My kitten died from FIP, will it happen again?

We adopted a little mixed breed kitten from a shelter two months ago, and last night had to put him down because he had FIP. It was brutal, and the disease was so aggressive...he was fine and then literally within the day he was so bad we had to go to the emergency vet. I am heartbroken to say the least...he wasn't here long but I still am going to miss him like crazy.

I know at some point in the future we will want to share our lives with a cat again. We had wanted to get a purebred cat to add to the family while Neo was still alive, and I'd like to consider getting a pair of littermates...but after I got home last night I read all about FIP and that it is common in catteries and shelters.

I'm worried this will happen again...and it's put me off wanting to adopt again, and possibly from going the purebred route.

I'd like to know how likely it is that getting kittens from a cattery that they will have/develop FIP? Is a reputable breeder going to have a lower risk?

Asked by Member 967525 on Feb 23rd 2010 Tagged cattery, fip, purebred in Health & Wellness
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Izadore (Izzie)

I am so, so sorry that this happened to you. My daughter adopted kittens from a shelter and lost both to FIP within 6 weeks of each other. It was devastating! When she wanted to adopt again, the executive director of the rescue I worked with (not where she got the cats) said to throw everything the cat used out (common sense). She said to wait a month to make sure that the virus was completely out of her home. You can have a cat tested for FIP and most reliable shelters do so before they adopt out. I'd like to encourage you to adopt from a shelter, but take the kitten to your vet the next day to have it tested. Do the shelter a favor and notify them your kitten died of FIP. You may save someone else your heartbreak. A thorough exam by a vet can go a long way to prevent more heartache for you. Shelters do the best they can medically for their animals, but it's always best to have it examined by your own vet right away. Again, my sympathy for your loss.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 2/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


There are no guarantees with any kitten but yes, choosing a reputable breeder is a lower risk for getting a kitten that has it but there is no way to be sure. I do know exactly how you feel because my little Persian Dolly had a congenital disorder and we Iost her during surgery when she was 12 weeks old. I know how much love is possible in such a short time and I am truly sorry for your loss. Please allow yourself some time to grieve for him before making any decisions.

Allie answered on 2/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree with Izadore to get it checked out the next day to make sure the cat does not have it. Also, maybe adopt from another shelter since they don't seem like they checked for that.. I just got a kitten a month ago from a shelter and after 2 weeks of having her, she developed dermatitis (red bumps like a rash) near her ear. The vet said she most likely got the viral infection from being in a shelter. Luckily, this is treatable. But what I am trying to say is that you take a chance when you adopt an animal no matter where it comes from and sometimes it will be healthy, sometimes not. It still deserves love, so even tho you kitty did not survive long, at least it had a great life with you and did not die alone in a shelter. If you adopt another kitty from a shelter I think it's unlikely it will also die, and insuring a quick visit to the vet will help for sure!

Leia answered on 2/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


It is believed that a mutation of coronavirus causes FIP. Coronavirus is extremely common in cats, and even cats with a high titre do not necessarily develop FIP (the percentage of coronavirus-infected cats developing FIP is actually quite small). The titre can also go up and down. However, since it seems that there's a link between coronavirus and FIP, it is important to remember that cats in any situation in which they live in groups--multi-cat households, shelters, and catteries--are more prone to being infected by coronavirus. I seem to remember reading that over 50% of cats carry the virus. Very few develop FIP. You and your kitten were among the unlucky ones. Catteries will publish information as to their cats not having FIV or FeLV, or, in the case of Maine Coons, the gene for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), but not mention the coronavirus titre--because it's so common for cats to have coronavirus. My sympathies are with you. FIP is a ghastly disease.

Chibi answered on 2/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I am so sorry this happened to u & ur kitty. I also lost a cat to FIP, 6 mon after adopting him from an animal shelter. I'm sure u have a million questions & concerns, much like I did. Reading about FIP, you will find it is a very interesting disease. Its caused by the corona virus which nearly every cat will come into contact with at some point in their life. A small percentage of these cats exposed to the corona virus experience some genetic mutation that results in FIP, while the majority of cats exposed to the corona virus do not get FIP. Any place that either has a large number of cats, or high frequency of animals coming & going, will have more disease. One article I read said 80-90% of cats in a cattery setting tested positive for corona virus. But even cats in a single pet household can have the corona virus (about 10-50%). Having the corona virus does NOT mean it has FIP. Only 5-10% of cats with the corona virus will develop FIP. Hope that helps & again I am very sorry

Charlie answered on 2/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer