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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) in a nutshell

16 May, 2007

FIP or Feline Infectious Peritonitis was one of the topics that was discussed at the recent Novice Breeder Advice seminar.

A huge thank-you to Dr Susan Little, Dr Danielle Gunn-Moore, Dr Leslie A. Lyons for sharing their wisdom.

The majority of cases of FIP are fatal.  That’s why FIP is so feared by breeders. There is a very strong taboo in breeding circles against FIP, and I think what was good about the seminar was that it went a long way in demonstrating that FIP is a disease that many breeders will encounter, and that we should not ostracise those breeders who have been unfortunate enough to have cats who’ve contracted FIP.

There’s loads of information on the internet on this, so this is a quick guide.

1.  What are the symptoms of FIP?  There are two types of FIP – wet and dry.  With wet FIP the cat tends to swell up with fluid.  Progress of wet FIP tends to be quick.  With dry FIP, the cat loses condition and it can take months for the disease to progress.

2.  What causes FIP?  FIP is caused by a mutation of the coronavirus (FCoV) in a cat.  It occurs in many cats, both in pedigrees and moggies.  It is common in multi-cat households.  It is often spread through litter-trays.

The majority of cats with coronavirus remain healthy (about 90% or more). So, it’s not the coronavirus, but the mutation of the coronavirus that is the problem.

What causes the mutation of coronavirus?  Three factors have been identified: Stress, genes, the presence of coronavirus shedders in a cattery and multiple-cat environments. Young cats (from 6 months to 2 years) and old cats are the most affected (possibly because in young cats the immune system is still not fully-developed, and in older cats the immune system is vulnerable).

3.  How can FIP be detected/diagnosed?  The problem is that FIP diagnosis is difficult.  A cat can have a high titre of coronavirus but that doesn’t mean that it will develop FIP.  And coronavirus titres can go up and down depending on the state of the cat’s health.

Testing for FIP does not always show FIP viruses.  There is a problem with interpreting the test. The same FIP test can be sent to different laboratories and come back with different results. The only way to positively establish FIP is through post-mortem organ testing.  Often diagnosis of FIP in still-living cats is through symptoms.

4.  Is it possible to have a negative coronavirus cat? Yes, but there is no guarantee that it won’t pick it up later in life.

Yes, but only by taking very stringent hygiene measures such as isolating the cats and using separate changes of clothing for each group. The life cycle of the virus is such that it can persist in cat litter for three to seven weeks, so rigorous cleaning must be maintained. Most closed catteries with fewer than 10 cats will eventually eliminate the coronavirus. The cats will stop shedding the virus and the antibody titres will eventually decline. However, all cats must be tested every three to six months.

Pregnant queens have to be isolated and the kittens separated at the age of five to six weeks.

With recurrent FIP cases, it is recommended that breeding should be suspended for a period of approximately six months.

5. Is there a treatment for cats with FIP? If you have a cat with suspected FIP, and are reading this, please don’t read this and despair. Do research the web, and contact Dr Susan Little for help. I’m all too aware that this report can come across as blunt and like you, I would move heaven and earth to find a cure if any of my cats fall ill.

At present there is no known effective treatment for FIP apart from improving the cat’s comfort. Recombinant feline interferon and pentoxifylline are treatments that have shown some limited success, and you may want to discuss them with your vet.

Some holistic sites, like Holisticat, have some alternative therapies that may help boost the immune system of the cat.

A vaccine, Primucell FIP (Pfizer) is available in Europe and the US (not in the UK), but it has had a variable success rate. And once a cat is infected with the coronavirus, the vaccine is of no benefit.

6.  What work is being done to eradicate FIP?  Research is currently being conducted into sussing out the DNA of FIP (type 1 – the most common type).  This will help in its detection.  Work is also being done to establish the marker in cats’ genes that may pre-dispose the cat to FIP. Please also check out the web-site of the Novice Breeder Advice group who are throwing their support behind FIP research and who would welcome any help you can give.

For more information these sites are invaluable:

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/Pages/FIP_Web.pdf

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=19

http://www.fabcats.org/fip_000.html

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html

http://www.dr-addie.com/

http://www.holisticat.com/fip_arch1.html

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80 comments

  1. I was astounded to see this report which must have been written by someone who was at the NBA Cat Club seminar last Saturday. Thank you very much for writing this and I would love to know who you are :-))

    Marcia.


  2. [...] was done on the effectiveness of cat litter in providing a medium of growth for coronavirus (see my post on FIP) and apparently the cat litters that were most hostile to the coronavirus were Everclean [...]


  3. My cat Sammy died of FIP some days ago, after struggling with it for one month. He was only seven months old, and his death has broken my heart. I’m not wealthy myself, but I would like to make a montlhy contribution for FIP research. I would appreciate it if you could let me know who or where I can address in order to make this donation. My email is belgalera@katch.org. My name is Isabel Galera, and I’m writing from Barcelona (Spain). Thanks for your help.


  4. Dear Isabel,

    I’m so sorry about your Sammy’s death. It is so painful when we have to hold our cats in our arms and let them go. Sammy is blessed to be so loved by you.

    And FIP is a difficult disease – so much more needs to be done to work towards a cure. Thank you for being so generous in offering a donation to help find such a cure.

    In Europe, the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol (Langford) is conducing research into a cure for FIP.
    http://www.langfordtrust.org/donations.html
    https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/donation.asp?ref=101646

    In the US, the Winn Feline Foundation also conducts research into FIP:
    http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/Pages/HowToDonate.html

    I hope this helps. God bless Sammy.

    Best wishes/


  5. I too lost my 7 1/2 month old kitten, a Ragdoll from a small cattery,to FIP. She initially tested negative for FIP but a weak positive for Feline Leukemia. She did not have Feline Leukemia as was proven upon both ELISA and IFA tests with serum/plasma blood samples taken while she was sedated before I put her to sleep. I am also in the process of obtaining organ tissue and spinal fluid from her to obtain definite evidence of FIP. I was and still am devistated. She was a healthy robust little kitten until I took her for spaying a month ago. She became very ill directly after the surgery at which time the vet made the assumption that I wanted her innoculated for rabies, distemper and feline Leukemia and did so without asking first. I believe the stress and trauma of the surgery and all three vaccines at once set the FIP into motion. She rebounded a couple of times, and we thought she was getting better as she had come back with a VERY weak positive for Feline Leukemia, and we knew that there was a chance she could beat that diagnosis and actually eradicate the virus from her system. However, the positive for the FelV turned out to be false, and the negative for the FIP I am pretty sure will turn out to be innacurate as well. She died 2 days ago at an emergency clinic. I made the call because her blood work came back showing extreme illness. I held her while they sedated her, I held her while they took the blood samples from her jugular, and I held her while they put her to sleep. I took her home with me in a mink wrap, but by then it was 2:30 am. I immediately placed her in the freezer having made sure the lab could get viable tissue samples and spinal fluid samples in order to get a definitive answer for the FIP. I have been with many dogs and cats in my life while they have been put to sleep after a good long life, but nothing prepared me for doiong this with a tiny little kitten who weighed in at barely 3 lbs 2 oz that night. She was absolutely the most lovable and energetic little girl for the first 3 1/2 months we had her, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. My question now is, what about going back to the same cattery? How can I prevent bringing home another kitten who has been infected? She gives her cats the nasal spray for FIP. I have read that can actually bring ON FAP. Should I stay away from her cattery altogether? Or is this desease so elusive and random that it wouldn’t matter? Please help with an answer or advise if you can. Thanks, Steph


  6. Hi Stephanie,

    First, I just want to say that my heart goes out to you. It is hard when a cat dies, but when it’s a kitten, it is so much more painful.

    You did your best for her. You couldn’t have done more. You gave her your love and you made a difference with your love.

