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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Has anyone had any experience with FIP? I got my 2 kitties (mother, daughter) from a breeder and the kitten died about 2 weeks after I got her and they're thinking it might have been FIP. Well then I got a 'replacement' kitten to take her place and it was the kitten's brother. Now I hear that one of the other siblings (female) might have FIP as well. Argh!! I'll die if my little boy ends up coming down with it too! She did say his other 2 brothers are healthy and doing well. He did just get over having what my vet thinks was an upper respiratory virus and has fully recovered (unlike his sister that never got over her fever and didn't eat well at all and had a big tummy but yet was bony). My little boy is normal in his shape, weighs 6 lbs. (he's 5 months old), and tears around the house again and eats very well. Will I just have to go crazy for his first months (I read that cats usually come down with it during their first 18 months of life). The mother is doing fine, she's actually over weight right now and I'm trying to get her back down to her normal weight.

Any experience or knowledge that anyone has on this subject would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 11
I hope you have had your kitty tested for all those normal diseases. It does surprise me that a breeder let loose a sick kitten like that, but it is not the first time I have heard of such a thing happening. Most breeders are ethical and on the up-and-up.

Here is a link- just scroll down and you will see a lot of information that you can read about it.

Tally's Basic Care
post #3 of 11
Found this after a quick search with Google.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links. According to what I've read the tests they have out there really don't tell you much at this point. They can help determine prognosis if your cat is acting sick, but they don't help in determining if a cat will develope FIP or not. Guess I'll just have to watch over them closely and hope for the best.
post #5 of 11
If you would like to contact me directly I have experiance with this directly and would love to talk with you on the subject.
post #6 of 11
You said that you have experience with FIP. I would be interested in learning more.

Last week I took my 6 month old kitten to the vet to be neutered. They did the pre-op blood tests and they came back showing that he had anemia and high levels of protein, so they wouldn't do the surgery. The vet said she suspected FIP, and suggested that I bring him back in 3 weeks for more blood tests to see if there's any change.

I also have a 15 year old cat, and the vet recommended that I keep them separated. From the reading I've been doing on the web, it doesn't seem like keeping them separated would do much good. They've been sharing litter boxes and food & water dishes for 3 months now, so I don't see how she could not have been exposed to the virus. Besides, I can't imagine trying to isolate the little guy for the foreseeable future.

Right now I'm devastated. I adopted the kitten about a month after my 16 year old cat died of renal failure. The surviving cat seemed so lonely, so I thought that getting a kitten would be the right thing to do. I can't believe that I had the 2 cats (also adopted from a shelter) for 15 years without any major problems, and now I have this little kitten who probably has a fatal disease. He seems fine right now, which makes it even harder to believe. Do you have any advice?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I can share with you my experiences so far and I'm sure others can add any experiences they've had. The 4 month old kitten I received was very bony but had a big tummy and I thought she just needed to fill out from having just been spayed. She ended up dying 2 weeks after I received her. The tests never did absolutely confirm positive FIP I don't believe and the breeder had extensive testing done on her too. So unfortunately testing will not rule in or out positively FIP exists or can develop. Her other symptoms were lethargy/depression, not eating well, continual low grade fever, always sleeping, and the bony backbone and hips but with a tummy. Since then at about 5 1/2 weeks her sister has died from it (breeder still had her). She stopped gaining weight and wasn't eating properly (only symptoms I'm aware of, could have been more). I have one of the brothers (was a replacement when the first kitten died), and he is growing and gaining weight, very active, big eater. But I watch him very closely because he could develop FIP at any time during his first couple of years. I also have the mother who will be 2 years in April and I watch her too. She's very active, eats too well (overweight), and healthy looking. According to what I've read, cats that have come in contact with FECV (which can develop into FIP, but not necessarily) are more likely to develop it during their first couple of years (actually about 18 months) OR when they are in their ederly years. It has to do with lower immune systems not being able to fight as well, thus allowing the development of FECV to FIP. I'm already attached to my 2 kitties and don't want to give them back to the breeder, so I've decided to just take one day at a time and hope they at least live 10 years or so. I'll be happy if the kitten who is now 7 months old makes it to an adult and lives at least a good 10 years.

I agree with you about your older cat already being exposed, but others may not agree. I haven't tried separating mine at all. After the first kitten died I did wash all the bedding and totally changed out the litter and sanitized everything. I keep a very clean litter box because of this and also am diligent about keeping their food bowls very clean and use a fresh flow water fountain to encourage them to drink more water.

You may want to get a 2nd opinion on your kitty, I think I would if I were you. If he hasn't shown any of the classic signs of FIP it could be something else. You didn't mention any symptoms, is he having any? Anything I've read, you have to really go with definite signs of FIP along with any testing before you can classify it as being an actual FIP case.

