duration of your cat's life.

For more information about when your cat should receive 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 

It is uncommon for cats to experience side effects from vaccines; if they do, the effects are usually mild. Typically, cats may develop a slight fever and feel unwell for a day or two. You may observe your cat sneezing after receiving the FVRCP vaccine, and there could be some swelling at the injection site, which is normal.

In rare instances, cats may experience extreme reactions after being vaccinated. These symptoms can occur immediately after leaving the vet's office or up to 48 hours later. The signs of a severe reaction may include hives, swelling around the eyes and lips, itchiness, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

If your cat is exhibiting any serious symptoms of a reaction mentioned above, it is important to immediately contact your vet or rush to the nearest emergency animal hospital.

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 Jackson vets today to book an appointment for your feline friend.

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Jackson Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Jackson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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