FVRCP is a great acronym for one of the primary cat vaccines that vets deliver on almost a daily basis. It rolls of the tongue nicely and manages to confuse the heck out of the owners. It also combines some great consonants and I always feel smarter when I say it
To be serious, this is a superior combination vaccine that has saved at least a bijillion (my daughter swears that’s a real number) cat lives and is safer than non-vaccination. FVRCP is considered a “core” vaccine, meaning that it is recommended in all healthy, non-pregnant cats.
Although sometimes unpleasant, vaccination is an important part of providing our pets with excellent quality medical care. Read on for more detailed and, of course, well-written(!) information.
FVRCP Is A Combination Product
- FVRCP is a combination vaccine product that contains three vaccines.
- F is for feline.
- VR is for Viral Rhinotracheitis or Feline Herpesvirus-1 – a nasty upper respiratory disease that causes sneezing, fever and conjunctival (tissue surrounding eye) swelling; is a potential lifelong infection.
- C is for Calicivirus – a disease in cats that causes painful lesions in the mouth, possibly nose and eye discharge, lameness and in severe cases, death.
- P is Panleukopenia – a potentially fatal disease in cats similar to parvovirus in dogs that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea; can cause brain disease or death in kittens if mother was infected during pregnancy.
FVRCP Is Available In Injection and Intranasal Form
- The FVRCP combination shot was first introduced as an injection and is still the most widely used form.
- One FVRCP vaccine that is given as a mist in the nose (intranasal) is available.
- The intranasal vaccine does not provide protection against panleukopenia as well as the injection vaccine.
- Intranasal FVRCP lowers risk for vaccine associate sarcomas, but risk is still there with Rabies and FeLV vaccine.
- Aside: Vaccine associated sarcomas in cats is now thought to be linked to cats that are already genetically prone to sarcomas and the vaccine introduces the inflammation that may start the process.
FVRCP Is Considered Safe
- For most kittens and cats, FVRCP is considered safe.
- Many of the vaccines are modified-live, where the viruses are not dead but are “disabled” so they cannot cause infection.
- There is a killed vaccine available but there is debate over its ability to provide protection as well as the modified-live.
American Association of Feline Practitioners Guidelines For FVRCP For Kittens
- Individual veterinarians and clinics may vary from the AAFP guidelines.
- Start vaccinations at 6 weeks of age.
- Give boosters every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.
- Follow with a booster 1 year later than last kitten vaccine and then every 3 years.
- Killed vaccine should be used in: kittens under 4 weeks, pregnant cats if needed and in FeLV/FIV positive cats.
- All kittens should have at least one FVRCP vaccine that is by injection (better protection for panleukopenia).
- Rothrock DVM, Kari. ”Feline Panleukopenia.” VIN, Associate. Last update 6/21/2012.
- Rothrock DVM, Kari. ”Feline Herpesvirus-1.” VIN, Associate. Last update 5/31/2012.
- Rothrock DVM, Kari. ”Feline Calicivirus.” VIN, Associate. Last update 5/25/2012.
- AAFP. “American Association of Feline Practitioners 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines.” Catvets.com.
- Lappin DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM), Michael R. ”FVRCP Vaccination of Cats.” VIN, Western Veterinary Conference 2006, Proceedings.