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My cat might have FIP

carolina griego

Savannah Super Cat
My 9 month old boy Rex is bloated so I took him to the vet today they did an Xray and said it was not gas and theres a 90% chance is FIP which has no cure. You can imagine how I feel right now, Im praying to god its not. He seems to be eating normal but is not active. I have 2 other girl cats and three 5 week old kittens that i keep in a seperate room. The vet said it can be contaigious to the other cats or that they might had already fought it off,its sad he has to be alone now.

Does anyone know of any cats surviving?
And if the test come out positive do you think its necessary to seperate them,asuming they have been exposed already?
He is the father of the 3 kittens will they run a chance of getting it?

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I am so sorry, Carolina :-(

Fluid on the belly really is often very diagnostic for FIP. BUT I would still advise having a sample of the fluid sent off to do PCR for the Coronavirus. There ARE other causes of that kind of fluid buildup that are not as devastating as wet FIP. It is worth making sure it is this... and I am so sorry if it is :-(

In terms of infectivity, it is NOT as scary as your vet is painting it. The benign form of Coronavirus is very contagious so chances are that all your cats have been exposed to coronavirus. It is only in a small percentage of cases where that virus mutates to the FIP form and crosses the mucosal barrier of the intestinal tract that it causes FIP. At the point where it crosses that barrier it is no longer shed via feces....therefore your other cats actually havent' been exposed to the toxic form of the virus. There are rare cases where a cattery might have a "hot" strain of the coronavirus but in most cases having one cat die of the disease does not doom the others.

Having said that, there IS evidence that FIP does not just rely on the presence of the mutated coronavirus but also requires a fault in the cat's immune system for the disease to develop. Often, when a cattery has multiple cats/kittens succumb they feel it is not that the virus was more virulent but that genetics had caused a weakening in their immune system. So this might be hereditary. I would definitely disclose this to any new owners of the 3 progeny of this boy. They may be perfectly fine, but I don't know that I would keep them for a breeding program.

The internet has a lot of information about FIP. The sources I think most reputable are and UC Davis and the Winn Foundation. These places have all done years of research and know more than most.

carolina griego

Savannah Super Cat
Thanks Brigitte Im praying its something else. So is it that the coronavirus runs in the genetics or that they have weak immune systems in their genetics.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Coronavirus is separate from the cat so not in their genetics. A glitch in their immune system could well be genetic though... but they have not identified any genes involved at this time. As they work out the pathogenesis of the FIP-form of the virus they will likely be able to work out what about the feline system might be most important and hence what genes might be involved on the cat's side too...


Site Supporter
Ask your vet to perform a Rivalta test on the fluid in the abdomen.

River Ridge
West Virginia


Animal Communicator
I am so, so sorry to hear of your boy! Prayers for you, and him that it is not FIP :'(


Savannah Super Cat
I am so sorry. I hope this turns out not to be the case. My heart sinks every time I hear about someone dealing with this dx, I think about how I would feel hearing this news with my own cats and it is heartbreaking at best.

carolina griego

Savannah Super Cat
Thanks to everyone for your help and prayers. He is eating fine but doesnt jump around or run. He looks sad that I seperated him.
They performing a Fip Elisa test is the Rivalta more acurate?
Is it possible that he has fluid but it has not mutated into Fip?
Do you think it might be his genetics since my other 2 kitties are fine, should I notify the breeder I got him from?

Trish Allearz

I'd notify the breeder you purchased him from-- every bit of information a breeder can obtain about their lines and knowledge about their kittens is important. It might not change things there, but it might shed light on something (say if another kitten from that pairing had FIP-- they might decide not to pair those cats together anymore, etc).

Just **HUGS**. Brigitte is my go-to expert on FIP because she understands more of the details, but I have dealt with it in a rescue Selkirk and it was extremely sad and devastating :( He developed the fluid within 7 days of coming home while still in quarantine.