    In reply to your question about whether to go back to the cattery, I don’t have the experience or knowledge to answer this, so let me speak to some experienced breeders to see what they have to say.

    Have you spoken with your vet about this and what did he have to advise?

    What I have read about FIP is that it is caused by the mutation of the coronavirus. And that the coronavirus is quite common in many cats. It seems to be stress/illness/genetic cause that triggers this mutation into full-blown FIP.

    Many multi-cat households will have some level of coronavirus, but most cats with coronavirus do not go on to develop FIP because the triggers are not there and also the cats have healthy immune systems. FIP seems to develop mainly in very young or very old cats which seems to point the finger at immature or weak immune systems.

    I have even heard of kittens from the same litter going to different homes, and one might develop an illness whereas another might not. And there are no straightforward answers.

    A responsible breeder would want to know if a kitten they bred died of FIP, so please let your kitten’s breeder know what happened.

    Yours is not the only case I’ve heard of vets who combine an operation with a course of vaccinations leading to a weakened immune system for the pet. I had a cat, Sophie, many years back who got her teeth cleaned under anaesthesia plus a course of vaccines during the same operation. Not long after she fell seriously ill. Maybe it was coincidence – I don’t know. She was old, but she had been healthy for most of her 13 years up to that point.

    What I believe (and you’ve got to do your own research and make up your own mind about this) is that vaccines do stress the system and depress the immune system.

    I minimally-vaccinate the kittens I breed, and only because of cat society rules. And if a cat is an indoor cat and doesn’t have contact with outdoor cats, then I would question the need to vaccinate. However, different breeders follow different protocols.

    I am not familiar with the nasal spray for FIP. I don’t think it’s something that’s available in the UK yet.

    Having said all this, please do NOT blame yourself for letting the vet vaccinate your kitten. Vets are pro-vaccination. And they’ve probably done it before and there were no adverse effects. We will never know whether it was the cause of FIP developing or not.

    Please let me know if you do find out any more information.

    Best wishes and god bless you and your little kitten.


  7. Hi Stephanie,

    How are you doing?

    I spoke to a few breeders, including a Ragdoll breeder.

    Now, please remember that we are not vets, and at the end of the day we can only offer you advice and opinions based on our experience.

    The general consensus is that coronavirus is pretty prevalent in many multi-cat households. So it is hard to avoid coronavirus, unless the breeder has succeeded in achieving zero titre cats. And even that may only be a temporary state.

    The breeders have said that they would buy another kitten from the breeder, but they would get a kitten with at least one, if not two different parents from the kitten that died of FIP. That’s to try to get away from the possible genetic vulnerability to FIP that the previous kitten may have had.

    They would also try to find out what happened to the other kittens from the same litter. And if buying from the same breeder, find out what happened to kittens from previous litters with the same parentage.

    I asked several breeders about the FIP vaccine. One was a UK breeder who said that because it still wasn’t possible to pin-point exactly how the mutation occurred, a vaccine couldn’t be 100% effective in preventing FIP. The vaccine isn’t available in the UK. Another was a US breeder and she wasn’t sure if a vaccine could be effective, and hadn’t used it.

    So, if you do get a kitten, you might consider getting one without the vaccine. And of course, if getting it spayed, don’t have it vaccinated at the same time so that its immune system isn’t compromised by both surgery and vaccines. And maybe go for killed rather than live (attenuated) vaccines.

    I hope this helps you when you next have to choose a kitten. And I hope that your next kitten lives a long and happy life.

    Best wishes


  8. Here are some links to vaccination protocols:

    The Cat Fancier’s Association (US):
    http://www.cfa.org/articles/health/vaccination-guidelines.html

    UK Vets Unite Against Over-Vaccination:
    http://www.ebvet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=141


  9. hi to all .i am sooo sorry about your fur babies .i lost my cat gracie 3 monthes ago they say to fip.she was beining treated for fatty liver disease. i miss her terribley.she was persain grey color just the sweetest thing .just two&half years old.anyway i have two other cats one is 7 monthes & the other is 3yrs.we had titer test done on both the kitten was high the vet said she was the carrier.my 3 yr old had a very low count.i am scared everyday if they dont act right or dont eat well.the older has not been eating well for acouple of days or at all.im worried.plus the vet wants us to go ahead & get kitten fixed but im also scared to do this.to much stress might go full blown im afraid.also has any one heard of giving them vitiame c??.for fip>?any one that can help PLEASE let me know. thanks so much.


  10. Dear Kathie, I’m so sorry about the loss of your cat Gracie. She had the joy of a loving home with you.

    With your other two cats, you mentioned a titre test – is this for coronavirus?

    You’ve probably done a lot of research into coronavirus and you know that it may or may not mutate into FIP.

    I am not a vet so I cannot advise you on whether or not now is a good time to neuter your kitten. I would suggest you get a second opinion from another vet, or even contact Dr. Susan Little who is a feline vet and expert on FIP. (http://catvet.homestead.com/) (SusanLittleDVM@compuserve.com)

    If your other cat, the 3-year-old is a neuter, then it’s unlikely that your kitten will mate with the 3-year old; however, you didn’t say whether the kitten is a boy or a girl? Either way they are likely to come into heat or start spraying once they get sexually mature, so you want to weigh your decision very carefully.

    It may be possible to bring the titres down with careful cleaning of litter trays over a period of time.

    As for vitamin C, please try searching on the Holistic Cat archives where there may be articles on boosting the immune system. (http://www.holisticat.com/fip_arch1.html). Dr Addie’s website also has a section on using antioxidants to stimulate the immune system. (http://www.dr-addie.com/PreventionS3.htm)

    I’m sorry I don’t have any concrete answers for you. I hope and pray that your kitten and cat stay healthy.

    Best wishes.


  11. I have a ten 1/2 mo. old neutered male Bengal kitten who’s name is Levi; he was diagnosed with FIP in late April. He’s hanging in there, but it’s been hard for all of us. His brother, who was very healthy and had no symptoms prior, passed away overnight from the wet form of FIP. Levi, who seems to have a strong will to live, has taken us all on a emotional rollercoaster ride. We love him so much, it’s hard to know what to do. His current symptoms are tipsy gate, he’s frail and is very weak; however, he eats, poops, communicates, and functions to the best of his ability, with added assistance from prednisolone tablets (5mg/day). I have put off taking him back to the vet for additional tests for fear of putting him under unnecessary stress. I figure that they will either tell me he’s getting worse or getting better, either of which I can determine under my own observation.
    I’ve been hoping for a miracle; as I’m sure all who have been through this hope for the same. I just cannot bring myself to put him to sleep. My family is equally hesitant… I have concluded that if he should stop either eating or using the potty that we will at that point, let him go.
    In the mean time, it’s been about a month 1/2 and we still have him.


  12. Dear Michelle,

    I’m so sorry that your Levi has FIP. I understand how you feel about him, how you can’t bear to have him pts. I was the same way about my moggy, Sophie, when she had cancer. I held out till the end and in the end she died in my arms and my heart broke.

    I’ve always wondered if maybe I held on to her for too long. But you will know when the time is right. Maybe he will speak to you in your mind and you will know.

    But like you, I hope and pray for a miracle for Levi.

    I don’t have any treatments to recommend for him as I’m not a vet. All I know is that it sometimes helps to slow the progress of the disease if you can boost his immune system.

    Some people maintain that changing the diet helps. A raw diet is very good, as it has none of the chemical nasties, but it has to be done slowly. Some cats take to it immediately. My cat Sophie gave me a look of gratitude when I started feeding her raw. It’s like her body craved the natural, nutrient-dense food of a raw diet. I’ve heard that Bengals, in particular, benefit from a raw diet because their digestive systems have more in common with their wild ancestors.

