The FVRCP cat vaccine is a 3-in-1 vaccine that protects our beloved cats from three highly contagious diseases: panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus. Typically, the FVRCP vaccine costs between $20 and $40.³ Your exact cost will depend on your cat’s age and vaccination schedule — initial shots for kittens tend to be more expensive — as well as where you live. Here are the quick and dirty details you should know as you prep your cat for their trip to the vet.
The FVRCP vaccine can cost as little as $20 on its own.³ If you are the proud owner of a new cat, you may get this core vaccine in a package deal that costs $115 – $210 and can include dewormer, rabies vaccinations, and more!³
Cost of FVRCP Vaccine at a Glance
Core vaccine packages
$115 – $210
Booster shots (every 3 years)
$20 – $40
These costs depend on where you get your vaccines. For example, organizations like Paws Atlanta offer low-cost vaccine programs that could charge you less than $90 for FVRCP and rabies vaccines combined.⁴ Another thing pet parents should be wary of is consultation fees for the veterinarian’s time. Stick to your budget and shop around! The actual vaccine isn’t hard to get, so there is no need to break the bank.
Wondering what you are protecting your cat from? FVRCP is an abbreviation for three common infectious diseases that affect domestic cats: Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), panleukopenia (FP), and calicivirus (FC). These upper respiratory infections all share similar symptoms, including:
- Runny nose with discharge
- Eye discharge
- Eye inflammation
One of the reasons this vaccine is combined is because the viruses tend to “travel” together. Vets call this phenomenon feline respiratory disease complex when cats are suffering from FVR and FC at the same time.⁵
However, there are minor differences between these three diseases. Some affect cats of different ages. Others thrive in specific environments. Here are the differences between these diseases and how to protect your feline friend.
Feline panleukopenia is the most uncommon of the three diseases due to the amazing efforts of vets to vaccinate domestic and feral cats.6 Sometimes called feline distemper or feline parvo, this used to be the leading cause of death in cats because of how contagious this virus is.6 FP kills cells by rapidly growing, dividing, and spreading into the bone marrow, intestines, and even fetuses.
All cats will come in contact with the FP virus during their lifetime. Like many viruses, FP can survive in all sorts of environments outside the body, like feline urine and stools, as well as in the air and on surfaces. FP can survive for up to a year on virtually every surface you can think of — on bedding, food bowls, and floors; if your cat touches it, FP is there.6
This virus is difficult to destroy even in the cleanest homes so ideally your cat should be vaccinated.6 If you own multiple cats or are caring for an outdoor kitty, keep a visibly ill cat isolated until you can get them veterinary care.
FVR, sometimes referred to as feline herpes type 1, is a troublesome infection because it can remain dormant in a cat and reactivate throughout its life. At first, FVR starts with a fever that can reach roughly 105℉ (40.5℃) and can come and go. Your cat may have swollen eyes and nasal passages with a runny nose. The discharge starts clear but slowly becomes a pus-like mucus coming out of their eyes and nose. A hallmark is sores and inflammation in their mouths and eyes.⁵
Your kitty may be sick for up to 10 days in mild cases or up to 6 weeks in severe cases.⁵ Similar to FC and FP, FVR is spread through nasal secretions and sometimes cat bites. Treatments are available to keep them comfortable while they recover from their symptoms and protect them from bacterial infections.
There are many strains of FC.⁵ Each has unique symptoms, like leg lameness and inflammation of the joints. Some are eerily similar to FVR by creating sores in the mouth that cause your cat pain. Many FC strains spread throughout your cat’s respiratory system and create fluid in their lungs.
Depression is a common sign of FC infections; look out for lethargy and disinterest in play or food. This is a signal your buddy isn’t feeling very well. Signs of FC often occur in kittens 8 to 12 weeks old.⁵ Luckily, kittens recover quickly. Older cats usually recover within 10 days unless their immune systems are compromised.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that the FVRCP vaccine be administered every 3 years.⁷ Kittens should get the first dose of the FVRCP vaccine when they are 6 weeks old to avoid complications from contracting these diseases, such as pneumonia. A follow-up vaccination should be given at 6 months, then every 3 years going forward.
The FVRCP vaccine will cost you an initial core vaccination fee (if you have a kitten) and then $40 or less every three years for adult cats. Of course, you will be expected to cover your vet’s consultation and labor fees, too. It’s worth it, though, as the diseases this vaccine protects your cat from can make your buddy very ill and may lead to expensive veterinary bills.
Luckily, if you invest in MetLife’s Pet Insurance, you may save on these costs.¹,² Our cat insurance policies can cover vaccinations, prescription medication, and labor costs at your favorite vet.² Find out if pet insurance is worth it, or get started today with a free quote from MetLife Pet Insurance, winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award in the 2022 Pet Independent Innovation Awards Program.