A Potential Cure for Cat FIP? Could It Be on the Horizon?

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As many of you know, I lost my very first Ragdoll cat, Skittles, to FIP when he was just 2 years old, and I was only 10.  We then got Rags and his half-brother, Cosby, who also died of FIP at 10-months old.  “FIP” is a disease I loathe, and it hits me hard when I hear about it because of the traumatic childhood experience I had with it.  So when I heard this news out of KSU, I was super excited and hopeful and wanted to share.

Skittles
Skittles

In an exciting recent study, Kansas State University veterinary medicine researchers have started the process of developing an antiviral treatment for the deadly infectious cat disease: feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). FIP has been almost 100% deadly in cats, so a treatment for this disease would be a huge breakthrough. Here are a few basic facts about FIP:

How Do Cats Get FIP?

FIP starts as a coronavirus infection, which is a common infection among cats and isn’t fatal. However, in some cases this infection can develop into a viral mutation that a cat’s immune system cannot contain, which is FIP.

FIP in Cats Symptoms

The coronavirus in cats symptoms are usually mild intestinal inflammation and diarrhea, or no symptoms at all. However, if coronavirus develops into FIP, it can take two different forms: wet (effusive) form or dry (non-effusive) form. Wet form is more common and the symptoms include jaundice, weight loss, a fever that does not respond to antibiotics, and the escape of bodily fluids. This is caused by a buildup of fluid in the abdomen or chest.

FIP in Cats – How Long Do They Live?

FIP progresses rapidly, and the FIP in cats life expectancy is weeks to a few months once symptoms begin to show.

Research Breakthroughs for Treatment of FIP

The recent study conducted by Kansas State University researches funded partially by a grant from the Morris Animal foundation showed promising results in developing a treatment for FIP. Researchers successfully blocked the progression of FIP in cats in clinical trials by inhibiting viral replication, which led to the recovery of the cats.

The next stage of the study involves enrolling up to 70 cats in another experimental trial that will run for approximately two years. Yunjeong Kim, one of the head researchers of this project, expressed hope over the outcome of this trial: “This will help us and other researchers find a way to effectively manage or treat FIP in the future. Also, these findings have broader implications for other important coronavirus infections, since no antiviral drugs exist for human or animal coronaviruses.”

Hopefully this study will be a giant step towards eliminating a terrible disease for cats and their humans that love them.

Comments (12)

  1. Wonderful news & post, Jenny! Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information with all of us! Praying so hard that there efforts will be successful in being able to successfully treat the horrible FIP.

    (And, I am so very sorry for the traumatic loss of your beloved Skittles and Cosby to FIP.)

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    1. A friend just lost her rescued kitty to FIP. I appreciate your posting that informative info. Will send it to Denise. I azm very sorry about your kitty Jenny. I hope there is much hope on the horizon for this terrible disease.

  2. I HATE FIP. Of all of the cat diseases , I detest it. I rescue ferals, and sometimes have kittens around and cats I have kept that were former ferals. I have lost 3 to the wet form and one to the dry. The wet form is so fast…. and there is nothing they can do for either. I hated the last one. Piper was 2, I took him in because his breathing seemed ‘off’ he didnt have the other symptoms, just breathing funny. The night before we went to the vet he slept on my chest. I took him in, the vet drew blood and confirmed. I felt so bad for making Piper go through that he hated it. I got him home, and he came out of the carrier. He had a heart attack 10 minutes later. I hate FIP.
    I am hoping they do come up with a cure.

  3. 3 years ago I lost my beautiful Angel Dusty from dry FIP, I cried every time I read about another one that lost his life and still tear up thinking about it . It was so horrible. I have since donated several times to the Winn foundation to find a cure. I have his urn in my bedroom with a picture of him on each side. I don’t think the pain will ever go away.

  4. Great article! I hope this works out. I lost my first cat, a long haired calico named Punkin, to wet FIP. It was devastating. I hope they can stop it in its tracks.

  5. Great news Jenny! Thanks so much for letting us know about this promising study. Wonder what they are using to block the viral replication? Hope that a cure for this dreaded disease will be out soon so no other kitties will ever have to suffer and die with this horrible disease. My little himalayan, Meeshee, died from wet FIP when she was only several months old. It was heartbreaking.♥♥♥

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