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What is the FVRCP cat vaccine?

Our veterinarians at Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital believe that prevention is crucial to ensure your cat's long and healthy life. That's why our vets in San Jose recommend that all cats get the FVRCP vaccine. The FVRCP vaccine helps protect your cat's health, and here's how it works.

Core Vaccines to Protect Your Cat

The FVRCP vaccine is one of the two core vaccines recommended for 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 also legally required in most states.

Even if your cat spends most of their time indoors, they are still at risk of contracting serious feline diseases, as the viruses that cause these conditions can survive on surfaces for up to a year.

This means that if your indoor cat manages to slip out of the door, even for just a minute, they could come into contact with the virus and fall ill.

Conditions That The FVRCP Vaccine Protects Against

The FVRCP vaccine is an extremely effective way to protect your kitty against 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (that's the FVR part of the vaccine name), Feline Calicivirus (represented by the C), and Feline Panleukopenia (the P at the end of the vaccine name). 

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1)

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), also known as feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), is responsible for nearly 80-90% of cats' infectious upper respiratory diseases. This disease can affect the nose and windpipe of your cat and can lead to complications during pregnancy.

The common symptoms of FVR include fever, sneezing, inflamed eyes, nose, and discharge from the nose and eyes. In adult cats, these symptoms may be mild and may clear up within 5-10 days. However, in severe cases, the symptoms may persist for over 6 weeks.

Kittens, senior cats, and cats with a weak immune system are more prone to FHV-1 infections. They may experience persistent and worsening symptoms, which can lead to depression, loss of appetite, severe weight loss, and sores in their mouth. Cats with FVR are also susceptible to bacterial infections.

Although the symptoms of FVR may clear up, the virus remains dormant in the cat's body and may flare up many times over their lifetime.

Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

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

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

It's important to note that there are a number of different strains of FCV, some produce fluid buildup in the lungs (pneumonia), and still 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 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 currently 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 cat with the best possible protection against FHV, FCV, and FPL, it is recommended that you give them their first FVRCP vaccination when they are around 6-8 weeks old. After that, your kitten should receive a booster shot every three or four weeks until they are about 16-20 weeks old.

Once they pass this age, your kitten will need another booster when they are just over a year old, and then every 3 years throughout their lifetime. Please refer to our vaccination schedule for further details about when your cat should receive vaccines.

Risk of Side Effects from The FVRCP Vaccine

Side effects from vaccines in cats are rare, but if they do occur, they are usually mild. Most cats that experience side effects may have a slight fever and feel unwell for a day or two. There may also be a small amount of swelling at the injection site, which is normal.

However, in very rare cases, some cats may have extreme reactions. These symptoms may appear before leaving the vet's office or within 48 hours following the vaccination.

The symptoms of a severe reaction may include hives, swelling around the lips and eyes, itchiness, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.

If your cat shows any of these severe symptoms, please contact your vet immediately or take your cat 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 San Jose vets today to book an appointment for your feline friend. 

Now Welcoming New Patients

Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital is now welcoming new cat and dog patients! Our professional and talented vets are dedicated to the health of San Jose's companion animals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your furry friend. 

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