What Is FVRCP Vaccine For Cats? Do They Need It?

As a cat owner, it is essential to ensure that your feline friend is healthy and protected against various illnesses. One of the most crucial steps in maintaining your cat’s health is to vaccinate them. The FVRCP vaccine is an important vaccine that every cat owner should know about. In this article, we will explore what the FVRCP cat vaccine is, how it works, when your cat should receive it, its pros and cons, alternatives, cost, risk of reactions, and side effects.

What Is FVRCP Vaccine For Cats? Do They Need It?

What Core Vaccines Do Cats Need?

People think that Why vaccinations are important to cats but the truth is they do need vaccinations. Core vaccinations for cats are essential vaccines that protect against life-threatening diseases that have a high prevalence or severe consequences. For cats, there are two main core vaccines: the rabies vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine. Besides, you can consider these vaccines for not regret to euthanize your cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus and preemptive FIV testing,…

The rabies vaccine is legally required in many states and protects your cat against the rabies virus, which can be transmitted through bites from infected animals. The rabies virus is fatal if not treated, so it is important to keep your cat up-to-date on their rabies vaccine.

The FVRCP vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects against three common feline diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline panleukopenia (FPL).

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis is a respiratory illness that can cause sneezing, coughing, eye and nose discharge, and fever. It can be serious in kittens and older cats.
  • Feline calicivirus is another respiratory illness that can cause similar symptoms to FHV-1. It can also cause ulcers on the tongue and lips.
  • Feline panleukopenia is a serious and often fatal disease that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia. It can also damage the nervous system.

The FVRCP vaccine is important for all cats, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. The viruses that cause these diseases can be spread through contact with an infected cat’s saliva, urine, or feces.

The FVRCP vaccine is typically given in a series of three shots, with the first shot being given at 6-8 weeks of age. Booster shots are then given every 3 years.

Read More: How to Help Your Cat Feel Better After Vaccinations?

What The FVRCP Vaccine Protects Against?

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1)

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is a common and highly contagious upper respiratory infection in cats caused by the feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1). The virus can affect cats of all ages, but it is most severe in kittens, senior cats, and immune-compromised cats.

The signs of FVR can vary depending on the severity of the infection, but they typically include:

  • Inflamed eyes and nose
  • Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe weight loss
  • Sores inside the mouth
  • Depression

In some cases, FVR can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia or secondary bacterial infections.

Even after the signs of FVR have cleared up, the virus can remain dormant in the cat’s body and reactivate later in life, causing a recurrence of the infection.

There is no cure for FVR, but there are treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms and prevent complications. If you think your cat may have FVR, it is important to see a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Read More: Should I Quarantine My Cat with Tapeworms?

Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a highly contagious virus that is one of the major causes of upper respiratory infections (URIs) or cat flu in cats. It can also cause oral disease.

The symptoms of FCV infection can vary depending on the strain of the virus and the cat’s immune system. Common symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Eye inflammation
  • Clear or yellow discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Painful ulcers on the tongue, palate, lips, or nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Squinting
  • Lethargy

In some cases, FCV can also cause more serious complications, such as pneumonia, fever, joint pain, and lameness.

There is no cure for FCV, but most cats recover completely with supportive care. Treatment may include antibiotics for cats to prevent secondary bacterial infections, pain medication to relieve discomfort, and fluids to prevent dehydration.

The best way to prevent FCV infection is to vaccinate your cat. There are a number of different vaccines available, so talk to your veterinarian about which one is right for your cat.

Feline Panleukopenia (FPL)

Feline panleukopenia (FPL), also known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that affects cats. The virus attacks the bone marrow, lymph nodes, and the cells lining the intestines. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, severe diarrhea, nasal discharge, and dehydration.

Cats infected with FPL are also more likely to develop secondary infections, such as pneumonia or sepsis. This is because the virus weakens the cat’s immune system. FPL can affect cats of any age, but it is most deadly in kittens.

There is no cure for FPL, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms and improve the cat’s chances of survival. These treatments include intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotics, and supportive care.

The best way to prevent FPL is to vaccinate your cat. Kittens should receive their first vaccination at 6 weeks of age, and then a booster vaccination at 12 weeks of age. Adult cats should receive a booster vaccination every 3 years.

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When Consider The FVRCP Vaccination For Cats?

The FVRCP vaccine is typically given in a series of three shots, with the first shot given at around 6-8 weeks old. Booster shots are then given every three to four weeks until the kitten is about 16-20 weeks old. After that, the cat will need a booster shot once every three years.

Indoor cats may be able to get away with getting the FVRCP vaccine every three years, but outdoor cats or cats that come into contact with other cats should get the vaccine every year at pet center with the reasonable cost cat shots at Petsmart, ShotVet or Banfield Pet Hospital,…

The FVRCP vaccine is an important part of keeping your cat healthy. By getting your cat vaccinated, you can help protect them from these serious diseases.

Do Cats Need The FVRCP Vaccination?

Yes, cats do need the FVRCP vaccination. 

