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Coronavirus in Cats



This disease is difficult to treat and requires good supportive care. With the non-effusive form, treatment may be given using antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and immunosuppressive drugs to slow the progress of the disease spread. This is not a cure, but a way to make your cat more comfortable and to prolong its life by a few months. Your veterinarian might decide to remove accumulated fluid from the cavities to reduce pressure as well.


If your cat has the effusive form of FIP, there is usually no way of treating the symptoms in any meaningful way, as the disease spreads too rapidly.


The overall prognosis for affected cats is poor. There is no specific treatment which seems effective and most patient die due to complications.


Living and Management


Unfortunately, this disease carries a bad prognosis for affected cats. Only supportive treatment can given. Your veterinarian will offer you some suggestions for making your cat comfortable, but the best that can be hoped for is a few months of additional time. Any treatment that is given is meant only to mitigate the symptoms of the disease, there is no cure.


Once your cat has been diagnosed with this infection it has passed the stage of contagion and it is not necessary to quarantine the cat from the rest of the household. In general, the only way to protect your cat from this aggressive disease is to practice routine disinfection of your cat's living areas, food/water utensils, and cages.


It is essential to isolate new litters of kittens from other cats (not their mother) to prevent contact with this, or any other, disease. If the mother is found to have been infected, taking the kittens away will not improve their chances, since by that time they have already been exposed to the virus. Indeed, the antibodies in her milk may protect them from infection while they are still small. In addition, owners should restrict their indoor cats from going outdoors. Because the FIP virus can infect developing fetuses, you should discuss this with your veterinarian before breeding your cat. There may be vaccine available, or at the least, a test that can tell you if your cat is carrying a coronavirus.


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