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FIP in cats: what is it?
FIP in cats: what is it?

FIP is one of the best known and most common serious and fatal diseases, along with FeLV and FIV. Let's see in detail what is FIP in cats.

What is FIP

The FIP, Feline infectious peritonitis, is a fatal disease caused by a strain of virus called Feline coronavirus (FCoV). L' Coronavirus infection, in most cases it does not cause serious problems, but causes only a mild diarrhea, and then heals spontaneously. In some cases however, the virus can undergo a mutation in the organism of the infected cat, causing FIP. The FIP virus spreads by invading and damaging internal organs. The coronavirus that does not cause the appearance of the disease is called FECV, i.e. Feline enteric Coronavirus.

How does FIP contagion happen

The harmless FECV virus initially lives inside the intestinal tract cells and propagates in I did of the cat. Cats contract the virus by ingesting it when they eat or lick their fur. The mutant and infected FIP virus that causes the disease, as opposed to that of FECV, is not generally believed to be contagious for other cats. The exact cause of the mutation of the virus it has not yet been discovered. The FIP virus lives inside White blood cells and not in the intestine, for this reason, when the virus undergoes the mutation, it does not spread in the faeces.

Types of the disease

The disease can spread in three different forms:

  • Wet form. This form of the disease involves a accumulation of fluid in body cavities such as the abdomen and chest, causing abdominal distension and breathing difficulties.
  • Dry form. In this form of the disease they are created injuries due to inflammation throughout the cat's body, including eyes, kidneys, liver and nervous system. Symptoms vary depending on which organ is most infected with the disease.
  • Mixed form. This form of the disease presents both the accumulation of fluid and lesions due to inflammation.

What are the symptoms of FIP

THE symptoms of FIP are not unique, and they are also common to other diseases like FeLV and FIV, it can sometimes be difficult to detect the disease.

Common symptoms of the disease:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Fever unresponsive to antibiotics
  • Inflammation of the eyes, kidneys, liver and nervous system
  • Diarrhea
  • He retched
  • Anemia
  • Respiratory difficulties

FIP therapy and prevention

Unfortunately there is no therapy effective against this disease. Periodic checks to avoid the onset of other secondary diseases and viral forms are necessary. It is also necessary to verify that other specimens that have come into contact with the subject have not contracted the FECV coronavirus, since in some cases it could mutate and cause the onset of FIP.


There prevention of the disease is not simple, as it is not yet clear what causes the virus to mutate from FECV to FIP, for this reason many factors could contribute to the development of the disease. Moreover, unfortunately, nowadays there is still no vaccine effective against FIP. Minimize your cat's exposure to the causes of infectious diseases as much as possible and remember to take your cat to the vet for frequent examinations and vaccine boosters. Finally, keep your cat's litter box clean on a regular basis and never place it near water and food bowls.