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FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis took my kitty

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I found this site when I did a search for feline infectious peritonitis, as my dear Leenda was diagnosed with it three weeks ago. I realized after reading about the symptoms that she had been sick for over a year. We were fortunate that she didn't really get very sick until about a month ago.

Reading about the seriousness of the disease and the fact that it is considered to be fatal in most cases, helped me to face the grim fact that I had to let go of her. As I write this I feel the pain of her loss. She was with our family for 2 years.

Now my family faces the possibility that our other cat, who is only 8 months old or so, may also contract the disease. I couldn't bear losing another sweet kitty.

Has anyone else had experience with this horrible disease? How do we mourn the loss of a pet when the world doesn't really recognize the depth of the loss?
post #2 of 33
I really hope that your kitten isn't infected. And I am dearly sorry for your loss.

Sadly, the world doesn't recoginize it because most people don't understand. Most people don't understand how a person can feel extreme grief over the loss of a distant relative and can not even fathom the idea of forming a tight bond with an animal.

Thankfully though there are enough animal lovers out there that there are places to turn to. Grief counceling for the loss of a pet is not unheard of - I mean, these little animals greet us in our homes, give us their love and their devotion, and show their friendship asking for nothing more then a home and a little love in return. That's more then what some people are willing to give.

Look around your area and you might even find pet grief counceling. Or support groups. It's going to be rough for awhile, but in time the pain will fade. I won't lie, it won't be tomorrow or even next week but it will fade.

I hope that after you take your kitten to the vet that the little dear tests negative. But if she is know that there are plenty of people here that will help you through this rough time.
post #3 of 33
Here is a website that will help you. It was started by a friend of mine after she lost her cat to this disease. My heart goes out to you for the loss- I know it is staggering. You have support here, I hope you can find it elsewhere as well.

Orion Foundation
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your warm thoughts and support. I know that you truly do understand the love that develops with a lovely kitty. I can still see her sweet face and hear her intense purring!!
post #5 of 33
Hi! I am going through the exact same thing, my cat as we speak is in bad condition and needs to be put to rest, but it is so hard for me do that cause he is still purring and warm and wants me to hold him. I am in a world of hurt right now and my husband cant understand my loss. I only have had my baby for 5 months but I love him so much I cant let go.
post #6 of 33
b's mom I know how hard this is, but please understand that when cats are in incredible pain they purr. So his purring may not be from contentment and he may be trying to tell you something. I know this is hard, and I have been following your posts, but please do the right thing and put this little one at peace.
post #7 of 33
Yeah hissy I have heard that and that they call FIP the purring disease but it is so hard, I always think in the back of my mind what if he can get over this. He did actually eat last night I heard him several times, I have him by my bed.
post #8 of 33
It doesn't matter how hard it is on you, what matters is the animal's well being. If you have taken him in to another vet for a second opinion and it is the same as the first, then there is nothing left to say.
post #9 of 33

I kinda feel like you are attacking me. I know this and he is scheduled tomorrow to be put to sleep. Please dont be mad towards me I am so stressed right now that I dont think I can take one more thing bad happening.
post #10 of 33
bbs mom,
Offering warm hugs. .. I am so soo sorry. With you in my thoughts. I can't imagine how how hard this must be.


I'm so sorry for you and your family.
post #11 of 33
b's mom- I am sorry- I did not mean to attack you. I did not know you made the appointment. I am not mad at you, simply concerned for your kitty and the pain he is dealing with. I hope you will forgive me?
post #12 of 33
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
My heart goes out to you. I know just how difficult it is for you to make the decision to let your kitty go. You may feel as I did. I felt that I was responsible for my cat's death, after all I signed the papers. Still, I know I did the right thing.

My sweet cat was purring very intensely during my family's last visit with her. She was obviously very, very happy to see us, but she was also in a lot of pain. She had been in the hospital for 5 days. I couldn't bring myself to accept that I had to let her go until I read about the severity of FIP. I realized it is a fatal disease and she really had no chance for survival. Her symptoms were very severe. I came to grips with the reality of her condition. I knew she was suffering--she had stopped eating and drinking and was getting very, very thin. Her bright eyes made her seem like herself, but her body was giving way.

Even though the intense purring is a sign that the cat is in severe distress and is trying to soothe herself, I still felt that she was responsive to us during our last visit.

I hope that you will forgive yourself for being the one to sign those papers. You are doing the right thing. Have a long visit with your cat. Say all the things you need to say to him/her. I told my kitty how much we love her, even reminisced about her funny habits and told her I'd see her again someday. My children and I cried like babies. I will always remember her and love her.

My thoughts are with you. I wish you the best as you go through this.
post #14 of 33
I realized after reading about the symptoms that she had been sick for over a year.
I have been trying to find information on this as well and haven't seen a site that's stated any symptoms - other than a fever that can't be explained from any other type of disease. I would really like to know what to look out for. Any info on symptoms would be greatly appreciated.

Now: more importantly -
I am so sorry for your loss and the other posters to this thread that have found out their cats/kittens have FIP as well. My heart goes out to all of you. I mourn your losses right along with you. Know there are indeed people out here who understand your loss.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your words of comfort. I know your words are sincere.

Regarding the symptoms of FIP, they really are subtle until the disease gets to a serious stage.

As I look back, my cat appeared to be alternately sick and very healthy for most of the past year of her life. That was why I really had no clue that she was really sick. (I was better off not knowing! I can't imagine worrying about her all the time. I enjoyed her completely.)
Anyway, she appeared to be disheveled periodically when she wasn't feeling well, that is, she didn't take care of her grooming as meticulously as usual. But, that can be the case when a cat just has a simple cold. Right?

The real indicator that she was getting sick appeared several months before the unexplained fever. She developed this really big pot belly. She had the effusive type of FIP, or "wet" FIP and fluids accumulated in her belly. I had no idea that was what was going on. I thought she needed to go on a diet! Funny when I think back on it. As a matter of fact, when I took her in to the vet, he just told me that she was a bit chubby. Later on I realized what the belly was about.
The vet described other possible symptoms like diarhea and throwing up, which my cat never had. Loss of appetite is a big one though, but again, that can be a symptom of many illnesses.Lethargy, sleeping a lot, not being playful and crankiness were also signs as I look back. But if your cat has any of these signs, they are really just generalized signs of not feeling well--not an indication of FIP.

If I were you, I wouldn't focus on being vigilant for FIP symptoms, especially considering that there is absolutely no effective treatment. Either the cat will fight it off or not. I visited another site that was recommended to me on this site...Orionfoundation.com. I found it very helpful if you want to read more.

I hope there's nothing going on with your cat. Why the concern?

post #16 of 33
Thank you, Ellen, for your quick response.

I really do feel for you, because even though I've never lost a cat to FIP, I have lost (male) cats to urinary problems a long time ago, before there was too much that could be done to help them, and I know - no matter how we lose a precious pet who is a member of the family - it's never easy. So, yes, you were absolutely correct in thinking I was sincere. I could just cry for your loss right now, truly, because it is such a hard thing to go through. I get so upset when some people say, "it was just a cat". But now I've learned to pity these people, because they've never known the deep love you get from these wonderful animals.

I have a rubber stamp that says:

How empty are the lives of those who have never been blessed with the spirit of a little cat invading their hearts...

Isn't that the truth?

Anyhow...I guess I was just concerned because I've been reading so much about it and our new kitten has diarhea and has been sneezing and stuff (I posted in the health care section of this site). I took Charm to the vet Tuesday and she's been diagnosed with a Upper Respitory Infection, but I forgot to ask about FIP.

Thanks again and know that I'm thinkin' about you and hoping things get a bit easier over time. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.
post #17 of 33

