FIP, fatal with no cure, most common in young cats like Tubby, can affect cats of any age with compromised immune systems


BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

24 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    Please don’t euthanize a cat without trying this:
    I will be happy to send you details of the treatment and how to administer it.

    • BJ says:

      Interesting. Please send details of the treatment, and how much research has gone into it. Send through my contact form. Looking forward to it.

  2. Calah Barnes says:

    We just lost our kitty Shadow to this horrible disease tonight. He just turned 1 not even a month ago. We had to put him down and that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. He got diagnosed with FIP about 2 weeks ago, and ever since then he started going downhill. We did everything we could to try and save him.
    He was the best cat I have ever had. Every night he would sleep on my pillow with me, and then wake me up in the mornings with his paws when he thought it was time for me to get up. He would cuddle with us all the time and always be waiting at the door when we came home. I am going to miss my little Shadow so much.

    • BJ says:

      FIP is absolutely aweful. I made it 3 weeks with Tubby. He was absolutely the sweetest cat It’s almost like they know they need to charm their humans for the short time they’ll be with us.

    • Pam says:

      I write this as my heart is breaking and my little Finn is resting underneath my desk. Just today it was confirmed Finn definitely had been in contact with a FIP-infected cat(s). Unfortunately a horrible hoarding man who claims he was a sanctuary had Animal Control come out and seize over 100 cats and other animals. My Finn was one of them. Unfortunately it has mutated in my almost one-year-old kitty. He crawled into my heart immediately and brought so much love to my home. The short time I’ve had him since March 25, 2016 will leave a gapping hole for a long time. I know I need to make a decision, and I think it best for him that I make the horrible drive before it progresses and becomes worse. I believe his is dry as it is in his brain, with head bobbing, staring into space, lack of his kitten moxie and sometimes having problems walking (hind legs). I too feel I could go on and on, but this disease has shown me a whole other world of heartache. Finn’s life gave and it will continue to give as I can educate my friends about this death-sentence disease. They are devastated with me as cat lovers. If we can do one thing, think of them and not ourselves. Spare them unnecessary agony and let them cross the bridge with dignity. Love and prayers to all you good mommies and daddies of these precious lil lives who leave us way too early. >^..^<

  3. Melanie says:

    We just lost our Venus last night. She had just turned 1 on September 19th. We had our her blood tests done but were waiting on results. We received them last night and it looked as though her liver was failing. All of the results were pointing to FIP. She had been having trouble walking for the last 2 weeks, she seemed like she was hungry but when it came down to eating, she wouldn’t. I started to collect information about her medical history and knew her siblings had passed when they were very young. They believe it was also FIP. I am struggling with the chance that it wasn’t FIP. I didn’t want her to live in a cage with a feeding tube and possibly pass away by herself. We made the decision after hours of being at the vet that we needed to put her to sleep. I am feeling really guilty that I didn’t do enough. What if… I should have tried harder, what if she had something that could be medically fixed? As I read more and more, I think we rushed the decision and maybe I could have saved her. We were told it was the Dry FIP. I am absolutely heart broken. She had been having trouble eating, and then it looked like she was really clumsy when she was walking and then she started to miss when she was trying to jump on to things. We also started to notice that she wasn’t playing anymore and the other cats were rejecting her. The last few weeks were quite sad watching her deteriorate. She had lost 1 pound since she was weighed in March. Her weight had gone down to 4.2 pounds. She looked like she was a 5 month old kitten but looked old at the same time. Sorry for going on about this. I guess I just needed to write this all down. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have Baby Veenie with me.

  4. Guinevere says:

    My son’s cat, Peanut was diagnosed just about a week ago with FIP. He’s lost so much weight in about a two month period of time. I am used to treating dogs, but this is my first actual cat in the house. As I type this, he is sitting in the chair beside mine. He was on my bed last night and then on my son’s. He looks for my son to get home from school. His energy is not good and he looks like skeletor with fur.

    I will be calling the vet today to have him put down. BEFORE he gets to the point of so sick he can’t move. My belief based on what I’ve read is that this is ‘Dry’ FIP. I keep his nose clear and feed him with a syringe. He is such a loving cat. He will be missed. I’m told that this disease is most common in cats between birth and three years of age. Peanut isn’t even two yet.

    • BJ says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your Peanut. My Tubby wasn’t even 2 when he succumbed to FIP. His littermate Linus is over 7, and never had it. Don’t give up on cats because they are the best. With FIP, you are making the right decision. It was heart wrenching to put my Tubby down, but he was so weak that he couldn’t even jump onto the couch by himself. May he Rest in Peace.

  5. Kyle says:

    Today we took our kitten, Beau, to the vet to check on his abnormally large belly. We prayed that it was from over-eating, but we both knew he was still too skinny for that. Something had to be wrong. After some x-rays and then a fluid extraction, the vet was nearly certain it was FIP.

    Beau had a series of challenges from the beginning. He was an outdoor kitten (before us) and we were unsure of his background, but guessed he was about 4-5 months old when we brought him home from the shelter. He had worms and when we took him to the vet for his first check-up (after only having him for a couple weeks) he developed an upper respiratory infection. Similar to the one your described. With watery eyes, nasal discharges, and he was already sneezing often when we took him home. The vet gave him antibiotics and after about two weeks concluding the treatment he had a very large stomach.

    Beau was the best cat we could have hoped for. We spent a very long time looking for a kitten we “bonded” with. When we found him it was magical. He would come and sleep with us under covers or on our chests and head. He was super friendly with anyone and would curl up on their laps or wherever. He is the ideal companion.

    There needs to be more done about this disease. If my understanding is correct there are about 10 million cats in the world and only about 2,000 ever get this disease.

    • BJ says:

      Thank you for sharing. My Tubby was the most lovable cat. He slept by my side every single night. It was heart breaking to lose him.
      The good thing is that there’s alot of research going into developing some treatments for this dreadful disease. It can’t be soon enough
      My heart goes out to you.

  6. Olga Borch says:

    I put my gorgeous boy to sleep today due to FIP. I’m distraught. I miss my best friend and I can’t believe his gone. I’ll do anything to have him back

    • BJ says:

      My Tubby has been gone for three years. Even though I have added new felines to my kitty family, I still miss him. I, too, would give anything to have him back, romping and playing with his Siamese litter mate. May your gorgeous boy Rest In Peace, and be happily playing on the Rainbow Bridge. More research needs to go into FIP so that a vaccine can be developed to prevent this terrible fatal disease. Peace be with you.

  7. carolyn says:

    oh noooo i think our little birman has got it. She lives with our very old cat who is a moggie – does this mean we will lose both in one go? I am going to try the only virus killers i know – IVC and the bob beck zapper and maybe the tennant biomodulator if dr tennant thinks it may work – pray for us.

    • BJ says:

      The virus is not necessarily contagious the way a cold is. So there’s hope. Talk with your vet, and indeed prayers are with you and your cats.

      • Pam says:

        I just lost my 10 1/2 month old kitten 2 weeks ago to this disease. She was the best!! She must have known she didn’t have too much time because she was my shadow- she loved to talk and swish is beautiful tail and always at my side. Tinker was very playful with my other cats and see fit into our family immediately like she was meant to be here. My female bangle cat took her as her own.

        I didn’t even know that this disease existed until my vet took the blood samples and called to tell me the bad news. We thought it was some kind of infection because she ran a fever and dropped weight. My vet did everything to help her if we would have caught it sooner maybe she would have lived a bit longer. The vet also detected a mass in her tummy. I have had cats all my life and this little Tinker or Mookie as we called her was truly a gift I will miss her always.

