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FIP question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi to those with experience with the FIP disease i had a question.

My situation is that i have a one year old kitten right now and recently i found a stray that has decided to call my garage his home ^__^. Anyways me and my brother were considering allowing the stray to start coming into the house. But i am worried about my kitten's health. The stray has been taken to the vet and has been tested negative for FELV and has tested positive/negative for FIP. When i asked what my vet meant by this she said that this meant the test results were basically unclear and that it is uncertain whether or not he has FIP. These tests were conducted close to a month ago and the stray has been in good health lately except for fleas.

My question here would be should i allow my kitten to come in contact with the stray? and what are the chances that he could have the FIP virus and transmit it to my kitten.

PS: also i am planning on getting another kitten in about 3 months
post #2 of 7
I think that sometimes it's really hard to say if a cat actually has FIP. One of my cats (Isadora) tested positive for FIP, but even my vet warned me about the efficacy of the test and all the questions surrounding an FIP diagnosis. She tested positive about 5 years ago when she came down with uvitis (an eye infection), but she hasn't had one single problem since then (leading my vet to believe shes just a carrier and not necessarily "infected"...or something like that).

At the time, I asked my vet if I should test my other cat for FIP and if it's possible that Spot has contracted FIP from Isadora, but my vet said that it probably wasn't worth the money if Spot wasn't having any symptoms.

Okay, so maybe that didn't exactly answer your question, but it might give you an insight into all the questions surrounding an FIP diagnosis.
post #3 of 7
there isn't really a way to acurately tell if a kitty has FIP until a necrospy i believe. So if you are nervous I'd get a second opinion. If you aren't nervous or your kitty really is doing well then you can take the risk. That is the slight risk everyone takes when adopting a stray. But it can be really really rewarding too. So, just keep in mind that there really isn't a way to tell if a cat has FIP. But FIP cats can get really sick really quick. There are a couple of members who can give you insight, like kluchetta.....

but i'd risk it.
post #4 of 7
The blood test they do is a "titer" test, which looks for exposure to the corona virus. A lot of cats have been exposed to the corona virus, I don't know the percentage but I would guess that it's high. FIP is a somewhat rare mutation of the corona virus. There's no way to tell if the corona virus will ever mutate in a particular kitty. There is no conclusive test for FIP...other than what Revovia mentioned (after death).

I have 8 cats and if I had to bet, I would say they have all been exposed. They were all born outdoors to feral mothers with unknown histories. They've never been tested...I didn't see any need for it, neither does my vet. When a cat gets FIP, it is almost certainly fatal...but there's just really no way to know if they'll ever get it or not.

post #5 of 7
There is no FIP test. There are tests that can be done in order to exclude FIP as a diagnosis. You can take a blood test for corona antibodies, but coronavirus is not=FIP. Most cats do test positive for corona if tested, but very few of the will ever develop FIP.

You can take a fluid sample from the abdomen ID there's fluid there (and by then the cat should be quite sick). The fluid can be analyzed and you can get a "probably FIP diagnose".

The only sure diagnose is set by an authopsy.

It's always a good idea to isolate new cats from the resident cats for a month or two in order to avoid contamination (cat flu, ring worm, parasites etc.) but sooner or later, if you decide to keep the cat, you have to introduce the cat to the others. It's always a risk to bring new cats into the home, but most of the time there wil be no contamination. IF the cats are in good health when introduced to eachother.
post #6 of 7
I absolutely agree with Beandip and others. A doctor cannot diagnose FIP without an autopsy. Most cats will have an elevated Titer count as most have been exposed and vets will scare the pants off you by diagnosing FIP.

I lost a cat to FIP who lived with 7 other cats. Those cats would clearly test "positive" for FIP and they would have "infected" the 13 cats that I live with now. No one has ever got it and its been 15 years since I lost Boris to FIP.

A vet explained to me once that while most cats will be exposed to it, that only a very few ever develop FIP and those are cats that would be genetically pre-disposed to get it. The odds are highly in your favor that your indoor cat will be fine if you bring your garage cat into your house.
post #7 of 7
There is no test for FIP, because FIP is what happens when a particular common virus breaches the intestinal walls and affects other organs, it is not a virus or bacteria that can be tested for in itself. FIP is caused by the Feline Coronavirus (FCoV), which many many cats have without it ever turning into FIP. Many cats would test positive for FCoV but never get FIP as a result. The test for FIP is done post-mortem, the vet looks for signs of blood and blood plasma leaking into the abdominal cavity and organs and causing damage that resulted in the cat's death, that is the only sure diagnosis.

The usual tests that are run are for FeLV and FIV - are you sure you didn't hear it wrong and the vet said FIV? It would be very unusual for a vet to test for FCoV (or suspected FIP) without there already being significant deterioration in health, but FIV is a very common test for a vet to do on a new patient.
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