Anyway, that's the extent of my experiences so far. Before this I didn't even know this bad disease existed!

I wish you lots of luck with your kitty and hope he turns out ok!
post #8 of 11

I had my cat tested for a titre to the corona virus just because I was going to breed her & thought it would be good to have an idea. Wasn't such a good idea, she had a titre of 1:800. The lab my vet sent the sample to thought it was so high that we were having the cat tested because FIP was strongly suspected.

I was advised by my vet to spay her. I started asking experienced breeders, who's opinion was that my vet needed to get with the current research. I've often heard it said that more cats die from test results than cats who actually succumb to FIP. I calmed down & listened to friends, I also contacted our local university who basically said on the lines of "if the cat looks healthy, the cat IS healthy". And he told me not to bother investigating further.

Well, I didn't & I also didn't spay her. Well, she was spayed, but that was because she kept escaping & I didn't want to risk her picking up a deadly disease.

Anyway, from what I've heard, a high titre doesn't necessarily mean your cat is inevitably going to come down with FIP, what it means is your cat has been exposed to the corona virus, and has antibodies to it. It's immune system is/has been fighting the virus, which is usually a good sign. There are some cats who have died of FIP who haven't had a titre at all, their immune system has been shot to pieces. So, that's one lesson...don't automatically panic if you have a high titre, unless you have other symptoms as well.

The next suggestions are simple, but often effective. Minimise stress, keep your cat as healthy as possible (ie: good diet, regular veterinary care where necessary etc.,)good hygene, ie: clean & disinfect litter trays, floors regularly (minimum of once a week), and if it were me, I'd not introduce any new cats to the household for at least 12 months, if not 2 years.

I try to avoid buying cats from large catteries. The more cats a breeder has, the greater the chance of FIP...that is a fact. It's been suggested to me that breeders should stick to one litter on the floor at any given time. I know of one breeder who has had several run ins with FIP. She believes all her cats should be one happy family. She never isolates queens with kittens, and I believe that has contributed to her problems. I certainly believe a queen & her kittens should be isolated for at least the first few weeks. Inbreeding has also been suggested as "one" cause of FIP. There's nothing wrong with inbreeding as long as it's done to a minimum. It shouldn't be a common occurrence. Cheetas are extremely susceptible to FIP, and they're so inbred they don't reject skin grafts from other cheetas.

post #9 of 11
Thank you ddestes & Misha for your replies. I don't feel quite as hopeless as I did at first.

My kitten (Smokey) seems perfectly healthy. He eats like a horse, is active and alert, isn't too thin or too heavy, has clear, bright eyes, and has doubled his size in the 3 months I've had him! I'm starting to wonder if the vet is just being overly cautious, preparing me for the worst. Or maybe they just keep recommending more blood tests in order to make more money (I certainly hope not; I've been taking my cats to them for over 15 years and was always very happy with them). I'm trying to spend as much quality time with Smokey as I can in case he won't be with us for much longer, but of course that has the effect of forming an even stronger bond with him. If he does get sick, it will be just horrible. I'm just getting over the death of my 16 year old cat. She was the first pet that I owned since moving out of my parents' house, and the first one where I had to make the decision to have her put to sleep when she had renal failure and was suffering.

Anyway, I'm glad that I found this website. It's turning out to be very helpful and comforting.
post #10 of 11
I just wanted to throw my two cents in here. I agree with almost everything said in the above posts but one point i would like to address.
It is not likely that having two litters on the floor at once is going to highten your chance of FIP. Fip is closly linked to a gentetic disposition to come down with FIP. Every cat will be exposed to FIP at one time or another but most cats will never have any problem. A few will be carriers and even fewer will come down with it. You can have an episode and never have FIP again. And it does depend on what you consider a "large" cattery. But if your cats are from diffrent lines and you are using strong lines that are over all healthy you will not have a problem.
Inbreeding does weaken your lines if done to an excess I would suggest you look for a reputable breeder with healthy animals who is very knowledgeable about answering your questions about the overall breed you are looking into.
post #11 of 11
I absolutely agree that there is a genetic susceptibility to FIP, and if you have naturally resistant lines, your chances are minimal if you have a couple of litters on the floor. However, if you have a susceptible line (and you may not even be aware of this), you heighten the risk by having several litters on the floor.

Also, FIP isn't the only concern. Kittens have immature immune systems, and are vulnerable to a lot more than just FIP from an early age. I'm not saying they should be kept in a sterile bubble, but if it were me I would certainly want to keep a litter isolated for the first few weeks of life.

Here is an interesting article on FIP by an epidemiologist.


I absolutely am certain it was a combination of inbred/susceptible lines, high numbers & poor cattery management that has caused several outbreaks of FIP in a cattery that I know of.

Here is another interesting article on minimising your risks of FIP with kittens.


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