    Since conventional medicine can only help with the symptoms, it may not hurt to try alternative remedies and supplements. Homeopathy works by addressing the weakness in the system that has led to the susceptibility to FIP. Sometimes it works miracles. Sometimes it doesn’t.

    You might want to check out the archive files on the holisticat site – it has a lot of alternative remedies and supplements that have been tried by users.

    In pursuing this course, you’ve got to be practical and consider the cost involved. I know it sounds mercenary, and how can you put a price on the life of your precious cat, but it’s an expensive outlay, alternative therapies. I must have spent close to £1,000 (US$2,500) in 3 months on alternative therapies and supplements. I think the treatment that helped the most was the hands-on healing which seemed to soothe and relax my cat. But it only delayed the inevitable. If you have pet insurance, the company may pay for alternative therapies.

    In the meantime, just try to spend quality time with Levi. Play with him, talk to him and tell him how wonderful he is etc.

    I wish I could offer you a cure, but I can’t. I can only send you and your family and Levi love and loving wishes for a long and healthy life.


  13. Dear Rona, Thank you for your kind words! I’m very grateful to have had a chance to share this with someone who understands the heartache. God Bless You!

    P.S. Levi is still with us… Maybe the prayers are working :)


  14. Hi Michelle,

    Prayers do work sometimes. And sometimes they work in ways we least expect. So don’t give up!

    I forgot to mention that there is a yahoo groups forum for FIP, and there’s a forum called the Fanciers-Health List which usually has up-to-date treatments being discussed.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIP/
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/fanciershealth/

    Please try them as there tends to be supportive people on these forums who may be able to help Levi.

    Wishing you and Levi much love and good health.


  15. Dear Michelle,

    I like you have a young cat diagnosed with FIP. He is the sweetest cat I have ever owned. While doing research on this horrible death sentence, I fould my only hope was to go to a Hollistic Vet. I found one in my area about 45 minutes away and went today. I spent about 1 1/2 hours there answering any and all questions pertaining to my cat “Brady”. After a digital x-ray and going over my cat’s dislikes and likes, behavior patterns, and physical checkup. The Dtr. came up with a “remedy” specific to him. I gave him a small amount today and am supposed to keep a diary of his actions. I only give him one mg dose and watch him for a week and call them back in a week. So, besides prayer and this hollistic approach, this is all I have left. He seems to have spunk left in him,although he is definitely not himself. (He has the dry version), X-rays showed an enlarged Kidney, Liver and a Mass in his abodmen, which is possible lymphnodes. The Dtr. recommended Hollistic food too, which I’m trying. Brady is still on the antibiotics given to him by his normal vet until futher notice. While this is not a cheap route to go, he is a member of our family and we will do anything we can to make him better. I’ll keep everyone posted on his progress. I have faith that he will come out of this better than ever. I’ll let you know if it all works out.

    Julie


  16. Dear Julie,
    I am so sorry to hear you’re having to go through this too:( It is a very difficult thing. It seems that this disease seems to choose the best of the best of pets. I have never had a more intellegent, and frankly perfect cat. It seems so unfair! I keep hoping and praying (every night) that I’ll get to share more time with him… so far so good. It’s all I can ask for.
    My prayers are with you and Brady. Please keep in touch and let me know if the remedy works for him. I would greatly appreciate it.
    By the way, what type of kitty is Brady?

    Michelle


  17. My love of my life Yoshi got sick with FIP and I had to put him to
    sleep on friday. It happened so fast.
    Now I am not only struggling with depression and a broken heart but
    enormous guilt too. I had always taken my Yoshi do a vet clinic that
    was 1/2 hour away from my home. It was there that he was diagnosed and
    given prestone (I know it is spelled wrong it is a sterode) and
    antibiotics. A couple of days later I took him to a vet closer to home
    and he had 3x the amount of cells that were need and another cell that
    was excited about something. A new antibiotic was given and I gave it
    to him a couple of days later his fever went down but his kidneys were
    huge which was normal or so I was told by the new vet. But at the same
    time, he started having problems standing up. I tried a new medication
    toxifillian (given 2 days before he died) but he could not longer
    stand up without falling down which I was told by the new vet was
    because he was weak and because he had not eaten. I had to help him to
    the litter box and to the water bowl (he could not walk or stand without falling down or sit). He drooled out the water that he
    drank which was very little in his last days. He continued to refuse
    to drink or eat or to be held (he hid alot). I called the new vet and
    was told that I should give him a IV to hydrate him and it would make
    him all better and to have a IV put in every couple of days. I was
    about to do it when his old vet called, I told her what was going on,and she said it was time to put him down the IV would have been to cruel and would have caused him to suffer more. She said that the virus had affected his nervous system and when cats remove themselves from others and refuse to eat or drink it is time.
    So I put him down, now I am being accused by the new vet that I gave up to quick and he would have lived for years if I did not put him down. I did not mean to… I hated seeing him suffer and I feel so guilty.


  18. My dearest Lenore,

    My heart goes out to you. When my Sophie was ill with cancer, I held onto the very bitter end when she was a bundle of skin and bones and tottering everywhere because I couldn’t bear to put her to sleep. Even until now I have grave doubts about what I did … she probably suffered more than she should have because I was determined to find a cure, something to heal her. Maybe it would have been kinder to have ended it sooner, and not to have made her suffer.

    I’ll tell you something about vets … we trust them to give us the best advice.

    So that old vet of yours, whom you trusted, gave you advice which you trusted. This old vet knows your cat and only had your cat’s well-being at heart. No vet willingly tells you to put a pet to sleep. That was his expert advice, based on experience.

    And because you loved your Yoshi, you wanted to do what was best for him. And that’s what you did at that time.

    I’m sorry, but that new vet should know better than to tell you what he thought you should have done – after the event. It’s very easy to say “you should have done this” or “you should have done that” after the event. But if Yoshi were still suffering, then what … what would that new vet have to say? So, my point is, the new vet had no right to accuse you of being a bad owner when you only did what was best.

    I understand the guilt. It’s natural. You and Yoshi were something special and now it’s gone. But I let my ego get in the way of letting Sophie go, and you know what … you were big hearted enough to say: Yoshi, I love you so much, I feel your pain so much that I’m going to let you go even though it will burst my heart to do so.

    Believe me, Yoshi is not feeling hurt or resentful. Yoshi knows the love you put into that huge sacrifice you made to let him go. Our furry friends trust us and love us and will always love us, no matter what.

    You can go on “maybe” and “what ifs”. But Yoshi sounded really ill, and FIP is a disease whose course is hard to predict. It is a devastating disease and is almost always fatal when it gets bad. Just google FIP and see what other cat owners have to share about it.

    When pets pass on, it’s quick. They don’t have any regrets. But they do hold onto the love you had for them. Yoshi knows how you feel and he loves you still. He loves the special times you had with him and he knows that he was lucky to have had those special times. There are many cats in the world who come to earth and have never experienced that special love.

    It is so hard to let your loved one go. It is so painful. All I can say is: you did what was right, you did your best, you loved your Yoshi so much you just wanted him not to suffer.

    Please call me if you need to chat.

    Thinking of you.

    God bless you and Yoshi,.


    • Sadly, I have learned that there ARE bad vets. It sounds like Yoshi got the caring vet with his best interests at heart in the “old” vet. The new one said he could have lived for “years” is wrong. FIP cats don’t have years-they have much less time!
      I know there are bad vets because i have 2 friends who had cats who were not sick. They both had a problem peeing out of the litterbox. The vet recommended putting them down and both owners did that. One friend now knows how horrible it was to euthanize a healthy cat, and she has to live with that every day…Thanks to this vet that so carelessly discarded the lives of two cats.