I forgive you! I am just so stressed with the cat and the breeder. I just emailed her and told her to drop it. Even though I feel entitled to a refund, there are more important things like cherishing my furbaby at the moment. I thank all of you for your support.
post #18 of 33
Hi, my heart goes out to you after reading your post. I'm still not sure if it was FIP that took my kitty back in 1991. They might not have had diagnostic tests for it back then. She was only 2 years old. In retrospect I wished I'd brought her to the vet much earlier on. She had the habit of only drinking water from a running faucet - if it was in a bowl, she wouldn't drink it! Also, she did pee outside of her litter box occasionally. As a first time cat owner I had no idea that these could be symptoms of a serious illness. The evening before she died, she seemed fine - she actually jumped up on the kitchen counter while we had company over for dinner. Later that night she seemed to want to go downstairs (not unusual) but when I think back, I remember her wincing slightly when I petted her before going back upstairs. The following morning as my husband was leaving for work he yelled "there's something wrong with your kitty, take her to the vet!" I ran downstairs to find her drooling and there were small pools of clear vomit everywhere. Her eyes were dilated. I drove her to the closest vet while calling an emergency hospital I knew to be a further distance away. No vet was available at either place. The vet at the closest place showed up shortly thereafter and sent me to yet another hospital 40 minutes away saying he didn't have the technology to handle the situation. Within a few hours she died. The vet did an autopsy and couldn't determine what had killed her. It was absolutely devastating. I had become so attached to this kitty (her name was Angel) in 2 short years. Words can't describe how painful this experience was, but I'm certain you're feeling something very much the same. I'm happy for your sweet little kitty that she had you to love her during her short life. Perhaps my Angel did not have the very same disease. Knowing the pain and suffering she endured during the last 12 hours of her life, I wish I could have done something to prevent it. What decision would I have made if faced with the decision to put her to sleep? I would have agonized -- but knowing what I know now, I would have hugged and kissed her while she was still able to recognize me and although my heart would have been torn in two, allowed the doctor to give her the shot that would prevent her pain.

It's been a long time since I consciously acknowledged my loss of Angel. I hope my post hasn't been too much about me and my situation, but that it might help you to know that I understand the depth of your loss. It will take a while and a lot of tears and eventually it will be bearable. My thoughts are with you and I do hope your little kitten is OK. It's nice to correspond (my first online post ever) with fellow animal lovers.
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi back to you,
I too have found it reassuring and comforting corresponding with cat lovers--people who truly understand what it means to love (and to lose) a dear pet. No, your post was difinitely not too much about you. I appreciate hearing what others have experienced and to know that my feelings are shared by others. It eases the loss just a little bit knowing that you understand the pain.

About what your kitty died of...although I'm certainly no expert on FIP, the symptoms you described don't seem to point to FIP, especially with such a sudden death. It sounds like you blame yourself a little for what happened. Be kind to yourself.

Funny that you mention that Angel only liked to drink from the faucet. Sounds like one of those strange little quirks that cats will so often exhibit. That's part of what makes cats so much fun! I had a cat once that preferred the faucet or water in a glass or bowl that was in the sink!

My little black and white 9 month old Julie responds to my whistling a song by coming over and "talking" to me, even meowing and standing up on her hind legs with her front paws on me. So far she seems to be doing ok. I will be taking her for the FIP titer at some point in the near future. I am hoping and praying it will come out negative.

Thank you for writing. Thank you for your words of comfort and rest assured that I understand how sad it was to lose your Angel. I assume you have a kitty now. I hope you enjoy him/her completely!
post #20 of 33
B's mom- I hope in time you can find closure, my heart aches for your loss. You have my deepest sympathy.
post #21 of 33
Hi CatLove,
Yes, I do have a kitty now. I swore I would never get another! But after a short while I found myself at the local animal shelter allegedly just to cuddle some cats but not take one home. Well you know how that worked out! The children at the summer program had named this beautiful little 3 month old female, Ashley -- because she was the color of ashes. She sat atop my shoulder in the car on the way home purring in my ear. Ashley is now 11! She is just hilarious. Very happy and healthy and content as can be. She is the joy of our lives. I laughed when I read that if you whistle, your kitten will stand up and put her paws on your face and sing or chatter back! Ashley is also very talkative. Sometimes if she's in an exceptionally chatty mood, she will respond to everything I say with the same number of syllables and in a similar tone. It's so funny, my husband and I can't stop laughing!
Fondly, Lori
post #22 of 33
Hi Hissy,
Thank you for your kind words. It's such a pleasure to talk to others who value these precious little creatures as they should be valued and loved. I've been reading many of your posts since I'm new to the site. What a fulfilling job you must have -- to be able to write about, advocate for, rescue and care for cats. I know it must be heart-wrenching many times, too - that goes with the territory of what you do. I've often thought about getting more involved with a career helping animals. My problem is that I become absolutely devastated when I see an animal in pain or fear. I don't know if I could handle it (ie., volunteering at a shelter where abused, unloved and unwanted animals are the everyday norm) I know it's not noble and I wish I could handle it better -- how do you do it when you see this sort of thing? -- Lori
post #23 of 33

