Prevention of FPV

Because there is no treatment for FPV, prevention of infection is crucial. 

The non-enveloped virus is resistant to many disinfectants, such as ether, alcohol, chloroform and heat (56˚C for 30 min), but is susceptible to bleach. 

Sanitizing with a bleach solution can help to contain an outbreak of FPV and prevent its transmission to other animals.

Vaccination against FPV is highly recommended to protect cats from contracting the virus.  Inactivated and modified-live vaccines are commercially available and both are effective in preventing FPV.  Modified live vaccines offer more rapid protection, and only one vaccination after maternal immunity declines is needed to produce successful immunity.  These vaccines, however, should not be given to pregnant queens, immunocompromised cats or kittens under four weeks old.  Inactivated vaccines will not cause disease or the shedding of virus, and are therefore considered safer for pregnant, immunocompromised and young animals.  These vaccines, however, contain an adjuvant that has a risk of causing adverse reactions, and multiple boosters are needed for sufficient immunity. 

It is important to wait to vaccinate until kittens are eight weeks of age to avoid interference from maternal antibodies.  Colostrum-deprived kittens should receive their first vaccination at four weeks.  Boosters should then be given every two to three weeks until the kittens are twelve to fourteen weeks old, with a final booster given at one year of age.  Vaccination should be repeated every three years to maintain sufficient protection against FPV. 

If an unvaccinated animal has been exposed to the virus, FPV antiserum can be used in place of general vaccination.  It should not be routinely used with unexposed cats or kittens; attenuated or modified-live vaccines are recommended in these cases.  A cat or kitten with unknown exposure history should be vaccinated with a modified-live vaccine to provide the best protection, and then be quarantined for at least two weeks before entering a multicat household.