  19. Hello again.

    It’s Michelle; I wrote previously regarding my precious Levi. I have since had to send him to fly with the angels. It was Aug. 21st, 2008, and I am still not over the painful process of it all. It, being the suffering my baby had to go through.

    Like Lenore, I feel a tremendous amount of guilt because of the circumstances that occurred prior to my decision to end his suffering… We had committed to going back to visit our family in a different state, and I had to hire someone to come and stay with Levi. He was actually doing o.k. before we left, but I did not want to leave him. I just felt that if we left him he would think we were not coming back. The lady I hired to care for him did not care for him. She just basically came in cleaned his litter box and put food in his dish. He had his 1st birthday Aug. 19th, I was a complete mess on that day, one, because I couldn’t be with him, and two because I received a call from the pet sitter mentioning that he wasn’t eating or using the litter box. We came home the next day and found him in a terrible state! I cleaned him up, he was covered in his own urine from not being able to use his hind legs, and his jaw was misshapen with food all over his face and in his nose. I cried from the moment I walked in the door and I haven’t stopped since.

    I write this note to let those of you know that I can never feel good about having been so selfish in keeping Levi alive, and having him suffer. I know that I should have sent him to fly with the angels sooner rather than later.

    The last hours I spent with him were the most delicate, precious, and priceless moments of my life – The hardest thing I’ve had to live with is the vet telling me as he took his last few breathes is that “he’s fighting this, he doesn’t want to go”.

    It really hurts, it always will. But I know he knows that I loved him more than I could ever say. I loved him enough to stop the pain.

    Levi Moore – Born Aug. 19th 2007 Became an angel Aug. 21st, 2008.


    • Hi Michelle,

      What a terrible time you’ve been through. I’m so sorry about what’s happened to Levi. I thought that all was going OK, and was hopeful that the FIP was under control.

      All I can say is that you tried your hardest during the time he was with you. Please don’t blame yourself for leaving him with the pet sitter. You weren’t to know that she wasn’t a good pet sitter.

      When my cat Sophie had cancer, I held onto her until the end. She couldn’t pee, was wobbly and finally died in my arms. I selfishly couldn’t bring myself to have her put to sleep, and for the rest of my life will wonder if I should have ended the suffering sooner, instead of waiting for a cure that never came.

      But it’s easier said than done. It’s the hardest decision to have to have your loved one put to sleep. We cling to hope and every sign of recovery.

      So what I want to say is: you did the bravest thing you could do. You stopped him from suffering. If you’d let him stay on he would have continued to get worse and worse. And the end would have been more painful for him. You saved him from all that.

      Levi won’t remember the suffering. Our cats are great-souled creatures who remember the joyous moments that we shared with them, the love that we gave them. Levi will always remember you as the person who loved him and opened your heart to him.

      Does the pain get any easier? With time it eases. And I hope that one day you will meet another cat who will touch your heart as much as Levi.

      God bless you and Levi.


    • I am so so sorry for your loss. Reading your post made my heart hurt and i couldn’t stop the tears…


      • Sorry to reply to an old post but it has touched me.

        I had to put my 1yr old baby Bear to sleep 10 days ago. Some days I’m ok but other days, like today, I sit online looking for some comfort that I made the right decision. I miss him terribly.

        He had the dry form of FIP. He was ill for 5 weeks and after starting medication took a turn for the worse. He was still eating and using his litter tray but his back legs did not want to work properly anymore and he no longer wanted to be petted. It was breaking my heart to watch him having to walk against the wall to get anywhere and he just wasn’t my little Bear anymore. When he cowered away from my usual much wanted touch I knew it was time. But now I’m racked with guilt that I didn’t give him enough time.

        He was my first kitten and I brought him home with his sister, Lily. I’m petrified of her developing FIP and am concerned she has the wet FIP due to a bit of a hanging belly. She’s still her spritely self although she is pining for her brother occasionally. I’m hoping it is just paranoia.

        I hope time does heal because at the moment I am the saddest I have ever been.


      • Samantha, I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a pet, especially when they are so young. I finally had to pray for God to take the images out of my head, and that I could not stand the grief anymore. I woke the next morning feeling relief. I know it’s hard not to worry about the other kitty, we have 2 others and I always wonder if they have it if they act at all ‘off’. All of my cats had the hanging belly from being fixed! So don’t let that worry you.
        Blessings, Angie


      • Dear Samantha,

        I’m so sorry for your loss. FIP is such a horrible disease, and I’m so sorry that your baby Bear had it. It is very hard to make the decision to PTS. But you made the decision based on the best advice you were given, and also his health, and you didn’t want him to suffer. Very few cats pull through full-blown FIP. Your baby Bear is no longer suffering … .

        How old is Lily? I wouldn’t worry too much about the hanging belly – that’s not symptomatic of FIP. But please get her checked by the vet if you are worried. I understand how anxious you must be feeling. But FIP isn’t caught that easily – it needs a compromised or underdeveloped immune system – that’s why it tends to affect either very young or very old cats.

        It is OK to be sad. All of us who read your post have cats who have passed away, and the grief is incredible. Some days it is better, some days, worse. Please be kind to yourself. You did your best for baby Bear and he will never ever forget the love and care you gave him. I pray that each passing day brings you more peace … .

        Best wishes,

        ________________________________


  20. Thank you for your kind words.
    God bless anyone who has to go through this kind of pain.

    They will not go quietly,
    the cats who’ve shared our lives.
    In subtle ways they let us know
    their spirit still survive.
    Old habits still make us think
    we hear a meow at the door.
    Or step back when we drop
    a tasty morsel on the floor.
    Our feet still go around the place
    the food dish used to be,
    And, sometimes, coming home at night,
    we miss them terribly.
    And although time may bring new friends
    and a new food dish to fill,
    That one place in our hearts
    belongs to them….
    and always will.
    ~ Linda Barnes ~


  21. Update:
    Donations for clinical research into FIP in the UK should be sent to the Langford Trust of Bristol University:

    http://www.langfordtrust.org/donations.html

    https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/donation.asp?ref=101646


  22. My husband and I adopted Mickey and Bama from a shelter in October of 2008.

    My baby Bama was diagnosed with FIP when he was 9 months old, in April 2009. My vet started him on antibiotics and B12 shots every week. He kept telling me he didn’t think he was suffering, just uncomfortable. I believed him, because Bama, up until his final week was chipper, walked around with his big gut, and still had a decent appetite. He would have his good days, and his bad days…but it always seemed there were more of the good.
    Then all of the sudden, he just went downhill so fast. I went from one day giving him an antibiotic 2 times a day and watching him eat on his own, to watching him not eat at all, and just lay in the middle of the floor, confused.

    The final week of his life, I was force feeding him baby food, giving him eye droppers with water, increased his antibiotic to three times a day. I took him to the vet, and he said Bama was still fighting, and it wasnt’ his time to go yet. Grateful and selfish, I took Bama home. Three days later, I woke up to him screaming and howeling, and gasping for air. I called the emergency vet (which was an hour away…since all of the other local vets were closed. It was a Sunday), and they told me he was dying, and to make him as comfortable as possible. So, all I could do was pet him and cry, and watch him howl in pain until he took has last few breaths. I still don’t know what he was feeling, what was happening to him internally that caused him so much pain. I don’t understand why my vet didn’t put him down when I brought him in, so we could have avoided his suffering.
    This was 3 months ago. I still cry every day and cannot forgive myself for having him suffer for so long.
    His brother, Mickey has been tested and is not a carrier and doesn’t seem to have any signs of the disease. He has been extremely lonley since Bama passed. He would walk around the house screaming and crying looking for him. So,we got a new little girl (Gidget) for Mickey…and I am watching her like a hawk. I’m so afraid that she will come down with FIP as well. I have sterilized the entire house, put all of Bama’s toys in a box…since I didn’t have the heart to throw them out, and got a new litter box. I am so sorry for anyone who has to go thru with this. My heart is broken.
    Sue,
    Mom of Bama – Born July 2008, and passed away June 14, 2009.


