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It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch a beautiful young kitten develop feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and die. Purebred (pedigree) kittens and young pedigree cats account for 70% of all deaths to FIP. This webpage will alert you to danger signs of early feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection and the early stages of FIP, when you go to buy a pedigree kitten and towards the end of the page there are resources for you to help increase FIP awareness and stamp out FIP if you would like to help with my campaign to eradicate FIP.
Before buying a purebred kitten you should ask 4 searchingquestions of the cat breeder, and look for 5 important signs to try toensure that the pedigree kitten you buy will go on to lead a full andhealthy life. Best of all: ask to see a certificate saying that the kitten you are to buy is negative for feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibodies: FCoV is the virus which causes FIP. Whatever you do, buy pet insurance for your pedigree kitten: if he or she develops FIP you can end up with a veterinary invoice in the thousands.
Already there havebeen successful prosecutions of breeders who have sold FCoV infected kittens, under both the UK and Australian Sale of Goods Acts and also the Prevention of Cruelty toAnimals Act. Cat breeders who sell kittens which are FCoVinfected and develop FIP risk being prosecuted or sued. However such is no consolation for people who have gone through the distress of watching their kitten sicken and die. Be sure that you choose your kitten from a GOOD cat breeder: one who is FCoV-aware and taking steps to breed FCoV-free (and so FIP-free) kittens.
May I see your littertrays?
Are the kittens FCoVantibody tested?
|Notice, or find out, how many cats are in the house|
|Look at the kitten's eyes -is there any sign of discharge? Are the 3rd eyelids showing?|
|Are the kittens running loose or are they in a room on theirown?|
|Is there any diarrhoea inthe litter tray, and which cat litter is being used?|
|What you can do to help save purebred kittens from FIP|
Four important questions to ask the breeder of the kitten youmay buy
Have thekittens had any diarrhea?
When the virus which causes FIP, feline coronavirus (FCoV),first infects kittens at around 5-7 weeks, they often experience diarrhoea.The diarrhea is usually self-limiting (i.e. it goes away without treatment)and may not be too severe, though sometimes it is severe. There are manyreasons for kittens to be diarrheic - e.g. food change, intestinal parasitesor protozoa such as Tritrichomonas foetus or Giardia - but FCoV isone of the most common and was found to be significantly associated withFCoV infection.
(Please excuse me swapping between the English and Americanspellings of diarrhoea - it is to help search engines find the information.)
Have the kittens had catflu signs?
Although cat flu has a number of different causes, another signwhich was significantly associated with getting infected by FCoV wassneezing and mild signs of upper respiratory disease. However, FIP was notassociated with ulcers in the mouth - that is usually caused by felinecalicivirus.
May I see your littertrays?
If litter trays aren't in evidence, ask to see them - see below for guidance on what to look for.
Kittens who have aFCoV antibody titre of zero (i.e. less than 1:10) should be safe to buy. Kittens tested using a test which screens the blood dilution at more than 1:25 will NOT be safe to buy, some laboratories begin at 1:100 or even 1:400: this will miss most infected kittens. There are many different FCoV antibody tests of widely varying quality on the market. The statementsmade on this website about antibody testing are ONLY relevant to the immunofluorescent antibody test used in the University ofGlasgow Veterinary School Veterinary Diagnostic Services and the recommended laboratories and test kits listed on the Feline Coronavirus Antibody page. These laboratories receive blood samples for FCoV antibody testing from all over the world, the samples don't 'go off' in the post, they will still give a relevant antibody titre even after 2 weeks in the mail. (For non-EU countries, check thelist of recommendedlaboratories and tests for FCoV antibodies .)
If you are shown acertificate, be sure to check the age at which the kitten was tested -kittens tested before they are 10 weeks of age may be infected but be too young to haveproduced antibodies of their own. For a negative antibody resultto be meaningful, the kitten should be at least 10 weeks old when tested. Bya negative FCoV antibody result, I mean an antibody titre of 0 or less than10. Watch out for tests which count as negative anything under 1 in 400(1:400) - this is far too dilute and will miss many infected kittens andcats, this is especially a problem in the USA.