  8. Joan says:

    I lost my 10 y/o Scout to Wet FIP in November of 2008. She and her brother had been with me since they were kittens. She went from the most beautiful pastel calico with attitude to just a shadow of herself in just 3 weeks in spite of palliative care. She was my girl and my constant shadow. Going on 4 years since I had to make the decision to let her go but it still stings. Her brother killmo remains relatively happy and healthy although he is a hyper T kitty. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he was diagnosed 3 months after Scout left us. He became extremely stressed over her death and I’m quite convinced her death triggered hyper T.

    I know the pain of losing a pet way too young to this awful disease that is FIP. You’d think in this day and age they would come up with a treatment for this. Research is being done but it’s still a long way until a treatment or cure is discovered. My heart still hurts when I think of the way Scout left us.

  9. I’m impressed 😀 I found your site on Ask poking around for something completely different- now I’m going to need to go back and go all the old posts XD Good bye my spare time this morning, but this was a spectacular find!

  10. dawn says:

    FIP is an awful disease. A friend of mine lost her Birman to it a few years ago. He was about 6 or 7 years old. Unfortunately, it seems to be more prevalent in Birmans than some other breeds. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s hard to have lose a pet, I’m sorry about Tubby.

  11. BJ says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. It’s must have been very hard loosing Neko. Sometimes it’s the quality of the time spent together, not the amount of it. It’s ironic how much impact this can have on our lives. And I’m very glad your other kitties fared ok, and didn’t contract the disease.

    I believe Tuby and his brother, Linus, came into my life for a reason. Perhaps, they were a divine gift, one I’ll be able to treasure forever.

  12. Ed says:

    It seems strange to talk about ‘mercy’ or ‘destiny’ in a world of so much cruelty and death, but I think every once in a while something or Someone intervenes and extends small mercies.

    I don’t know how my Neko contracted FeLV, or how he ‘slipped through the cracks’ at the shelter and escaped the instant euthanasia such a diagnosis would have brought. He was put up for adoption; we saw each other and bonded immediately. It was six weeks later we learned of his contagious disease — six weeks of iving in common with our entire clowder. Yet despite sharing food and water, litter boxes, and cuddle sessions, none of the others ever contracted it. Not even through the
    rest of the year, living in common with my freshly vaccinated and boosted cats — they all remained virus-free.

    Neko died late that year, a week before Christmas. I still scream and curse the injustice of it — such a young and wonderful cat who beat the odds in more ways than one, yet doomed before we ever met. But I can’t deny the unusual convergence of conditions that brought us together, and gave us that instant sense of belonging to each other. For that year it was my privilege to know him, to give him a loving home, and to be there until the end. Small mercies.

    I do know one thing — when we rescue these lost and lonely little ones, we are closer than ever to the image of God we were made to be. Who are we really, if not strays whom God is trying to rescue, to give mercy, and take home?

    • Annemarie says:

      As I write this my sweet Bruno is in the final stages of Feline Leukemia Virus. He was only diagnosed 4 days ago. He is one of the homeless cats I care for and up until last week was a big, robust, healthy cat. He joined my colony of homeless cats 2 years ago and since then has brought so much joy and happiness. A friendlier cat you will not find. The vet figures he contracted it from his mother and the disease lay dormant until very recently. Bruno is approximately 3 1/2 years old and was neutered soon after arriving.
      I am heartbroken there’s nothing I can do but keep him comfortable and be with him in his final moments which will be very soon.
      Your post added to the many tears I have cried today. Bruno is the youngest cat I’ve lost to disease and the cruelty of it is beyond imagine.
      Thank you for your post and sharing Neko’s story. I came upon this site doing last minute research on FLV. I hope it’s okay to post on a site devoted to FIP. I’m so upset I had to share the news about my dear Bruno.

      • BJ says:

        Thank you for your comments. No matter what the disease, FIP, FLV, or anything that takes our beloved kitties or pets away is painful, especially when they are young. When pets age, as with people, we expect for them to pass on. Their bodies wear out. But when they are young, it’s very hard. I still miss my Tubby. I’m sure Neko was a great kitty, one that will be missed dearly.

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