Saving My FIP Kitten. My kitten was diagnosed with the fatal FIP disease but there are options. Here’s what we are doing to save her.
Saving My FIP Kitten
Hi, friends. If you follow me on my Instagram account @tatertotsandjello, you have probably seen that our kitten, Pumpkin, was diagnosed with the fatal FIP disease a couple of months ago. At the time I had no idea what FIP was, but since then I have become very aware of how devastating this diagnosis is. I decided to write up a post about what we are doing to save her because after searching online there is almost no information on how to save FIP kittens, only terrible statistics and gloom.
BTW – I have nothing to do with the FIP Warriors page, the medicine or anything related to this FIP treatment. This is not an affiliate post. I am paying the same amount as anyone else. I just want to get the information out that there is an alternative to putting your kitten down.
There is Hope After an FIP Kitten Diagnosis
When I was told our kitten had FIP, our vet basically said she had only days left before we would have to euthanize her. But our vet also said there was a kind of sketchy-sounding alternative. But let’s back up and let me tell you about the warning signs of FIP that I didn’t know she had and how you can see if your kitten has some of the signs to get an FIP diagnosis as early as possible. We could have caught this faster if I had known what to look for.
What are the Warning Signs of FIP in Kittens and Cats?
Full blown FIP is very rare but there are still thousands of cats who get FIP each year. To understand, FIP is cause by a coronavirus in cats. It’s not the same as coronavirus in humans and cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals, except for cats. It’s estimated that 60-70% of cats have this virus at some point in their lives. But in a small percentage of cats it mutates into fatal FIP and it’s almost always in kittens under 2 years old. Usually kittens are infected when they are under 9 weeks old and they are infected from their mother shedding the virus in the litter box. The FIP virus can also be dormant for weeks and months until it becomes active.
Two Types of Active FIP Virus
There are 2 forms of active FIP — wet and dry. There are some similar symptoms in both types of active FIP. The first is a FEVER. The second is LETHARGY. The third is LACK OF APPETITE. In the wet form, the kitten’s stomach becomes distended because fluid builds up around their organs. In the dry form the kitten may lose their eyesight, lose balance and tilt their head to the side. These are signs to watch out for. Our kitten used to love to chase a laser pointer. She would sit in the corner of the room and wait for my husband to point it above her head. A couple weeks before we noticed she was sick she would still sit in the corner but wouldn’t chase the laser pointer. Now we know that she couldn’t see it. Her eyesight was failing. She became very tired. Then she wouldn’t eat.
It’s Hard to Get an FIP Diagnosis
The insidious thing about FIP is that it mimics other diseases. When our kitten wouldn’t eat for two days we took her to an emergency vet. She had a fever. She had blood work and an ultrasound done. The emergency vet said she had an upper respiratory infection. She was prescribed antibiotics. They gave us her bloodwork but she had some signs that would have let us know she had FIP. We didn’t take her to the vet for 10 more days because we thought the antibiotics would work. 10 days is a long time and during that time she went blind.
Things to Look for in Bloodwork to Indicate FIP
If we had known what to look for in her bloodwork we could have started her on medication sooner. If your cat/kitten has any of the signs above, have bloodwork done and look for these signs. LOW LEVELS of — RBC (red blood cells), HCT (hematocrit) and/or HGB (hemglobin). Sometimes just HCT is low. Low LYM (lymphocytes). HIGH LEVELS — NEU (neutrophils), TP (total protein), GLOB (globulin), TBIL (total bilirubin). For our kitten, everything was slightly elevated except for the globulin which was off the charts.
What To Do if You Think Your Kitten Might Have FIP
It’s very hard for to get a definitive diagnosis for FIP. What is FIP? Here is a link about FIP if you want to see how devastating it is. Our vet said that they would have to put her under and take samples but since she was blind, couldn’t walk and wouldn’t eat she said she was 90% sure it was dry FIP. Our kitten was days away from dying. Literally. Our vet told us about this black market drug that some people said might work but she couldn’t recommend it. Sketchy AF right?? But I fell in love with our kitten the first day we adopted her and I decided to look into it.
Af FIP UC Davis Study
There was a UC Davis trial that was done and had astounding results using Redemisivir. I am not going to go into it but follow that link and you can see. It showed that there is a drug that can cure cats of FIP. Here’s another article about FIP and the treatment. The problem is the stupid drug company won’t give clearance for the drug to be used on animals because they are trying to get it approved for the FDA on humans for Ebola. So how do you get the drug? This is the sketchy part but it DOES work.