You can buy akitten who has an antibody titre of greater than zero, if you fully accept the risks of doing so. The risksare two - first that the kitten could develop, and die from, FIP. Secondly,if you have other cats, the kitten could infect them and they could die ofFIP. You could get a further test - called FCoV RT-PCR - done on a faecal sample. FCoVRT-PCR testing will tell you whether the kitten is actually excreting virus.If the kitten is definitely infected, you may decide to look elsewhere for anegative kitten. If you heart is set on that particular kitten, rememberthat his or her faeces will pose a risk to any other cats you have at home - soget your own cat vaccinated with Felocell FIP (also known as Primucell), if you are in a country wherethe vaccine is available. Otherwise keep your kitten's litter tray away fromyour own cat and use a non-tracking cat litter, like World's Best. Tominimise the risk of FIP developing in the infected kitten, keep stresses toa minimum - see the catvirus.com webpage on preventing FIP.
Five important things to look for to try to ensure that thekitten you buy will go on to lead a full and healthy life
Look at the sizes of thekittens in the litter - are they all the same, or differentsizes?
This is probably the single most important thing you can easilycheck to maximise your chances of buying a FCoV-free purebred kitten. Makesure that the cat breeder shows you the whole litter of kittens - not justthe kitten he or she is proposing to sell to you. Look at the kittens in thephotograph on the left - see how they are different sizes. Two of these 3kitten littermates went on to die of FIP - first the one on the left - thebiggest kitten - then the poor little runt in the middle. Contrast them withthe Ragdoll littermates in the photograph on the right who are all roughly equal insize.
(I am grateful to CuanCats Ragdoll breeder for the Ragdoll photograph on the right.)
Notice, or find out, how many cats are in thehouse
FIP is most likely to occur in households which have too manycats relative to the amount of space available. Very often households withfewer than 10 cats will spontaneously eliminate FCoV infection. If there aremore than 6 cats in an ordinary house, cat behaviourists tell us that thosecats will begin to feel the stress of being overcrowded. Some breeders haveoutside runs to give the cats more space. Another consequence of having toomany cats in one environment is that the amount of coronavirus (and otherpathogens) builds up, even when the breeder is doing their best to behygienic. FIP is much more likely to develop when there cats and kittens arechallenged with a large dose of virus.
Look at the kitten's eyes -is there any sign of discharge? Are the 3rd eyelids (nictitating membranes) showing?
In my early studies, I found that a sign of FCoV infection inkittens was a history of mild flu-like signs. Check whether the kittens aresneezing or if they have a discharge from the eyes.
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Looking at the eyes is very useful also to notice whether the third eyelids are protruding more than is normal - that is a sign of a gut infection, often FCoV. You can practise on the photographs of the cats below: you can see two photos of Luca, the Russian blue cat (a and b) and Oreo (c) - in your opinion which cats have protruding nictitating membranes?
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Answer: photographs b and c show cats whose third eyelids are protruding slightly (see the green arrow in photograph b). I am most grateful to their guardians for allowing their photographs to be used. Nictitating membrane protrusion isn't a sign of FIP - it's usually a sign of a gut infection and unfortunately pedigree kittens often have an abundance of those: Giardia, Tritrichomonas foetus and other parasites and bacteria as well as coronavirus (Paris et al, 2014). There are other causes of this phenomenon, one is called feline dysautonomia and is a consequence of eating Botulism toxin in dry cat food. If you ever see a protruding 3rd eyelid, take your cat to see your veterinary surgeon immediately.
Are the kittens running loose or are they in a roomon their own?
In my first FCoVsurvey, we noticed that 50% of kittens who were allowed to mix with queens other than theirmothers, and/or kittens from other litters, became infected with FCoV. Only one third of kittens who were kept only with their littermatesand antibody positive mothers became infected, therefore breederswho allow their kittens free run of the house are much more likely to beselling you a kitten who will die of FIP. Breeders point out thatsocialisation of the young kitten is essential for the development of akitten who will make a good pet - while this is true, it's not an excuse forallowing the kitten to become infected with a life-threatening virus.
Is there any diarrhoea inthe litter tray, and which cat litter is being used?
FCoV, which causesFIP, is mainly shed in an infected cat's faeces and is then eaten or inhaled by asusceptible cat or kitten. FCoV is a very infectious virus.A typicalsign of early FCoV infection is diarrhea in the kittens and occasionallyadult cats - so have a look at the litter trays to see if you can spot anydiarrhea. It is also useful to look at the trousers and underside of cats'tails to see if there is any faecal matter adhering to it, which is anindication of loose stools. Of course there are many causes of diarrhoea incats other than FCoV infection, but FCoV is one of the most frequent, andserious, causes in pedigree kittens.
