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Scientists’ Breakthrough In Fighting Deadly Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

February 5, 2016 by Ozzi Cat Magazine in Cat News

White Siamese Kitten - Cat With Big Ears

Scientists from Cornell University has conducted a research that will help developing working vaccines and treatments for Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). The breakthrough gives a hope to cats suffering from FIP, which currently is deemed incurable.

Feline infectious peritonitis is a viral, incurable disease in cats. It is caused by Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus, which is a mutated Feline Enteric Coronavirus. Cats get infected by inhaling or ingesting the coronavirus (for example, through licking). Usually it happens in the contact with faeces, contaminated food dishes and clothes. A mild diarrhea is one of the signs of the infection. In some cases, the coronavirus mutates. This has the potential to develop Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Not all infected cats develop FIP.

Gary R. Whittaker, Professor of Virology at College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell, and other scientists conducted a study which helped to better understand the virus attacking cats.

The research took a different approach to the previous studies. Instead of a genetic approach, the scientists focused on a biochemical point of view. They looked at the function of the virus. The scientist have been studying it for almost three years. With the new approach, they made a breakthrough discovery.

The next step is to develop an effective vaccine and treatment for cats with feline infectious peritonitis. Cornell scientists gave cats the first hope for prevention and treatment of the deadly FIP.

How To Protect Cat From Getting FIP

To minimise the risk of feline infectious peritonitis in your cat, especially in places where a large group of cats live (e.g. shelters, rescues, catteries, cat colonies, breeding households), follow these steps:

  • Keep your cat healthy. Provide proper nutrition.
  • Minimise exposure to infections. Keep vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Avoid crowded environments, as they can cause stress in cats. Stress can weaken the cat’s immune system, which needs to fight the virus.
  • Keep the litter box away from food and water bowls.
  • Keep the litter box clean. Disinfect, if you have multiple cats in the household.
  • Remove faeces from the litter box every day.
  • Have a regular cat health check and seek help promptly with your veterinarian.

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Photo by: TaniaVdB. H/T: Cornell Research
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