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Future cats after FIP death?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I'm new here and I'm hoping to get some advice! This story might be too emotional for some, so please don't read on if you are sensitive to conversations regarding death.
My family and I have had a rough few years after losing our 14 year old cat to what was assumed to be feline asthma, then we lost our 12 year old dog to kidney failure, and then right out of no where our 6 year old cat was diagnosed with wet FIP.
It was a strange situation. He was an indoor cat, always healthy, always eating, etc. Then one day, I thought he felt a bit bony on his back. I weighed him, but there was no weight loss. I decided to bring him to the vet to be on the safe side. Imagine my shock, after an x-ray, I'm told that his entire abdomen was full of fluid and no organs were visible. He had FIP and the vet urged me to put him down right then and there.
I didn't believe it. I brought him to another vet for a second opinion. He drew out the fluid and took blood, both for testing. Of course there is no definite test for FIP, but he also agreed that everything pointed to that diagnosis and doing anything to keep my cat alive would be like throwing medicine in a bottomless barrel.
I went away in disbelief again. I kept my cat going for one week after that. He wouldn't eat his cat food, but would happily lick chicken baby food from my fingers. One evening before I went to bed, I was feeding him and I could see in his face that he was wasting away. Sure, he had a big fluid filled belly, but it was an illusion. Behind that, his eyes were sinking in from the weight loss and he looked like a walking skeleton. It was then and there that I knew no matter how much I wanted to ignore that he was fatally ill, he was going to die soon and it would be up to me to decide whether it would be in a nice way or a painful way.
The next morning, I called to him while he was sleeping in his cat bed. He tried to get up, but his back end fell over because he was too weak. I knew today was the day. It was so hard, the whole thing was REALLY hard. He was still eating his baby food, loving to be brushed and petted, purring up a storm, etc. I could almost believe he was normal, except that he was wasting away before my eyes, despite eating!
My husband had to bring him in, because I couldn't face putting him to sleep. I felt like I had let him down. I had given up on him. The vet told us that we couldn't blame ourselves. In fact, he said that a 6 year old cat with wet FIP is extremely rare. He thinks that our cat contracted the corona virus from his own mother and had a second contributing factor, an underlying illness that was compromising his immunity system which allowed the corona virus gene to mutate at such an unusual age.
I don't really know what to believe anymore. We still have 3 other cats at home though and now I'm always worried about them. Every single time they sneeze or don't eat every bite of their food, I think, oh please don't you get FIP too. It's almost a guarantee that they have the corona virus, but I try to remind myself that they have the same chances as the other 80% of cats which also have the virus. It does not mean that it will turn into FIP. Aren't the chances only like 3-5%?
I'm almost sure that my oldest cat is fine at 14.5 years old. He lived the entire 6 years with my other cat, therefore he certainly contracted the corona virus. What will happen though when my oldest passes away and I would like to get another kitten or cat?
I will still have 2 cats who have been exposed and I wouldn't know what to do. Kittens are susceptible to FIP due to their immature immunity systems, yet it would add extra stress to try and introduce an older cat. Stress is a contributing factor to the development of FIP. Where does that leave me?
Would a responsible pet owner not introduce any cat to a house where the corona virus is likely circulating? Or would they just go ahead, because after all 80% of cats have the corona virus?
What do you think? I'd love to hear everyone's opinion, whether positive or negative.

post #2 of 8
I am so sorry to hear of your losses. I don't know anything about this but I just wanted to reach out. I'm glad your other cats are healthy and ok. I know how stressful and difficult dealing with illness is especially if the prognosis is not good. I hope your other kitties continue in good health, they are lucky to have such a caring guardian.
post #3 of 8
My heart aches for you. In October 2013, we put 18 month old Gordon to sleep. He also had F I P. other than being younger than your kitty, we went through the same scenario. Healthiest cat had ever seen, playful, good eater. He went downhill so quickly, it was scary. Was with the vet for one week until I finally came to terms with it. I held him in my arms, kissed him goodbye, told him how much I loved him. I am crying as I write this, because the memory is still so fresh even though it was many months ago. I held him like a baby as he took his last breath, looking into my eyes. Although I know I did the right thing, it is still painful. I am dealing now with a much older sick cat, different disease.
I didn't have both of my remaining cats tested for the coronavirus, and yes, they have it too. Not a cheap test, but I had to know. Because of this, we have been told not to bring a cat any younger than two years old into the house. When my older cat does finally leave us, we will get another cat to keep our other two-year-old company. But it will have to be another cat, not a kitten.
Ask your vet, but if you really want to get another cat, if I were you I would do so. If you get your cats from the shelter the way I do, there was a good chance that they are infected with the coronavirus regardless.
Wishing you peace and comfort. I know the decision you made was difficult
post #4 of 8
What a tough situation. If there are cats in your home that were present and in contact with your cat who had FIP I wouldn't expose a new cat to them. Transmission is unpredictable but possible and I had a friend who lost more than one of his cats this way. On the one had I'd try not to worry but I would be cautios too. Having carona virus doesn't mean much but having an active case of FIP means a lot.
post #5 of 8
Actually, that is right, and I should have elaborated a bit more. You can have another cat, but you should wait a few months to at least make sure the active virus is no longer present in your household. In case of my cats where their little boxes are in the basement. I cleaned everything with bleach and replaced the litter boxes. I cleaned upstairs also, but not with bleach because direct sunlight does eventually kill the virus. This was all on my vets direction.
post #6 of 8
And it is been 10 months and I still have not brought another CAT scan. I will probably wait a little longer for other reasons.
post #7 of 8
Of you have no othe rats in the home then waitingb a few months is indicated but if there are other cats the waiting period is unclear and could be a long time ....
post #8 of 8
This is a horrible disease.
About 3 years ago I adopted 2 lovely kittens supposedly sisters. When I was at the shelter the two of them crawled into my lap and went to sleep. I had been chosen. One was a tabby and the other a calico. They were 4 months old.
I took them home, put the cage down and brought my old man Lotto to meet them. He hissed and walked away. I opened the cage and the calico, Lily, strolled out and looked around. The tabby, Daisy, followed her. They proceeded to explore the apartment. No fear. They were so lovely. Playing fighting sleeping. I used to have to write on my laptop with each one tucked under my arm. A month later they stopped playing and eating. They were lethargic and their tummies were full of liquid. I took them to the very who said FIP. I said a weepy goodbye. I comfort myself that they had one happy month.
I was worried about Lotto. Everything was cleaned with bleach. .He died last year age about 20
I miss him madly.
I have two more cats. An abandoned siamese, whisky, and a black and white street cat, blighty. They are like brothers
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