Treatment Options to Cure FIP
There’s a facebook group for pet owners of FIP cats — FIP Warriors 5.0. You can join this group and you will be assigned an administrator who will help you figure out what dosage of medicine to give your cat and how to order the medicine. The medicine is made in China just an FYI, because they won’t give consent to have it made in the US. You will administer shots to your cat for at least 85 days while having your vet do bloodwork every month to monitor the levels. If your cat’s levels are stable after 85 days you can stop doing the injections and you have 85 days of observation and continued bloodwork. If after 85 days your cat’s bloodwork is stable and in normal ranges the whole time, your cat is “cured”. Here’s some statistics of cats being treated with this medicine at home by their owners.
FIP Facebook Warriors 5.0
I am in this group and I am talking to hundreds of cat owners who are going through the same thing I am. I have seen these cats cured. There are also owners in this FIP Warriors 5.0 group (thousands of people) that have cured cats. This cure has only been around since 2019 but there are owners in there that have cats who have been cured for over 2 years. Just keep in mind, an FIP diagnosis only says your cat will live for the max of FIVE weeks. Pretty impressive.
What Are the Drawbacks to FIP Treatment?
This is a way to save your kitten/cat. However, there are drawbacks. The main one is the cost. This FIP Facebook Warriors 5.0 medicine comes in the mail to you in unmarked vials that seems very sketchy. I can attest that they do work. Within three days our cat started getting her eyesight back and being able to walk. Within 2 weeks she was running around and healthier than she had ever been since we adopted her. The medicine is VERY expensive. The dosage depends on the weight of the cat. Our kitten only weighed 3 pounds when she was diagnosed so our cost was less than a bigger cat. But each vial of liquid was $100 and lasted about a week.
Side Effects of the Medication
After a week our kitten started swelling up and itching and we figured out that she was allergic to the medicine so we had to switch over to pills which is about twice as much as the liquid. And the injections are VERY painful because it burns the cat as it is injected. They also can have big lesions from the injections. The pills work and are easier to administer but cost more.
How our FIP Kitten is Doing Half Way Through Treatment
We are a little over half way done with treatment. Our kitten is so happy and doing amazing. Switching over to pills, although very costly, was necessary because of her allergy to the fluid in the injections. They recommend that you start out with injections because it is more effective immediately since the medicine doesn’t have to go through the GI tract. She has energy and is eating like a champ. At her first bloodwork vet appointment she gained 1.5 pounds in less than a month. Of course I am very nervous that there could be a “relapse”. Some cats relapse during their observation period and have to go back onto medication. But I have talked to owners who had cats relapse and then they go on to be cured after a second round.
How to Pay For FIP Medication
The medication, as I said, is very costly. Most people can’t afford it. But the FIP Warriors group helps you fundraise for your cat and most of the cat owners in there can help with donations or help amplify your gofundme fundraiser.
My Advice If You Think Your Kitten Might Have FIP
Going through this experience has taught me a lot. One thing is to be pro active about treatment. If we had caught the FIP warning signs right when our kitten had started showing symptoms we could have started her on medication sooner. She is doing great but I think it is harder to fight the disease when the cats are sicker.
Can Your Other Cats Get FIP From an Infected Kitten?
This question also has a lot of false information circulating around it. Once your kitten’s FIP mutates into active FIP it is not contagious. Everyone I have talked to in the FIP Warriors 5.0 page who has multiple cats said that their other cats are around the sick kitten and it does not spread. This is backed up by science. Kittens can get the disease from their mother when she is shedding it in the litter box when they are nursing. Multiple kittens from the same litter can get the active form since they were exposed at such a young age.
There is an FIP vaccine but since they are exposed to the virus before they are old enough to get the vaccine it doesn’t protect them. But your older cats that are around the FIP kitten will not get infected because the virus has mutated. I hope that makes sense.
Updates on Our FIP Kitten
I will update you on this post with how Pumpkin is doing as she goes through this treatment. She has another appointment for her second round of bloodwork next week. Our vet was amazed at the results of the first round of bloodwork. Everything was back into normal range expect for one marker which could have been a lab error. But also from speaking to cat parents in the Facebook FIP Warriors 5.0, a lot of people reported not much progress in bloodwork at the 4-week mark, but much better results at the 8-week mark, which is where we are now. So I will let you know!
Leave Me FIP Kitten Questions
Let me know if you have any questions by commenting them on this post. I will respond in a comment publicly so people can see them and hopefully it will help FIP kitten parents. I really am hoping by sharing our experience, we can share that there are options after an FIP diagnosis besides euthanasia. Also – if you would like to help us by donating to our GOFUNDME for Pumpkin, I would be eternally grateful! And you can follow along with our FIP journey and see how Pumpkin is doing in real time by following my instagram page @tatertotsandjello!
Please PIN and share this post so we can spread awareness about this treatment and SAVE kittens!