    • [sent on 13/9/2009]

      Dear Sue,

      I’m sorry about the death of your Bama, and all that you have been going through.

      You know … we only do what we think is best for our babies. And when someone like a vet gives advice, of course we think that they know best because they are the experts. That’s what we rely on … their expertise.

      So it’s easy to blame yourself, but you had the advice of an expert.

      You also loved Bama and couldn’t bear to lose him. I have been there, and so have many others, and it takes great courage to take the life of a loved one.

      You did what you had to do then. You made the right decision then. Who knows … those precious few more weeks were just as precious to Bama too because of the love you both shared.

      I don’t know enough about the last moments of a cat’s death, but I have had a cat die in my arms because I decided not to have her put down. I think in the last moments, it’s very fast and there is no suffering.

      And Bama’s spirit and soul are now free and no longer suffering, and what means more to him then and now is the love that you both shared … that is what persists after the body fades away.

      So try not to be so hard on yourself. For Bama’s sake, try to remember also the good times that you both shared. Our fur babies are only here for such a short time they cherish all those happy moments together.

      It makes me cry to think of you sitting there still beating yourself up.

      Try to be strong for your Mickey. FIP is not spread through toys. It needs a poor immune system and stress to develop into FIP. So I wouldn’t worry about Mickey.


  23. Hello Michelle and everybody has gone through this nightmare. So hard , so difficult to see our babies suffer and go…
    I have several cats, each unique with amazing personalities and equally loved. One of them, my milly had been breathing too fast for my like and took her to the vet.. they found fluids in her chest and abdomen. they removed all the fluids and sent a sample them to the lab, they were not sure what it is but it is either cancer or this FIP. The results were not conclusive so they need a biopsia to know what it is … but my baby is having problem breathing after the fluids were removed and she is not in good shape .. I don’t know what to do, I don’t want her to suffer but I cling to the last hope.
    One time 4 years ago I was in Roumania visiting with my exhusband, we were to the country side in a place where cats are not loved… and there she was.. Milly. She has never gotten closer to any human but she saw me and she jumped in my lap. She choose me.. and 3 days later she was in Air france coming back to Canada with me. Among my other kitties Milly is the most popular one, all of them love her, boys and girls, she is extremely smart and loving. If any of you have a idea or can give me advises I am ready to try anything as long as I can save my baby. Thank you


  24. I sent a reply to Johanna via e-mail and all subsequent replies were conducted via private e-mail.

    Sadly, Milly passed away shortly after Johanna’s post.

    God bless you Milly! And bless your heart, Johanna for giving Milly such a good home.


  25. Dear Johanna and Sue, it’s been a while since I’ve last looked at this blog, as I’m sure it will be a while until you come back to it as well. By the way, thanks to thecatswhiskers for being here:) It is definitely without a doubt a very difficult thing to have lost, what I feel was my soulmate- not in any weird way. I just felt that Levi was so unlike all the other cats that I’ve had. Sooo smart, beautiful, funny; he was completely amazing!! He would take walks on the leash to the park and I could let him go so that he could climb the trees and play chase with me. When it was time to go he would jump in the car with a look of thank you on his beautiful little face:) He was unlike all the other cats I’ve had – I think they were angels! Unfortunately, God needs them back:)
    I still think about Levi a lot, even though I have Levi’s little companion here with me, Lenny, who is absolutely precious – Never the less, I still miss my Levi.
    Lenny will sit and visit with Levi under a rose tree that I planted where I buried him. I think Lenny can hear him. He seems to go over to where he’s buried all the time.
    I just know that as time goes on I think it’s good to remember all of the love that Levi, Mickey, and Milly all felt, a love that many humans, not to mention animals, will never feel. They will always hold a place in our hearts. They will always know we love them!

    God Bless You!


    • Dear Michelle,

      Thank you for re-visiting, and thank you for your kind words to all you have lost a loved one to FIP.

      Levi must have been such a special cat to be remembered. I’m glad to know that you still have Lenny to love and cherish.

      Best wishes,


  26. Sue, I apologize for not mentioning Bama as being the one diagnosed instead of Mickey. I hope Mickey is doing well and is helping you cope with the loss of Bama. I know Lenny has really helped me cope with the loss of Levi:)

    God Bless You all!


  27. I NEED HELP!!! I just took my Cat “monkey” to have surgery the other day to have a obstruction (mass) removed. He was released at 92 degrees and I was told to keep him warm. He later died. His mass was tested and I was told it was possible FIP. I was told by the doctor that cats with FIP never get there body temperature back to normal after surgery and he would have died anyways. I am thinking he didn’t die because of FIP I am thinking he died because he was released at 92 degrees. Can anyone PLEASE help me understand If FIP really does prevent cats from improving after surgery? Or was I told false information? THANK YOU FOR ANYONE’S HELP!!


    • Sorry for the delay in replying.

      I’m very sorry about your monkey – you did your best. You took your vet’s advice. Please don’t blame yourself for what happened.

      I’m sorry … I don’t have the expertise to be able to give you an opinion.

      You may find it helpful instead to contact a veterinary expert like Doctor Susan Little (SusanLittleDVM@compuserve.com) or advice from FIP forumss like

      http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPsupport-group/

      http://pets.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIPCatSupport/?v=1&t=directory&ch=web &pub=groups&sec=dir&slk=15

      http://pets.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIP/?v=1&t=directory&ch=web&pub=group s&sec=dir&slk=9

      I hope you get an answer. Our hearts and best wishes go with you.

      Best wishes always.


    • THIS IS NOT TRUE. My baby just had surgery to get a biopsy sample and FIP cats heal more slowly. They need their stitches in longer. My baby was not released until he was eating, drinking, and at a normal temperature. But 3 weeks later, his stitches were healed. it is irresponsible and unethical for them to tell you such a ridiculous lie, and also to release a cat with such a low temperature, and ESPECIALLY to tell you to keep him warm. I wish you had gotten accurate information two years ago so that you could have started a lawsuit against them. Everyone I talked to in the FIP support group who had a cat have surgery did not lose them because of the surgery-they lost them some time after. Please don’t ever take an animal there again…
      I am also worried that the mass tested came back as “possibly” FIP. A biopsy and a necropsy are the two ways they can confirm – the only ways beyond a guess.


  28. Hello, I lost my barely 8 month old baby girl Mia couple of weeks ago. There is not a day I don’t think about here since she was so special to all of us. I never had a pet, until three and a half years ago when we moved to a new house we decided to adopt an orange and white tabby Sunny. He was a part of our family until he got lost last summer. The grief and sorrow was huge and after a month my husband took me to a local SPCA shelter. I fall in love with two tiny precious creatures, thrue siblings, we named them Max and Mia. Max developed a wet FPI about two month after we brought him home and he died within a week of the diagnosis. Mia hanged on a little longer since she developed a dry form of this awful virus. She was the only kitty who every night jumped into my bed and slept next to my face. We buried her next to her brother Max under the tall pine trees,and I hope they play, jump and run around in a kitty heaven where there is no more pain, just happiness. Maybe Sunny is with them too, and is watching over the little fellas.
    In the period of six month I lost three cats, and each loss broke my heart.I cried, and cried, and cried. I don’t know if I want another kitty. I don’t know if I could bare another loss.
    The tears are rushing down my cheeks and my toughts are with you Sunny, Max and Mia!


    • Dear Hana,

      I am so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to believe that you had to say goodbye to three cats in such a short time.

      I don’t know when the pain will end, but the grief does soften with time.

      I know it’s not easy, but you want to remember all the good times you gave them. Those two kittens were rescue creatures and you gave them a life filled with love and trust and happiness and hope.

