|A deadly cat virus called FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) was found in several cats in the Bartlett Animal Shelter in Tennessee. They had to be put down due to the infection of this incurable disease.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that is usually transmitted from the mother cat to the kittens. The initial exposure of the virus does not usually show any symptoms. It could take from weeks to years for the virus to become clinical.
Any cat that harbors the virus is potentially at risk for developing Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). If the cat is particularly weak in immune systems, it is more prone to develop the disease. Kittens or cats that are infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are particular vulnerable to this virus.
FIP can be transmitted from cat to cat, but it is not extremely contagious. The virus usually can be found in cat feces, saliva. Since the virus can live in an environment for several weeks, it is important to maintain good litter box hygiene and overall cleanness of the living environment.
FIP is more common in multi-cat populations, such as those in shelters or catteries. If you own multiple cats or adopted cats from the shelters, it is cautious to know their history and have their physical examined at the vet as a precautionary measure.
Though cats that have been exposed to Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) do not display obvious symptoms, certain cats may show signs of upper respiratory infections such as sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. In some cases, infected cats may encounter digestive tract problem such as diarrhea. "Only a small percentage of cats that are exposed to the feline coronavirus develop FIP."
Unfortunately, there has not been a cure for this viral infection. That explains why the kittens from the Bartlett Animal Shelter had to be euthanized. FIP is extremely fatal and can spread throughout the cat's body and cause inflammation in abdomen, kidney or brain.
The best way to prevent FIP is to keep your cats away from the infectious agents, clean litter boxes in a regular basis with disinfectants, remove cat feces daily, and keep food and water away from the litter boxes. If a cat falls ill, keep the healthy cats in a separate room. Vaccinations are important in disease prevention. Keep your cats' vaccinations up to date (contact your county to find out rules/laws regarding vacinnations). Finally, provide proper nutrition for your cat by choosing good quality cat food.