The purpose of this FAQ is to answer frequently asked questions about Feline
Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which is one of the most difficult diseases in
the feline community today. This FAQ is divided into two parts, the first is
general information about the disease, and the second is about management of
FIP in a multi-cat and cattery environment. The sources for this FAQ are
listed at the end, as well as some additional recommended readings.
Recently an excellent source of information on FIP has become available on
the WWW as well. This article is much more technical and many cat owners
may find it much more dense than this FAQ.
I want to point out first and foremost that I am not a veterinarian,
nor even a person who has training in animal science such as a veterinary
technician. I am a graduate student of physical anthropology, and an
ailurophile. My goal with these FAQs is to take information from the
medical literature and convey the parts that are most useful to the
average cat owner and translate them into general terms that are easy to
understand. I attempted to keep the FAQ as untechnical as possible, but
unfortunately with such a complex disease that becomes very difficult. I
hope this prooves to be of some usefulness. Also keep in mind that this
disease is one of the most controversial subjects in feline health care.
This is not a definitive guide to FIP, but only an attempt to compile
the most current information. Ideally the reader of this FAQ should
use this as a starting point when discussing FIP with their veterinarian.
Vets and breeders will hold a wide variety of opinions on this disease,
some of which may be based on current information, some of which may be
based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. You can only do your best to
become as educated as possible and make your decisions on the course of
treatment or preventive care. Always remember, your cats is YOUR
responsibility, and no one, not your vet, not a breeder, not a
friend-who-knows-everything-there-is-to-know-about-cats, nor the writer of
an internet FAQ can force you do take an action that you don’t feel
comfortable with. Do what you think is best for your cat. Period.
To begin and unfortunately in sum: There is NO effective treatment, there is
NO diagnostic test, there is NO way to positively identify asymptomatic
carriers (cats which shed the virus, but do not themselves show outward
signs of illness), the incubation time is UNKNOWN, NO one is 100% sure of
how it is spread between cats, and there is NO proven effective way to
control its spread in a multi-cat household or cattery. So what is known?