Because of the deep caring and the committment that I feel for these cats that did not ask to be in the situation they are in, that is how and why I need to go on. Each cat that is here on my property, brings with it a story that sometimes could curdle the heart. Most of them, I will never know what they lived through (but could only imagine) and have to just tend to their wounds both physically and mentally. I had one cat, recently passed that was a near drowning victim and was afraid of the dark. More than likely because of the lake where she was being repeatedly held underneath the water. She slept with a nightlight.

I have had cats that have been surgically experimented on, by clumsy abusers, and even a cat that was crucified on a stop sign!

You never get used to it. Your tears never dry up, if they do, you don't belong in rescue, because you need the empathy to keep going and to keep focus. Once you stop caring, once you stop trying to change laws and make a difference, you may as well shrivel up and die.

I have met many wonderful people who care for strays and ferals along the way, and they all have that sensitive nature you speak about. It is vital for the cause to keep in tune with it, and you never want to get to the point where you are so numb you just don't care anymore. It is the caring that drives me. That, and I am crazy! Just ask anyone in my town!
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
To Lori,
I'm so glad that you took the chance and adopted another cat. It sounds like you have a wonderful one! It was your turn to make me laugh...I can just picture the talking cat, imitating your tone of voice, etc.

To Hissy,
I guess I have been truly sheltered, having not heard of the terrible things you have spoken of happening to cats. It is shocking and frightening that people can be so cruel. I commend you for the work you do and know that the kitty lives you touch are blessed!

post #25 of 33
A feral that I was starting to make some real inroads with had to be put down about 2 weeks ago due to FIP. It was bad enough to lose Josephine as she was very special to me. But now to find out more about this terrible disease makes her passing all the more sorrowful.

It's hard to let go, a necessary evil.

My sympathies to the owners and the cats.
post #26 of 33

here is Dunkin's story. I still can't bring myself to put pictures there yet. Perhaps someday- she was very special to us. Because of the abuse she suffered, she walked funny- earning the nickname Drunken-which we called her with love.

post #27 of 33
Poor Dunkin. And God love ya for doing what you could in the time that you had with this cat. There should be a special place in Hades for animal abusers.

The special cases, such as Dunk, are the ones that touch our hearts the most. There is so much we could do for them, so much negative programming we could reverse if given the time. I recently lost a feral friend to FIP. I think the sense of loss extends more than to just having lost a friend. There is the loss of potential also, losing the opportunity to show these special, needy cats that all humans aren't bad, human contact can be good, life doesn't have to be a living hell and that love does exist.

I'd like to think you made a bigger impact on Dunk than you realize. Who can say what it meant to her when she cried about the dark and you left a night light for her. It may have done far more for her than just quieting her screaming.

Hopefully your Dunk is talking to my Jo-Jo about the humans who maybe weren't as bad as they thought.
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Such a bittersweet story abut Dunkin'...
I am glad that there was some measure of oy in her life after the cruel start.

People who abuse animals are criminals.

post #29 of 33
yes they are, and I did not mean to hijack your thread. Simply to let you and the others know that this board is full of compassion for those who walk this path, because we have walked it as well once upon a time.....
post #30 of 33
Hi, i just read your e-mail. My kitten most likely has FIP, and now i'm faced with what to do. He's been running a fever and sleeping alot the last 5 weeks, but now his abdomen is filled with fluid. He's not sick, sick yet, still eating and purring etc. but the vet says maybe he has 2 weeks. When i read your post and saw how long you had your kitty i thought maybe he can live happy longer. I'm probably kidding myself, i would do almost anything to save him, as i love him so completely like you loved your little one. I just don't know how i'm going to face putting him down in the next couple of days because he still isn't real sick (last night he slept in our bed) I'm sorry for your loss, god i so understand, i'm worried about my other kitty as well who we adopted only 5 months ago. She is 9 years old. 2004 is right up there with my one of the toughest years of my life. Your not alone with your grief.
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