Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

My wife and I bought a kitten in December who was recently tested for the FIP virus; she came up positive for the virus that causes FIP. From my understanding FIP is like AIDS in humans, our kitten has what would be equivalent to HIV. Apparently, this is the most feared virus in cats. She has had numerous problems recently and some days are good some are not. She is only three months old.

The vet we are seeing has given her shots for fevers and did a blood test and an FIP test. She is now taking medication everyday as well to fight the virus off so her immune system can overcome the virus. Apparently, 3.5kg is what we should be aiming for and she should not lose weight until then. She is at around 1.5kg now.

My concern is, is she getting the best treatment available for this virus? Has anyone encountered this virus in cats before and where did they take the animal for treatment and what was the outcome?

We have spent quite a bit of money already in dealing with this virus, what really makes me angry is that she got this virus from her parents, which means that the breeders should have never bred their cats. All their offspring now have the virus and may die. What is it in Taiwan with people who just don’t give a crap about animals?

My friend has just got some very bad news about his cat, the poor little guy has FIP. He is only about 6 months old. Is there any hope? I suggested he keep trying, but I know it’s expensive and emotionally taxing . The vet has told him the cat may live a week or up to 5 years. Are there any drugs that can give this cat a normal life? The info I have read is leading me to believe that this is it, there is no chance of survival. One source said the cat will die within one one year and probably closer to two months from kidney or liver failure. Last month my vet told me that it wasn’t neccessary to give my my cats the FIP shots again. Yeah right! So to those of you who are cat owners, get to the vet and have your cat vaccinated.

It’s not a very straightforward disease to understand, but the sad outcome is.


Good diet is essential if you are to increase the life the of your cat, and I would strongly recommend giving natural, raw food, with some supplements to help boost the immune system. Processed food, no matter what its label or marketing try to persuade you, is not what your cat should be eating now.

Sorry to read about your kitten, Jeff. She is obviously in the best hands right now. FIP is quite common among purebreds, particularly those bought from irresponsible breeders, as you’ve obviously realised. I really do not know any conscientious breeders, although I am certain they do exist.

Best of luck with this, and stay focused on a positive outcome: a long-as-possible, healthy-as-possible life for your cat.

Very sorry to hear about this, JeffG. I wish I had some good news or useful info for you, but I don’t.

I guess you’ve found out the hard way that breeders here aren’t trustworthy, and the health of the animals isn’t at all guaranteed. It’s worth it to take opportunities like this to emphasize to everyone that you’re just as well off adopting a stray kitten next time. It’s less likely to be inbred, the rate of such diseases is no higher AFAIK, and you’ll save not only money but also a life.

It’s nice to get some replies to this even though I posted that over a year ago.

We went through hell for about six months, actually we found the vet we were using at the time didn’t really know how to lessen the problems with anything other than constant antibiotics. Vets in Taiwan, you gotta watch, if you feel something is strange or you feel what they say and what a vet back home might say, you should consider changing or at least going for a second even thrid or fourth opinon. Yes it get’s expensive and it is time consuming to take your pet to get all kinds of tests over and over again, but if you love your pet, you are best to do so. Just make sure you leave time in between vet visits to let your animal recoup from the blood taken, from what I understand cats need a week or more, but you should check with your vet, don’t just assume. Also when possible make sure you get a copy of the cat’s record any X-rays, etc. It comes in handy when you need to get second opinions.

Since we took our cat to someone else she’s been doing ok. We use a special food for her recommended by the vet. However, if your cat has the virus that causes FIP you need to know what type of FIP it has and what course of action to take, it may or may not be a problem that only food can fix, it just depends. We choose to stop using medication and in our case, food fixed the problem, it was as simple as that. Your cat may be different.

Three things to remember:

  1. Does your cat eat normally?
  2. Does your cat play normally?
  3. Is the cat’s bladder/stool normal?

We have learned sooo much since this horrible experience, so I can say now I am more educated about many things. Including how Taiwan’s enviroment really wreck’s havoc on animals here.

If all three things are ok, then your cat is probably healthy regardless of having the virus. Of course, yes the virus does reduce the overall life expectancy of your cat, but a good diet, good immune system and a family that loves it the cat will do far better. We’ve been told 10-12 years, but then again you just never know.

As for FIP shots… If your cat already has the virus then I believe your cat CANNOT get those shots otherwise it will make the situation worse. At least that is what we were told, our cat has never had the shots. And actually she cannot even get her yearly immune shots because her body cannot make the antigens anyway so most of these immunization shots are useless.

Indeed in Taiwan animals are treated like @#$!, breeders only want money. Not that this is not true in other counties, but it appears to be especially true in Taiwan. We are very angry at the breeder and had considered sueing both the breeder and the vet for various reasons. We still hold the right to do so if we should need to in the future. It wouldn’t be for our gain either, it would simple be to stop them from destoying so many animals. We are sickened by these jerks who don’t care and love the animals their breed.

Some suggestions: For testing, go to Tai-Da Animal Hospital. However, do not accept any treatments there, they are great for testing animals, but really suck at providing treatment for serious problems. This is our experence, others may have a different opinion. Find a vet you like, trust and can give you the guidance you need and one that fits your budget and personality and of course your pet’s need. You have to do the footwork yourself to find someone you trust and can really treat your animal.

Great info, Jeff. :bravo: It’s surprising just how quickly people can absorb and share knowledge of even complicated animal diseases such as this when motivated by the needs of a much-loved furry friend.

I use vets for analyses, but they aren’t encyclopedic with regard to all treatments and not always up to date anyway, so I tend to do my own research and let the vet know what I’ve found out so that we can determine the very best treatment (our vet is good like this, but I’m sure most aren’t). I’d recommend others do the same, no matter what country you’re in.

Anyway, apologies for not noticing the date, but GREAT JOB on doing what’s best for your cat. So glad she’s still doing OK. :wink:

I was just surprised no one else had heard of FIP when I wrote the thread, but later thought actually it could be a good thing, maybe few people have had problems. At that time I was really desperate for some information and help on the problem.

Now our cat is pretty healthy and still plays wildly, she always has, which is a good indication that a cat is healthy anyway. We were misled at the beginning because we couldn’t find someone who really understood the problem or what we were going through.

I hope the information is useful to someone.

I’m no angel, I had my doubts during the whole ordeal and wanted to throw in the towel many times.

Indeed people need to do their own research, but even at that, all the books I have read don’t really cover FIP that much and all of its complications.