Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease in cats that is, unfortunately, nearly always fatal. The majority of FIP cases around the world seem to be in pedigree (purebred) kittens, but any cat has the potential to contract FIP.
The possibility of contracting FIP occurs when a cat is infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV). There are several different strains of coronavirus that a cat can contract, and most do not cause viral infection or lead to FIP. A small percentage of cats infected with FCoV will develop FIP when their immune system incorrectly attacks their own bodies instead of fighting the FCoV infection.
The way clinical FIP develops as an immune-mediated disease is unique, unlike any other viral disease of animals or humans.
Some important FIP / FCoV facts to keep in mind:
- The presence of FCoV antibodies indicates ONLY that the cat has been infected with FCoV, the cause of feline infectious peritonitis, NOT that the cat has FIP nor that for certain the cat will develop FIP
- Most cats infected with FCoV – DO NOT develop FIP
- About 70% of FCoV infection is transient
- About 13% of FCoV infection is persistent, meaning these cats are chronically infected
- Unfortunately, an estimated 5% – 10% of infected cats at one point in their lives will develop FIP
- About 1% – 3% of cats are resistant to feline coronavirus
Disease Information Sites
FIP Treatment News has information on treatment options for FIP. This site also covers topics relating to treatment methods that are sometimes recommended in non-science-based circles and discusses their safety, efficacy, and reasons for caution around those methods.
EndFIP has a Facebook group for providing additional education and support.
Cats with Multiple Medical Conditions is another Facebook group that can provide support.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Support is an email based support group on the groups.io platform.
There are many other FIP-related support groups available if you need them.