      Our cats choose us as much as we chose them. And maybe they chose you as their cat mummy because they knew that they would have a very special life with you.

      It’s sad that they were with you for so short a time. But I bet there was not one moment shared that they regretted.

      So I want you to hang on to this thought: you gave them your best, and you did your best for them. And they loved every minute of their lives with you.

      FIP is nasty. Sometimes there is a genetic factor that could have contributed to developing the FIP. There are other reasons. But it’s hard to know. You did all you could. You couldn’t have done more. And not many people would have loved them the way you did.

      Your Sunny sounds like a wonderful cat. I’m sure he was glad that you could give them the same love you gave him.

      Please take plenty of care of yourself. You have an open and loving heart and your cats will always remember you for that.

      Best wishes always.


      • Thank you very much for your response. I know that with the time the pain and grief will soften. My three little babies will always have a special place in my heart, and they will not be forgoton.
        Lets all hope that a day for some kind of FIP resistant vaccine is near!


  29. I have a 5 month old male kitten named Sunny. The vet thinks he has FIP but has done no tests yet. Sunny has become skinny over the past month and i’m afraid he will pass soon. Today he has to be forced to drink and eat. He wobbles a bit when he tries to walk and if you put him down from holding him he urinates. He used to be so good about using the litter box and was very playful, even picking fights with my other kitten Kali. I think he has FIP due to symptoms as well. Potbelly, weight loss, loss of appetite. I’m scared for him and his breathing has become harsh over the last hour. I just cried to him telling him how sorry I was that I couldn’t help him. I don’t have any money until tomorrow to take him to the vet and no one can take me.

    I have a question though. My cat Kali, who’s only a week older than Sunny, is still playful and eats and drinks. Could she of contracted the FIP? How can I tell? She does have a tummy that I just noticed today but could she just be full from food? or gaining weight?


    • Hi Ellie,

      I’m so sorry for the delay in replying.

      How is your Sunny? I felt so sad when I read your e-mail about how weak he was. Is he better?

      It’s hard to judge whether it’s FIP without tests. How old was he? FIP tends to affect either the very young or the very old. But there’s no hard-and-fast rule. There are other factors, like genetics.

      If your Kali is well, then hopefully she’ll stay well. Try to keep her away from Sunny and don’t let them share food dishes or litter trays.

      Wishing you and Sunny and Kali all the best,


      • sorry for not replying sooner. Sunny has passed. Actually the next day I gave you that comment I took him in for a second opinion. They also said he had FIP. because he was in renal failure and couldn’t eat or drink I had him humanely euthanized. I cried the night before, telling him how sorry I was and I was sorry I couldn’t help him. The next day when he was put to sleep I kept petting him as they stuck a needle in him. He was so thin they couldn’t even find a vein. But only a tiny bit knocked him into unconciousness and then his heart stopped beating. It was weak to begin with they said. I cried as they did that and cried in the car. He was such a good cat and affectionate. He only ever wanted cuddles and pets and playtime. He was only 5 months old when he passed.

        Kali is still fine. She’s a year now and healthy.

        Thankyou for your kind words.


      • Dear Ellie,

        Sorry for the delay in replying.

        I’m so sorry about little Sunny.

        It’s always hard when you have to make the choice to let your little one go. And it’s hard because he was so young and only brought joy and happiness into your life.

        It took courage to do what you did but you did it with love, and that’s what matters.

        Wherever Sunny is, he’s thinking of you with love and he will be remembering all the wonderful times you had together.

        So always hold onto the thought that you gave him a wonderful life and much love in the short time you both had together. You are a wonderful person and any cat is lucky to have you as his/her parent.

        Best wishes,


  30. I lost my baby boy yesterday to what we believe is FIP. Chilli was 1 and 1/2 years old. When he was 6 months old he got quite sick, stopped eating, vomitting, dirreah and very lethargic so i took him to the vet and they operated only to tell me he had caught a virus from a flea which had attacked his immune system. He eventually recovered with various visits to the vet, anti-biotics etc. 1 year later i noticed he wasnt himself again for a while and every night would start a hacking cough. He stopped playing, slept more but still had his appetite (maybe lost it for max 1 day while being sick). I took Chilli to a new vet to see if maybe the first diagnosis was wrong and his illness now was something to do with his past but because of administration errors the vet was unable to get his previous history information until it was too late. Chilli was operated on again just over a week ago which the vet said he had an infection which had caused his spleen to become enlarged so he removed it and came to the conclusion that it was just a virus and after cleaning him up, anti-biotics and some tlc he would be right. I took Chilli home he was eating as normal but because he had lost so much weight he was quite weak and could barely walk. He also lost his ability to go to the toilet but the vet told me that it was due to his muscles becoming so weak in his bowels and not to worry as long as he was still eating. Anyway, i took him back to the vet a week later (last friday) because i felt as if he just hadn t recovered very well from the surgery. He had an enlarged belly which was full of fluid and thats where the vet came up with the conclusion that it was FIP and prescribed him some prednisolone tablets. I managed to give him 1 dose over the weekend. The last dose i tried to give him he would just not take so i let him go as he was too weak to fight. He died 1 day later in my backyard (yesterday). I was shocked because we had only heard about this disease 2 days before and it was not confirmed just suspected because he wasnt recovering how he should. Its still not confirmed because we wanted to bury him home with us but if it is this disease, it is so nasty and i would never wish this upon any poor kitty. I still just have so many questions because one of the symptoms is loss of appetite and he never really lost his appetite. He was strange in the last few days, drinking water like there was no tomorrow but sitting there with his paws in his water for ages and doing crazy things like licking the ground for ages. My poor baby, it broke my heart to see him suffering but it has broken my heart more that he is gone now, for animals to be suffereing makes me so angry but for our animals that are so young i just cannot fathom. I wish there was a simple test that could have been done earlier to diagnose. Do all cats experience the same symptoms or do they differ? And would this diease cause cats to act strange? I miss him so much and as someone said earlier it really does seem that this diease attacks the best of our pets. I hope this helps people with kitties who may have the same symptoms. I also wanted to note that this diease caused my cat to become quite aenemic so i do believe that this had alot to do with his death.


    • Dear Sarah,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and Chilli’s life with us.

      I’m sorry for the delay in replying but I have been away.

      You did all you could for Chilli. He sounds like he was much loved for you because you tried so hard and did what you thought was best.

      FIP is one of those diseases where a cat may not display all the symptoms. Often, the only way of diagnosing it is a post-mortem.

      Also, when an animal gets weak, sometimes this affects them in other ways. For example, you described how he would lick the ground. Maybe he was trying to get some sort of minerals, but maybe his mind was just confused at that point and that’s all he could do.

      I hope that someday another cat will be blessed with the love that you and Chilli shared.

      God bless you!

      Best wishes,


      • Thank you so much for your reply, it does make things alot easier.
        We have recentley bought a new kitten into the family, he is actually from the same mother as Chilli so it makes us feel a little warmer.

        By no means have we tried to replace what we’ve lost but he is a very healthy and happy kitty and reminds us of our baby every day.

        Thanks again :)


      • ah, bless … .

        Wishing you a wonderful and happy and healthy future together!


  31. My boyfriend Sean and I adopted a very friendly orange kitten last December from a local shelter. We already have a cat, Nyu, and we adopted Banjo as a friend for him. We felt Nyu was lonely during the day and needed a buddy. It took some settling in, but both cats got along great after about a week. Banjo loved to sleep on our legs at night and hop in our laps when we were on the computer or watching TV. Nyu enjoyed playing with him and follwing him about the house. He really was a cool little guy.

