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FIP in cats (Feline Infectious Peritonitis): what is it?

The Fip in the cat o feline infectious peritonitis (feline infectious peritonitis) is a very serious disease that affects younger cats. What are its symptoms? How is it treated? Can it be healed?

Let’s find out together what causes FIP and everything you need to know to best care for a cat with peritonitis.

What is FIP for cats? The feline coronavirus!

Il virus responsible for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) it is a coronavirus (nothing to do with human covid-19!).

It is a very serious, very aggressive and virulent viral disease for which there is still no vaccine or therapy.

What are the symptoms of FIP in cats?

The symptoms of feline peritonitis can be manifest or latent, depending on the age, the state of health of the feline and the strain of the virus that has affected it. Young people are particularly affected, especially if they live in situations of promiscuity.

The manifest signs of FIP in cats are then:

  • tearing;
  • intestinal disorders;
  • diarrhea;
  • sneezing;
  • fever;
  • anemia;
  • weight loss;
  • balance difficulties;
  • tremor;
  • rapid deterioration of the general condition.

This last neurological symptomssometimes they can be the only manifest sign of the pathology.

How is the contagion and transmission of fip in cats?

Il infection with the coronavirus occurs through contact with the saliva or feces of a sick feline. Transmission can also occur between mother and child during the breastfeeding phase.

Good hygiene in the home (regular cleaning of the litter box and bowls, avoiding the presence of other cats, etc.) can help prevent contagion.

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In the event that you live in the house with several cats, if one of these is affected by this infection, it is necessary to foresee a isolate it immediately to prevent him from transmitting the disease to others.

Forms of infectious peritonitis

Pathology has three main forms:

  • dry FIP;
  • Wet FIP;
  • bowel nodular (recently discovered).

The cat fip in dry form

The first (also called non-effusion form) presents the least characteristic manifestations: the nervous system is compromised and consequently the animal is affected by:

  • seizures;
  • tremors;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • loss of balance;
  • he can also be prone to paralysis.

In this dry form, the kidneys, liver and eye can also be affected.

The cat’s fip in wet form

Also called effusiva, the chest and/or abdomen fill with fluid causing:

The fip of the intestinal cat

Finally that intestinal designates the presence of a mass in the intestine that can be felt. This form gradually evolves towards the humid one.

Diagnosing FIP in the cat

Even today there is no test that can confirm or deny the presence of the disease. THE serological tests and the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) present, in fact, can only certify the existence of the coronavirus, without however being able to specify its possible malignant form.

The diagnosis of FIP is then issued thanks to the study of the clinical signs and the response to the treatment of the symptoms that accompany the aforementioned tests.

Your vet will also do this blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, and effusion tests to have a complete clinical picture of the health of the cat.

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What is the life expectancy of a cat with FIP?

Il mortality rate is 95%. Depending on the gravity, its habitat, diet and age of the feline, life expectancy varies from two weeks to a few months.

However, some cats can contract the virus by staying healthy carriers whole life without ever developing the signs of the disease and living without any kind of problem related to this pathology.

How to cure FIP in cats?

There is no treatment for a cat with FIP. What can be implemented are a series of therapeutic indications, which aim to mitigate the symptoms of the pathology and make the animal’s life easier.

It is the administration of diuretic, antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory and anti-vomiting drugs.

It is also advisable, to make a cat with FIP live at its best, to avoid making the cat lead a stressful life and to keep it at home at rest, cared for and pampered as much as possible.

Is there a vaccine against FIP ​​for cats?

The vaccine for FIP in cats exists, but still today studies are carried out as veterinarians disagree on its effectiveness.

Is feline FIP resistant in the environment?

To prevent the onset of this disease, it will be enough to wash the litter box regularly and keep it away from the food bowls (which are also subject to regular cleaning).

It is also important to let the animals lead a stress-free life: therefore try to make him travel as little as possible, avoid boarding houses or frequent changes of environment.

Article reviewed by:

Francesco Reina
Veterinary assistant

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