Even if your cat is an indoor cat, they can still be exposed to these diseases through contact with other cats, either directly or indirectly. For example, if an infected cat enters your home, your cat could be exposed to the virus through their fur or on surfaces that the infected cat has touched.

The FVRCP vaccine is very effective at preventing these diseases. However, no vaccine is 100% effective, so it is still important to monitor your cat for any signs of illness, such as fever, discharge from the eyes or nose, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Cost of FVRCP Cat Vaccine

The cost of the FVRCP vaccine varies depending on your location, veterinary clinic, and the number of shots required. Generally, the cost ranges from $20-$50 per dose. Some clinics offer packages that include multiple vaccinations, which may save you money in the long run.

The FVRCP Vaccine Risks and Side Effects

The most common side effects of vaccines in cats are mild and go away on their own within a day or two. These side effects may include:

  • Slight fever
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling or redness at the injection site
  • Sneezing

Severe side effects of vaccines in cats are very rare, but they can be life-threatening. If your cat experiences any of the following symptoms after being vaccinated, you should seek veterinary attention immediately:

  • Hives
  • Swelling around the lips and eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties

It is important to note that even though side effects from vaccines are rare, they can still happen. If you are concerned about your cat’s reaction to a vaccine, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of vaccination and make the best decision for your cat’s health.

Pros and Cons of the FVRCP Vaccine


  • Protects against three common feline diseases
  • Highly effective in reducing the severity of symptoms
  • Helps prevent the spread of the diseases to other cats


  • Some cats may experience mild side effects such as fever and lethargy
  • No vaccine provides 100% protection
  • Annual boosters required

Alternatives to the FVRCP Vaccine

While the FVRCP vaccine is highly recommended for all cats, some owners may prefer alternative methods of disease prevention. One option is titer testing, which measures the level of antibodies in your cat’s blood. If your cat has high levels of antibodies in a friendly tone of voice.

Against a specific disease, it may not need a vaccination for that particular disease. This method can be more expensive than vaccines and is not always accurate. Another option is to limit your cat’s exposure to other cats or environments where the diseases are prevalent. While this is a viable option, complete isolation is not practical nor desirable for most cats.


In conclusion, the FVRCP vaccine is a vital tool in protecting your cat against life-threatening diseases. By understanding the conditions this vaccine protects against, when to vaccinate, its cost, pros and cons and alternatives, you can make informed decisions regarding your cat’s health. Remember to always consult with a licensed veterinarian for advice on the best approach to vaccination and ensure your cat receives proper care.

What Is FVRCP Vaccine For Cats? Do They Need It?

FAQs What Is FVRCP Vaccine For Cats? Do They Need It?

Do Vaccination Include In Pet Insurance?

Vaccinations are usually covered in pet health insurance through an additional wellness plan, which can provide reimbursement for specified preventative expenses.

Is FVRCP necessary for cats?

Yes, the FVRCP vaccine is generally considered necessary for cats. It’s a core vaccine, meaning it’s recommended for all cats, regardless of their lifestyle. FVRCP stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Calicivirus (C), and Panleukopenia (P). Each of these represents a potentially serious and contagious disease for cats.

When should cats get FVRCP vaccine?

Kittens typically start their FVRCP vaccination series between 6-8 weeks of age. They then receive booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they’re about 16 weeks old.

After the initial series, a booster is given at one year of age.

Following this, boosters are typically administered every 3 years, though the exact schedule might vary based on the specific vaccine product, regional disease risks, and individual cat health considerations.

Is FVRCP vaccine safe for cats?

Generally, yes. The FVRCP vaccine is considered safe for most cats. As with any vaccine or medication, there’s always a small risk of side effects. Common mild side effects might include soreness at the injection site, mild fever, or decreased appetite. Severe reactions are rare but can include allergic reactions or more significant illness. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, who will weigh the risks of vaccination against the benefits.

Is FVRCP vaccine the same as distemper?

The term “distemper” in cats usually refers to Feline Panleukopenia, which is the “P” in FVRCP. So, when people refer to the “feline distemper vaccine,” they’re typically talking about the FVRCP vaccine. Note that feline distemper is different from canine distemper; the two diseases are not the same and are caused by different viruses.

Is it OK not to vaccinate my cat?

It’s generally recommended to vaccinate cats, especially for core vaccines like FVRCP, to protect them from common and severe diseases. However, vaccination decisions should be tailored to each cat’s individual risk factors, health status, and lifestyle. If a cat has specific health concerns or if there’s a reason to consider skipping vaccines, it’s crucial to discuss this with a veterinarian.

Are cats OK without vaccines?

While some cats might never experience the diseases that vaccines protect against, going without vaccination does expose them to potential risks. Unvaccinated cats are susceptible to contracting preventable illnesses, some of which can be severe or fatal. Even indoor cats can be exposed to viruses, as some pathogens can be brought into the home on shoes, clothes, or through windows/screens. Vaccines have been integral in reducing the prevalence of many deadly feline diseases.

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