Look at the cat litter too - what kind is it? Is it trackingoutside of the litter tray? Cat litter which tracks all over the house onfeline and human feet is more likely to spread FCoV, than clumping,non-tracking litters. The litters that turn into sawdust are amongst theworst.
(top of page)
What you can do to help eradicate FCoV and FIP from purebred kittens
Help to educate cat breeders and veterinarians
Unfortunately many breeders are quite unaware of feline coronavirus (FCoV) and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP): sometimes because the kittens take many weeks or months to die of FIP in their new homes. If you know any cat breeders or veterinary surgeons, please inform them about this website. Please spread the word about FIP using any social media (Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, Instagram, etc) - even if you don't like this website, then choose one that is to your taste. If you want to inform somebody who isn't on the internet, there is my book 'Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Coronavirus' available from Amazon. For veterinary surgeons there is my free download 'FIP diagnosis algorithm.'
Please put our FIP awareness posters and photographs on your Facebook page, your website, blog, in your local veterinary surgery or any public place: sharing information saves cats' lives
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Maria Bonino, and the design genius of Magda Becerra catvirus.com can now proudly introduce a selection of beautiful posters with the key message: 'If you intend to get a purebred kitten, have him or her tested for FCoV antibodies BEFORE you buy.' The purpose of the posters is to increase FIP awareness and to encourage consumer pressure on breeders to ensure that their kittens are FCoV-free. These posters are open access and copyright free - we welcome you to personalise them: put your own logo on them (in the word doc version there is a text box for your logo), or translate them into your own language. At present, they are available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (thank you Cristina Sobrel) and Thai (thank you Anisa).
Below you will see thumbnails of the different posters, and below each, a link to either a jpg (high resolution photograph), or word docx which you can edit yourself and put your own logo into if you have the software to do so. In the docx you will see a text box which says 'Your Logo Here' where you can put your own logo or website or whatever you please. Please be patient, these are big files and may take quite a long time to download (they will open in a new window or tab and in some browsers they will simply download).
Please help yourself to these photographs and posters - please share them on your website, blog, your Facebook page, put them up in your library, veterinary surgery, anywhere people will be able to see them. If we can stop FIP in pedigree kittens, we will prevent 70% of all FIP. This can only be achieved by spreading awareness to put consumer pressure upon cat breeders to take FIP seriously and to breed feline coronavirus free kittens.
Bengal Birman kitten poster jpg (185 KB)
Bengal Birman kitten poster doc (2.7 MB)
British kitten poster jpg (160KB)
British kitten poster doc (xxxMB)
Buy pedigree / purebred kitten (105 KB)
Buy_purebred_kitten.docx (45 KB)
Acheter un chaton pure race jpg (196 KB)
Acheter un chaton pure race docx (2.7 MB)
Pensando comprar gatito? jpg (221 KB)
Pensando aquistare un gattino jpg (562 KB)
Pensando aquistare un gattino.docx (2.2 MB)
Gathino jpg(200 KB)
Gatihno_British_Shorthair_Bengal_Birman_PIF.docx (2.2 MB)
Thai poster pdf(5.4 MB)
Ein Bengal Kätzchen kaufe? (144KB)
In an amazing synchronicity, independently of our poster efforts, talented photographer and artist Kerry Bunyan was also designing beautiful posters for anybody to display. Kerry turned her sadness and anger at the loss of her beloved cat, Madi, against the virus who cruelly took her, by creating these beautiful posters for you to use if you wish ....
What lurks within is a hideous thing jpeg (98 kb)
Be feline coronavirus aware jpg in higher resolution (67.1 kb)
From FIP to RIP_- be coronavirus_aware.jpg (267 KB)
A Pedigree To Die For Pdf Free Download Free
It's what we must do if we really do care, ... (183 kb)
Kerry can be found on Facebook at Kerry Bunyan
Paris JK, Wills S, Balzer H-J, Shaw DJ, Danièlle A Gunn-Moore DA. 2014 Enteropathogen co-infection in UK cats with diarrhoea BMC Veterinary Research 10:13
A Pedigree To Die For Pdf Free Download For Windows 7
14 July 2017
A Pedigree To Die For Pdf free. download full
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