Often referred to as the "core vaccine," the FVRCPP vaccine helps protect susceptible cats and kittens from feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline pneumonitis and feline panleukopenia. The first series should be given to your furry friend when he's young, followed by a yearly booster.
Caused by the dangerous parvovirus, panleukopenia is symptomized by vomiting, diarrhea, fever and a loss of appetite. This sad, fast-spreading disease attacks the white blood cells your kitty needs to fight off infections. Breaking down the word, you can see the meaning much easier: "pan" refers to "all," "leuko" refers to "white blood cells" and "enia" means "low." This disease is so severe it can result in the loss of entire litters of kittens. Panleukopenia can spread from cat to cat through any body secretion.
Another easily transmitted feline disease, calicivirus can be associated with high mortality rates. This infection is most easily acquired by kittens and kitties with compromised immune systems, although all cats may get the disease. Sneezing, nose discharge, lameness and stiffness are all symptoms of this dangerous respiratory disease. New strains of the virus are becoming more severe and faster acting.
The feline herpesvirus, commonly referred to as feline rhinotracheitis, is another respiratory disease that all kitties are susceptible to when not vaccinated. This virus is highly contagious between cats. Most symptoms are associated with upper-respiratory infections and include sneezing and discharge from the eyes and nose -- these symptoms mimic the symptoms you get when you have the common cold. One thing that makes this virus particularly disturbing is that some cats can carry the virus without showing symptoms.
Also known as feline chlamydia, this severe respiratory infection is caused by Chlamydia psittaci. This infection has symptoms very similar to rhinotracheitis, although it is much more severe. In many cases, feline chlamydia is complicated by bacterial infections that can unfortunately lead to pneumonia.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.