The FVRCP vaccination is a combination vaccine against three types of viruses, all of which can be very dangerous for your little kitty. To prevent these health issues, follow your veterinarian's recommendations for his initial vaccinations to provide him with the immunity he needs to stay healthy.
What Is the FVRCP Vaccine?
The FVRCP vaccine protects your kitty against the feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. These three conditions are highly contagious airborne illnesses that can potentially be fatal in a kitten with a developing immune system. Panleukopenia (the P in FVRCP), also called feline distemper, can lead to death in 90 percent of cases in kittens under 6 months of age, according to the Chatsworth Veterinary Center Virtual Library. Feline herpesvirus, the cause of viral rhinotracheitis (the FVR in FVRCP), and calicivirus (the C) are the two major causes of upper respiratory infections, or kitty colds, in 90 percent of cases, according to the Traditional Cat Association.
Besides causing your little one discomfort, sneezing and a runny nose, these conditions can lead to serious secondary bacterial infections and pneumonia in some cases. Vaccinating your kitty helps to prevent such illnesses or at least lessen their symptoms.
Starting at 6 weeks of age, your little buddy can begin getting his first vaccines, including the initial FVRCP vaccination. Your kitten then will need two to three booster vaccinations, spaced three to four weeks apart, until your little one reaches around 12 weeks old. If he begins his vaccines at 12 weeks of age, he'll just need one other booster at 16 weeks. After this initial set of vaccinations and boosters, your little kitty will be set for a year. He'll need another shot at that point and then no more frequently than every three years thereafter, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Visiting the Vet
When you first adopt your little baby kitten, ask the shelter or breeder if the cat has received any of his initial vaccinations so you'll know what to tell your vet during the kitten's first visit. If you are unsure of your fur ball's vaccination history, an FVRCP vaccination and one booster three to four weeks later, recommends the Manhattan Cat Specialists. Both the FVRCP and rabies vaccinations are considered core vaccines by the AAFP. Core vaccines are recommended for all kitties, both indoors and outdoors ones, because of the highly contagious nature of the illnesses they protect your little one from, according to Catster. Ask your vet what she recommends for your fur baby in terms of all his vaccines and what schedule to follow, depending on your particular kitten's health.
The FVRCP vaccine comes in several forms, an injectable one containing either a live or killed virus, with or without an adjuvant, or a nasal spray containing a live vaccine without an adjuvant. There is some concern about adjuvants in feline vaccines because they may cause cancerous tumors at the injection site in some cases, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Speak to your vet about the type of FVRCP she uses and recommends for your little one if you are concerned about adjuvants in your cat's vaccines. After his initial set of vaccines and boosters, speak to your vet the next time your little one is due for his FVRCP vaccine to see if a titer test is appropriate for your kitty. This test checks for the immunity left in your furry friend's system; if it is at an appropriate level, your kitty may not need another vaccine yet.
- Manhattan Cat Specialists: Vaccination Protocols
- Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center: Questions and Answers About Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
- The Cat's Meow Veterinary Hospital: FAQ About Adopting a New Kitten
- Catster: A Primer on Kitten Vaccinations
- The Traditional Cat Association: Current Vaccination Recommendations for Kittens and Cats
- Veterinary Practice News: AAFP Revising Feline Vaccination Guidelines
- American Association of Feline Practitioners: 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines
- The Humane Society of the United States: A Shot in the Dark: Feline Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma
- Critters and Pals Animal Clinic: Feline Health Care Recommendations
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.