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need quick advice--positive fip

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Not sure if I'm posting in the right place, but here's the situation:

We have been planning to adopt a 7-year-old cat who needs a new home. We already have a 4-year-old cat. Both cats have been tested for FELV, FIV and FIP. Our 4-year-old is negative on all three; the cat we're hoping to adopt is FIP positive.

My understanding is that a positive FIP doesn't mean a sick cat, or even that the cat's a carrier of FIP--it means that the cat has been exposed to a feline coronavirus at some point in its life. Our vet advises that it's really impossible to know what exactly it means, and that our decision will need to be based on how comfortable we are with the possibilities of risk.

Should we go through with this adoption? I'd love to hear opinions. Thanks.
post #2 of 12
I don't have any experience with FIP, but I'd trust what the vet said and I'd continue with the adoption. I volunteer at a shelter and nobody wants the "sick" cats of course but you might be his only hope for a real home. You never know, he could be perfectly healthy the rest of his life!

But is it contagious? Are your other cats going to get it from him? I would ask the vet but otherwise I'd still do the adoption. You picked him for a reason. Good luck!
post #3 of 12
I do not know if a cat that carries the virus can get it or give it..but I had a cat that I adored get FIP and she had to be put down..it is a terrible disease and I would hate to see any cat go through it...she was only 10 months old.
I bottle-fed this kitten..she was abandoned and it broke my heart to put her to sleep. She was suffering something terrible. I don't know if I made ur decision more difficult..but I would never want to see a cat go through this
Good Luck
post #4 of 12
one of our cats had a scare with FIP tests came back neg thank god.but we was told it is highy contagious, there not 100% sure how the virus is spread as yet and there is no cure for it. they think it is passed by using the same litter boxs, same food bowls etc. but there is nothing to prove this. we was also told we shouldnt take any more animals in to the house for 6 months if it did turn out to be FIP. but if their carries i dont know if that means they will get it or pass it on, that is something you will need to speak with your vet about first. good luck.
post #5 of 12
well this is something that drives me freaking nuts!! there is NO test for FIP while the cat is alive, none. A vet can make a "diagnosis" of FIP when a kitty gets sick, but unless a necropsy is done there is no 100% test. Now, they do have tests that test titre levels, and these results can indicate that a cat has been exposed to, like you said, the corona virus, which then may or may not, in the most majority of cases it does NOT, mutate into FIP. To be honest, if you test all the cats in the world, they probably all have been exposed to the corona virus.

so to answer your question, yes I would go ahead and adopt the baby.

if you'd like more info here's a link, it can get pretty technical, but it's still pretty informative http://www.bemikitties.com/felv/fipfacts.html
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. This is really maddening--it makes me wish we'd never had this test done.

The cat we're considering adopting is healthy. Fat, friendly, playful. She was rescued as a not-quite-adult by a woman we know 7 years ago, nursed through an injury and has been kept at the woman's house--with other rescue cats--ever since. In seven years, she has shown no signs of illness. This is the first time she has had the FIP test run. (I understand that it's not a test for FIP; that's just the easiest way to refer to it and how the vets refer to it.)

We like her very much and would adopt her in one thin minute if it weren't for this positive FIP. I understand that this positive test very likely means nothing--in fact, it so very likely means nothing that I wonder why it's included in a standard viral panel for cats! It seems like an adoption-killer, in that it's a scary sounding disease and to truly understand the limitations of the test you have to do a pile of research.

So the test has raised questions for us. Is it wise for us to accept this cat, however small a risk, into our home where we have a coronavirus-negative cat? I've got calls in to both vets now to discuss it. After many weeks of waiting around to coordinate the vet appointments and wait for vet calls and coordinate schedules, etc., the adoption was FINALLY supposed to happen today, my daughters are heartbroken . . . argh!
post #7 of 12
I have to agree with Katie. Our shelter cats are always given the titer test on admission, and IME about 70% of them test positive for corona virus exposure. The ones who test negative are given the FIP vaccine (required for any cats boarded here).

The vast majority of the cats exposed to corona viruses never develop FIP. It's also rare in adult cats.
post #8 of 12
Will the FIP vaccine show as a positive? Maybe the cat was vaccinated and that is why she is showing a positive? Just curious...
post #9 of 12
I didn't even know there was an FIP vaccine I know there's an FIV one that can cause a cat to test positive for the disease
post #10 of 12
Ok...that must be the one I'm thinking of...
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I didn't even know there was an FIP vaccine I know there's an FIV one that can cause a cat to test positive for the disease
It's a nasal vaccine, which most cats hate. Picture pink drops administered nasally, or dripped into eyes. It's not 100% effective, and some people suspect that the vaccine could actually cause an FIP infection. Be that as it may be - the county I live in has experienced quite a few FIP infections, and the suspicion is that we're dealing with a mutated form, so Jamie does get the vaccine.

I have a different opinion of the FIV vaccine. FIV is fairly uncommon in this area, so there's no real need to vaccinate against it. If I lived in Japan, where the virus is fairly prevalent, I would act differently.
post #12 of 12
My vet told me that he no longer even gives an FIP vaccination, b/c he says that research has found that giving it can cause more harm than good...

Regarding having a cat that is supposedly FIP positive, I can relate to that. Mind you, I'm certainly no expert and my opinion is only based on my experience relating to Winchester's FIP. He was tested & "diagnosed" in March, after having a recurring cough that wouldn't go away with numerous prescriptions of different antibiotics. The vet put him on something called Interferon, and he seems to be in remission: he hasn't had an attack in about a week or so, and has been more like his ole, usual self (you can read my posts regarding this if you want to). Also, I have 4 other cats, and none of them have any problems - and they all eat from the same dishes, and use the same huuuge litter box - so I don't think it's "catchable" - not if it's the "dry" form of FIP. From what I understand from doing some research regarding the FIP, there are two forms of it - the "wet" kind, and the "dry" kind: I believe it's the wet kind that is fatal and which can also be passed onto another cat. Again, I'm certainly no expert, but there are quite a few people here who know a lot more about it, and who can provide you w/ some valuable information. I hope they read and respond to your post: they were a big help to me when I first got Winchester's supposed "death sentence"....

I understand your fear: just hearing the word "FIP" instills fear in many, but it's not necessarily fatal. I remember how I felt too, when Winchester was "diagnosed". But he's still here today, and all my other cats are fine & healthy. I think that if he had the fatal kind of FIP, he'd be gone by now....

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