Cat With FIP: The Right Time To Euthanize?

Cat Euthanasia – Feline Infectious Peritonitis When is the Right Time to put your cat to sleep having FIP.

My first cat has a rare, fatal illness FIP and I must make the decision of when to euthanize it?

When we talk about FIP, the decision of when to put your cat down is a difficult one. With a heavy heart, I would say, there is no perfect answer to it. This situation is very different. However, there are some situations that you need to notice to decide on your cat’s euthanasia

In this article, I have uncovered some factors that will help you to make this tough decision. Before that let us understand what FIP is and some crucial information. 

What is Feline Infectious Peritonitis – FIP?

According to a UC Davis Veterinary Medicine paper, FIP is caused by a cat coronavirus; coronaviruses of diverse species exist in most kinds of animals and human beings and generally cause acute respiratory or enteric disorders.

FIP is the reason for the loss of life of 1 in 100 felines seen at vet teaching hospitals throughout the U.S. The occurrence can be five to ten times more among younger cats coming from shelters.

Also, it is the primary reason for belly fluid (ascites) and neurologic and intraocular inflammatory sickness in cats below 3-5 years of age. FIP is really 100% fatal and there’s no appropriate prevention.

The emotional toll of FIP is particularly great, as it moves suddenly weeks, months, or even years after preliminary infection.

Therefore, cat enthusiasts generally experience this sickness long after they have evolved strong emotional bonds with their new pet.

What Are The Final Stages Of Fip In Cats?

Stage 1:

You will see the loss of appetite and fever in the early stage of the illness.

Stage 2:

Here you will encounter dehydration, jaundice, weight loss, and anemia. Here the situation becomes more serious. 

Stage 3:

Ascites, kidney failure, and/or neurological signs are the most common symptoms. 

The severity of the symptoms depends on the cat. In fact, some cats even do not progress through all the 3 stages. However, most felines will reach stage 3 if they do not get the desired treatment. 

As FIP progresses, it decreases the quality of life of your cat. 

Symptoms of Feline Infectious Peritonitis

A type of symptoms can be visible in cats with FIP, depending on which organ system is affected. FIP can have an effect on the kidneys, liver, pancreas, or different organ systems.

Most felines will begin displaying symptoms of certainly not feeling well—consuming poorly, running a fever, or performing lethargy. Some animals will increase different diseases, relying on the form of the ailment present. There are main sorts of FIP:

Wet (or effusive) form: It causes bloating and swelling in the abdomen (ascites) and might have an effect on the heart and lungs. Cats with this form may also pant and act sleepy or lethargic.

Dry (or non-effusive) form: It usually impacts the eyes and might have neurological symptoms which include trouble with stability and seizures. 

These forms are specially used for diagnostic purposes, and one cat may also display symptoms from each form.

Because the signs and symptoms related to FIP are extraordinarily numerous and variable, it could be very tough to diagnose FIP based on medical signs alone. Conditions that have comparable signs and symptoms consist of abdominal tumors, infection with mycobacterium, toxoplasmosis, etc.

Diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis 

It is difficult to consume that FIP is very difficult to diagnose. Blood tests exist to see if your feline has been exposed to the virus, but with one exception of PCR. Your vet may examine your kitty and dig through the history of activities. Based on the symptoms, the vet may perform the following tests

  • Chemistry test to evaluate the liver, kidney, and pancreatic functions
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus(FIV) test
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) test
  • Electrolyte tests
  • abdominal/chest x-rays
  • Microscopic examination of abdominal/chest fluids
  • Complete blood count
  • Cardiac tests
  • Feline Coronavirus titer
  • FIP Virus PCR test

Treatment of Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Unfortunately, there’s no therapy for FIP; the severity of the contamination will decide the remedy, that’s restricted to supportive care based on symptoms.

Treatment might also additionally encompass the administration of fluids to deal with dehydration, antibiotics to deal with secondary infections, techniques to take away extra fluid from the chest/abdomen, using anti-inflammatory capsules called glucocorticoids, and dietary support. Additional remedies can be advised based on your feline’s condition.

Prevention of Feline Infectious Peritonitis

The best manner to shield your feline from this often deadly disorder is to keep her residing area, meals and water bowls, and litter box. Keeping your feline strictly indoors reduces her chance of exposure to extraordinary and probably infected cats.

Should I Euthanize My Cat With FIP?

Before deciding to euthanize your cat with FIP, look for the worst signs that I have mentioned below. These will help you decide whether to euthanize your cat or not. 

Stopped eating or drinking

If your furball is no longer eating or drinking on its own, it may be suffering. Dehydration causes a lot of discomfort or pain. Therefore, it is vital to give it essential fluids. 

In pain

If your feline is in pain, it may be the time to go for euthanasia. Felines are great in hiding pain. Therefore, make sure to consult the vet.

Unable to walk

If your feline is not able to walk, you may consider doing euthanasia. This is very true in case your feline is also having problems using the litter box. 

Neurological signs

If your feline is showing serious neurological signs like tremors or seizures, you may consider euthanasia. 

Stopped using the litter box

If your feline has stopped using the litter box, it may be the right time for euthanasia. 

Severe infection

If your feline is suffering from any severe infection like FIP, it may be the right time to consider euthanasia. It can be fatal.


If your feline has cancer, then you may euthanize her depending on her health. Cancer is very painful in cases and distresses both of you.

Severe allergy

If your feline has a severe allergy to the environment or food, it may be the right time to perform euthanasia. Severe allergies can cause distress and discomfort for you both.

Old age

If your feline is very old, it is the right time to perform euthanasia. 

Is Wet Fip Contagious?

Although this illness is not highly contagious, some infected felines may transmit the virus through feces, and body fluids. The infection occurs by ingestion or inhalation of the virus. 

How Long Can A Cat Live With Wet FIP?

The much less common form of the ailment is ‘dry FIP’ wherein there may be no increase of fluid. However, thick scar tissue develops on the feline’s inner organs.

Except in rare cases, wet FIP is deadly within about 5 weeks of diagnosis. The dry form is similarly lethal. However, affected cats can also additionally survive for some months.

How Do You Comfort A Cat With FIP?

The remedy of FIP is aimed toward making an affected feline comfortable. The cat has to be recommended to eat, and it must avoid stress.

Treatments with immunosuppressive drugs, together with corticosteroids, or immune modulators are frequently used, however, the advantages are limited.

Has Any Cat Ever Survived Fip?

Treatment of 20 evidently infected symptomatic cats is successfully done. Thirteen subsequently died, often relapsing after remission and death of neurological FIP in the brain.

Seven felines survived and seem to remain disease-free as of now, one as long as 1 year following remedy.