    Banjo was never graceful, it seemed like he would run into things. We now know this is a symptom of FIP. He sneezed a lot too, but we just chalked it up to a kitty cold. We noticed a few days ago that he wasn’t coming to sleep with us anymore, which we thought odd. Then not long after that he quit eating and peed outside the litter box. This all then progressed into a nosebleed and a constant drool that smelled of infection. It seemed like in such a small period of time he was in horrible shape. We took him to the vet and was told of FIP. We had the option to take him home for one more night or to put him down then. We decided not to wait. He seemed so miserable.

    He wasn’t even a year old. We almost had him two months. But, even though we didn’t have him long we were greatly attached. His death is painful. We loved him. We will greatly miss him.

    We decided to have him cremated and picked out a nice white urn in the shape of a sitting cat (Banjo had a tip of white on his tail). We are going to get a locket and put his picture in it around the kitty urn. We’ll put the urn in his favorite sleeping spot, on Sean’s desk near the window.


    • Dear Kristina,

      Thank you for sharing your experience about Banjo.

      You had to take a very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. You did it with courage and love.

      And for the short time that Banjo was with you, you gave him love and a secure home.

      FIP is hard to diagnose, and it often affects either very young or the very old cats.

      I’m sorry you had such a challenging experience. But the love that you shared with Banjo was something special and I’m sure he loved you and still loves you wherever he is.

      Blessings and best wishes,


    • I’m sorry Kristina…but this is very very weird. How did they diagnose your kitty? Without a biopsy (taking a piece from inside) this is just a guess. Running into things is a neurological thing that CAN be a symptom of FIP. Dry FIP. If he did not have a biopsy or at the very least, an ultrasound or x-ray, I am stunned that a veterinarian would be so irresponsible as to recommend putting him down. It could have been any number of other diseases that WERE treatable, or even things that weren’t.
      I feel so bad for you as his owners who were given advice by someone they trusted… A good veterinarian will NEVER recommend putting an animal down unless they are already dying or what they have is terminal and very painful.
      However, I have heard of veterinarians that have recommended putting down a cat who pees outside of their litterbox, nevermind how unethical it is.
      I would encourage everyone who loves their animal to always always get a second opinion.


  32. I have 3 cats and one of them has been ill for about a month. He has been treated with antibiotics and vitamins but just got worse. 10 days ago the local vet took a lot of fluid out of his lungs and he at least seemed to breath better but his appetite did not return. 3 days ago I took him to an animal hospital where they diagnosed the last stages of FIP. I did not expect to feel so emotional but I am desperate to ease his suffering if he can’t be cured which sadly seems to be the case. Unfortunately none of the vets here in Thailand practise euthanasia (understandably because of their Buddhist religion) but I have brought my cat home from the hospital so that he can die in familiar surroundings. It is heart-rending to see him trying to breathe and I really don’t know what I can do to help him?


    • Dear Peter,

      I’m so sorry for the delay in writing this to you. I hadn’t realised that Thai vets won’t euthanise.

      I don’t know what to say except that I hope that as I write this, your boy passed away in peace, quickly and comfortably.

      I’m sorry that I don’t know of any way to euthanise a cat painlessly.

      It must have been terrible for you to have to comfort him in his last hours.

      Thank you for doing all you could for him and for being by his side.

      God bless you and your boy.

      Best wishes,


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  34. My kitten Jasmine also had dry FIP she was still young when she died and unliked some others i was not there to she her go . When she was 2 months old she was very energetic and at night when she stayed inside she would scratched the chairs and chase Snowy all around the house she would not stay put however whe Snowy went missing she suddenly change instead of running around she started to become like Snowy who was lazy and always sleeping around the house i thought she was depress for his dissaperance but soon went back to her old shelf and became more of baby then she was . Every morning she would sratch my door and sleep on my bed but one day i’d notice some change in her appetite and ask my mother to she if she was alright for she would usually beg for the food on my plate the day after she stoped going to my room to sleep i was getting worried for her . After a few weeks she was getting thinner and thinner by the day . As time goes by she could not neither move nor eat until my mother force to drink milk she drank very little of it every time i see her she would meow every loudly with milk all over her fur and face i knew she was suffering and i didn’t know what to do but it was until that day that her suffering ended and i didn’t have the chance to say goodbye . My mother suggested that the illness was cause by the incident that happened at a pets hotel called petnode or whatever it was called the day my father went to pick her up the glass was broken and a lot of cats were dead it turns out that the owners abandoed the shop and ran with the money the former cat owners took care of the cats with the collars when he found her she barly had most of her fur and was trembling with fear and thats when her illness started she had died when i was in school and when i was told that she died i was devastated but relived that her suffering ended and that now she is with the other pets that had died.


    • Dear Tunku alyssa,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with your kitten Jasmine.

      I’m so sorry that she died of FIP. Out of curiosity, did you get the diagnosis from a vet?

      I’m glad that she had a happy time while she was with you and I hope that you will one day give another cat a happy life.

      Best wishes,

      The Catswhiskers.

      PS – By the way, most cats don’t drink human milk because they don’t have the enzymes to drink human milk.


  35. My kitten Jasmine also had dry FIP she was still young when she died and unliked some others i was not there to she her go . When she was 2 months old she was very energetic and at night when she stayed inside she would scratched the chairs and chase Snowy all around the house she would not stay put however whe Snowy went missing she suddenly change instead of running around she started to become like Snowy who was lazy and always sleeping around the house i thought she was depress for his dissaperance but soon went back to her old shelf and became more of baby then she was . Every morning she would sratch my door and sleep on my bed but one day i’d notice some change in her appetite and ask my mother to she if she was alright for she would usually beg for the food on my plate the day after she stoped going to my room to sleep i was getting worried for her . After a few weeks she was getting thinner and thinner by the day . As time goes by she could not neither move nor eat until my mother force to drink milk she would drink every little of the milk that my mother would make every
    time i see her she would meow every loudly with milk all over her fur and face i knew she was suffering and i didn’t know what to do but it was until that day that her suffering ended and i didn’t have the chance to say goodbye . My mother suggested that the illness was cause by the incident that happened at a pets hotel called petnode or whatever it was called the day my father went to pick her up the glass was broken and a lot of cats were dead it turns out that the owners abandoed the shop and ran with the money the former cat owners took care of the cats with the collars when he found her she barly had most of her fur and was trembling with fear and thats when her illness started she had died when i was in school and when i was told that she died i was devastated but relived that her suffering ended and that now she is with the other pets that had died.


  36. My Shiloh passed away two days ago from FIP. She was almost 10 years old. She had three surgeries to remove cancer in the last 2 1/2 years. She had her last surgery which was a big one in November. She seemed to be doing fine until about 2 months ago. Her belly swelled out and she started leaking fluids. I am assuming the leakage was because of all her surgeries from being stitched up so much. I took her to the vet and they did a blood test for FIP and it came back negative but it was positive for Feline Leukemia. They drained her fluids and she swelled back and was leaking again but she was doing ok until about a week ago. It seemed that her hind legs were giving out on her. She was having having accidents in front of her liter box and was having alot of trouble going up and down the steps. My thing is that all of her symptoms pointed to FIP. Could the blood test have been wrong? Could the fact that she had feline leukemia caused her to have FIP? The vet said that all her signs pointed to FIP. It has been so hard. We loved her so much. I just feel so bad that she died like this and feel so guilty. She fought for so long and I feel that she didn’t want to leave. My heart is breaking.


    • Dear Kelly,

      I’m sorry for the delay in replying.

      Oh, sweetheart. I’m so sorry that your beloved Shiloh died. She was so precious to you and you did so much for her. Please remember that she had a good life with you because you loved her. Cats know when they are being loved. She knew that you were with her whatever happened. You did your best for her, got her the best care and were with her at the end.

      I don’t know enough about FIP to say whether or not Feline Leukaemia could have caused it.

      I do know that there is a link between the feline coronavirus and FIP.

      There is a possibility that because she had Feline Leukaemia, that her immune system was compromised, and she could have caught FIP.

      My understanding is that there is no definitive diagnostic test for FIP. I think most tests are done on symptoms and also chest and abdominal fluids.

      I think the answer is that: yes, it is possible she had FIP even though the tests were inconclusive.

      I’m sorry that Shiloh had to go through this illness, and that you had to go through it too. It is one of the most difficult diseases to cure, and most vets can only offer palliative treatment.

      So please don’t beat yourself up over this. You did your best. You went through a hard time, and you carried your Shiloh through this with your love.

      I hope and pray that you are doing better now and your heart is feeling more peaceful.

      God bless Shiloh!

      Best wishes and much love,


    • Kelly, A blood test is not accurate of diagnosing FIP. From what I have read, only a biopsy is. Feline Leukemia and cancer at the same time; that poor kitty. Many symptoms of both diseases can be the same as FIP symptoms. I think she had Leukemia and cancer, but the only to be sure if she had FIP would be a biopsy or necropsy. While cancer can be something they can “cure”, feline leukemia is not. Cats don’t live for more than 4 years usually…Most vets guess FIP right away and try to rule it out with more tests.


  37. My kitten Patches who is approximately 3 months old has been diagnosed with Wet FIP. We have had the fuluds drained twice from his little body already but the disease is unexpected in many aspects. One day he is playing with the other cats, he is hungry and eats like crazy. The next day he won’t eat, lays in his bed and want’s nothing to do with anybody. He has recently taken a turn for the worse, sleeps all of the time, does not eat that much and does not want to be held. I took him to the Vet who told me that there is not that much fluid and that they could not drain him again, however since that visit, he rapidly has gone downhill. I don’t know what to do now.. you can tell in his eyes that he is not feeling well. I may bring him back to the vet again to see if they can drain him again for the third time. He is on antibiotics and Prednisone since they first diagnosed him. I don’t know what else to do but I really do not think he is going to live much longer… It is breaking my heart as I feel helpless….No baby should go through this.


    • Dear Judith,

      I’m so sorry to hear that your Patches has FIP. And I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a hellish time. It is hard when our little ones fall ill. You’re doing your best in taking him to the vet and giving him as normal a life as a cat can have – I’m sure he appreciates all you’re doing and loves you as much as you love him.

      Best wishes,


  38. Really sorry to hear about Patches condition. My kitten had a similar condition earlier this year and I felt the same sense of helplessness at seeing him suffer. Just be there for Patches and appreciate his life, even though it may be short.

    Peter


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    • Dear Kassie,

      Thank you for your kind comments. I get my information from the internet, from other cat breeders (such as on the Yahoo forum – Novice Cat Breeder Group) and also from attending workshops given by vets for the Novice Cat Breeder Group.

      Best wishes,


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    • Dear Helena,

      Thank you for your kind comments – I am really chuffed!

      If you go to the top of the page, on the left-hand side, there should be the words “Follow” at the top (with a plus sign next to it). If you click on it, you will be notified of new posts.

      Thank you again!


  41. I lost my 7 month old cat Treacle yesterday on Christmas Day morning very unexpectedly to FIP. She had been ill since I got her but was such a little fighter right until the end. I’m lost without her and can’t bare the thought i’ll never see her again. All our pets are special but sometimes some touch your heart more. Treacle was such a beautiful character and I will miss her more than words can say. Now I’m left with guilt and what if’s and just hope her last moments weren’t painful. I held her as she passed but at the same time hoping for a miracle cure that never came. FIP is an awful disease and taking these young babies lives is what hurts the most. Treacle should have had a long life but it was cruelly cut short. The only comforting thing for me is that she knows she was loved so much and that she had a happy life. I would give anything to have one last cuddle of her.


    • Dearest Lynsey,

      [I'm sorry about the delay in replying - I have been away]

      I’m so sorry about your Treacle. Please don’t feel guilty. FIP can affect any cat. And it’s hard to detect and even harder to cure. You did your best for her, and she knows it. I have heard from healers that animals pass away quickly and do not have any regrets. If you have a strong bond with her, you will still have her in your heart. And know that she is happy and free from pain. You held her in your arms as she died, and that is so beautiful and loving and I know she felt your love and took it with her. What a precious gift! What a wonderful cat mummy you are.

      I hope you are feeling better. It’s hard and all we can do is take each day as it comes and just feel the love we shared with our cats.

      Love and best wishes,


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  47. We lost our 18 month old Thor 2 weeks ago. The vet believes he died from FIP, based on his body shape. He had gotten HUGE and was shaped like a pear. He started to pee on the carpet a couple of months before he died. He was still eating and drinking, but slept a lot, and would not let anyone hold him. The thing that really bothers me is how he died. I can’t seem to find any info on details of death. He bled out from both ends, and there was blood all over the room he died in. We were not home when it happened. Can anyone explain the blood?
    Thanks,
    Angie


  48. Dear Angie, I’m so sorry about the loss of your beautiful Thor. I hope that the pain of his passing is lessening with each day.

    I can’t find anything in the literature on FIP about bleeding from FIP. The thing about FIP is that it’s hard to diagnose. The only way of diagnosing it with any accuracy is through an autopsy. So there is a chance he may have had some other disease.

    As for the symptoms, again they can get confused with other illnesses, although swelling of the abdomen is one of them. What FIP does is cause damage to multiple systems at once (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/CW_FIP.cfm). This could have caused the bowels and lungs to collapse and bleed out.

    I hope this helps. I know you want to understand what happened to your Thor. You did what you could for him and you did your best.

    God bless you and Thor,
    The Catswhiskers


    • Thank you so much for your reply. I kinda wish I had done the autopsy, as I worry about our other 2 cats. They do appear healthy though.


      • Dear Angie,

        Please don’t worry about the autopsy. Most owners don’t bother unless they are cat breeders.

        My understanding of FIP is that it is a virus that mutates only in some cats; it can be because the cat’s immune system is underdeveloped or compromised. The virus that causes FIP is the feline coronavirus. You can get your cats tested for the coronavirus, but to be honest, a lot of cats have the coronavirus, and having it does not mean that the cats will develop FIP. If they’ve not developed FIP so far, then chances are they won’t.

        You did your best. It is a tough disease and scientists are still working on a cure.

        Best wishes, The Catswhiskers


  49. I’ve lost my Norwegian Forest baby a day ago, he was the best friend I loved him more than myself, he was following me all day long we were together in the bath, kitchen, living room. I loved him to bits, I have one more cat but he is really ignorant and not close to human. My baby Jack stopped eating but I fell bad because I didn’t notice when exactly this happened as two cats were sharing a bowl. He was still trying to cheer me up even he was really skinny at the time, he was still coming to me and giving me lots of love, few days after I took him to VET he was still walking, once I showed him to vet they put him on a drip and left over night in the clinic, I was worry he is got some infection but I was expecting him home after couple of days because I never heard of FIP. Next day doctor rang and said that the blood is not the best, then she put the needle in his belly and some yellow thick liquid came out, she rang and recommend us to put him down as there is no chance left, it all happened in like 24h , I wasn’t ready for my best friend to go, I went to say bye to him, he was looking at me with his beautiful big green eyes and asking me what is going on mummy, at the moment i felt so happy to see him and so sad knowing this is the last moments together, they put my baby down and now he is resting not far from our house, i go and talk to him couple times a day. It is to hard for me, I just read all stories on this page, and I understand you sooo much, can not stop crying and just hoping one day we gonna meet and stay together, some people say that it helps when you get another kitten but nobody will replace my baby Jack and I’m scared to go through this again. I feel guilty for putting him down and for letting him suffer, it is a big hole in my heart once he left. I love him to bits.



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