Prevention is the key to helping your cat live a long and healthy life. Our Louisa vets recommend that all cats receive the FVRCP vaccine. Here's how the FVRCP protects your cat's health.
Core Vaccines to Protect Your Cat
Although you may believe that your indoor cat is safe from infectious diseases. Viruses that cause serious feline conditions can live for up to a year on surfaces. That means that if your indoor cat sneaks out the door even for just a minute they are at risk of coming in contact with the virus, and becoming seriously ill.
The FVRCP vaccine is one of two core vaccines for cats. Core vaccines are shots that are strongly recommended for all cats regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. The other core vaccine for cats is the Rabies vaccine which is not only recommended but actually required by law in most states.
Conditions That The FVRCP Vaccine Protects Against
The FVRCP vaccine is an extremely effective way to protect your cat against 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases. The names of these diseases create an acronym which s what the vaccine is named after. The diseases that the FVRCP vaccine help to prevent are Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Panleukopenia.
(FHV-1) Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), also known as feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) or FHV-1, is responsible for a significant majority (about 80-90%) of infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. This condition can affect the nose and windpipe of your feline companion, and it may also cause complications during pregnancy.
Common signs of FVR include fever, sneezing, inflammation of the eyes and nose, and nasal and ocular discharge. In healthy adult cats, these symptoms are usually mild and tend to improve within 5-10 days. However, in more severe cases, FVR symptoms can persist for six weeks or longer.
In kittens, senior cats, and cats with weakened immune systems, FHV-1 symptoms can endure and worsen. This can lead to depression, loss of appetite, significant weight loss, and mouth sores. Cats already affected by feline viral rhinotracheitis are also prone to bacterial infections.
Even after the visible symptoms of FVR have resolved, the virus remains dormant in the cat's body and can reactivate multiple times throughout its life.
(FCV) Feline Calicivirus
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a significant contributor to upper respiratory infections and oral diseases in cats.
Symptoms associated with FCV include nasal congestion, sneezing, inflammation of the eyes, and the presence of clear or yellow discharge from the nose or eyes of infected cats. Additionally, some cats may develop painful ulcers on their tongue, palate, lips, or nose as a result of FCV infection. Loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, squinting, and lethargy are commonly observed in cats affected by feline calicivirus.
It is important to note that FCV encompasses various strains, some of which can cause fluid accumulation in the lungs leading to pneumonia, while others result in symptoms like fever, joint pain, and lameness.
(FPL) Feline Panleukopenia
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 as well, due to the weakened state of their immune systems. Although this disease can attack cats of any age it is often fatal in kittens.
There are no medications available to kill the virus that causes FPL so treating cats with feline panleukopenia involves symptoms such as dehydration and shock through intravenous fluid therapy and intensive nursing care.
When Your Cat Should Recieve 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 receive vaccines visit our vaccination schedule.
Side Effects from The FVRCP Vaccine
Adverse reactions to vaccines are uncommon in cats, and when they do occur, they are typically mild in nature. Most cats experiencing side effects may have a slight fever and feel slightly unwell for a day or two. It is not unusual for there to be minimal swelling at the site of injection.
In extremely rare cases, more severe reactions can occur. These reactions often manifest before the cat has left the veterinarian's office, although they can occur within 48 hours following vaccination. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include hives, swelling around the lips and eyes, itching, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.
If your cat exhibits any of the severe reaction symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial to promptly contact your veterinarian or visit 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.