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
The main author of this FAQ is Erin Miller [firstname.lastname@example.org]. However, this FAQ could never have been written without the information, editing, re-writing and general encouragement of Norman Auspitz [L13264%M9RSCS.GESNINET@GE1VM.SCHDY.GE.COM]. Also thanks to Lorraine Shelton [Lorraine_Shelton_at_HYL101@ccmailgw.mcgawpark.baxter.com] for her advice and references.
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. However, if you are interested it cat be found at: http://www.mother.com/~vin/fipnew.htm. There is also some information about FIP put out by Cornell at: http://web.vet.cornell.edu/public/fhc/fip.htm.
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? Read on.