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Cat Infectious Peritonitis: What You Need to Know


Has your cat been recently diagnosed with cat infectious peritonitis and you find yourself seeking answers? Are you familiar with the causes and symptoms of this virus? We know how hard it can be to suddenly discover your beloved cat has a virus you may not have even heard of, especially one that can be fatal.

What is Cat Infectious Peritonitis?

According to WebMD, cat infectious peritonitis is a viral disease that can be found all over the world. It affects both domestic and feral cats. This type of viral disease comes from the virus coronavirus, discovered and isolated in 1970, and results in attacking the cat's intestinal wall, among other issues. The disease manifests in either wet form or dry form, explained below.

What are the Causes of and Symptoms of Cat Infectious Peritonitis?

Orange Cat Sleeping

A cat will become infected through contaminated feces. Unfortunately, the virus can remain dormant for months or even years before signs and symptoms begin to show. This means that the cat can be a carrier of the virus and shed it through their feces, which in turn can infect other cats.

A cat who is suffering from cat Infectious Peritonitis may exhibit a fever that does not respond to antibiotics, along with weight loss and fatigue symptoms. For those who have the wet form of the virus, there is typically accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity and/or chest cavity, which causes difficulty in breathing. Cat's who have fluid in the abdomen show signs of abdominal distension.

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For cats who exhibit the dry from of cat infectious peritonitis, symptoms can include inflamed cells in organs. For example, affected kidneys often results in extreme thirst and frequent urination, along with vomiting and weight loss.

Diagnosing Cat Infectious Peritonitis

This can be a challenge because, at this point in time, there is no verifiable test that determines if a cat has intestinal coronavirus, which is harmless, or cat infectious peritonitis which can be fatal. However, your veterinarian will still run a test. If positive result can point to cat infectious peritonitis, but is not always inconclusive. On the other hand, a negative test typically means your cat probably does not have the disease.

How to Make Your Cat Comfortable while Recovering from Cat Infectious Peritonitis

Woman Holding Cat
Unfortunately, for cats suffering from this virus, not much is available to cure the virus. In fact, most veterinarians are only able to treat the symptoms of the virus to keep your cat comfortable.
However, according to VCA, there may be a breakthrough in treating for this deadly virus. Upon diagnosis of cat infectious peritonitis, owners need to decide whether to choose palliative care, such as medication and fluids to keep the cat comfortable or opt for euthanasia, especially if the cat is severely suffering.
The breakthrough scientists have discovered is an antiviral protease inhibitor called GC376. They tested this inhibitor on eight cats. Out of eight cats, six fully recovered while two needed euthanasia. The six cats who recovered have remained healthy and have not relapsed.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Cat Infectious Peritonitis

The best way to keep your cat safe is to keep him indoors where he can use a cat litter box. If your cat likes to spend time outdoors, chances are he could pick up the virus through infected feces.
However, if your cat loves to frolic in the outdoors, it's important to use a cat litter than let's you know if your cat's health has changed. PrettyLitter is the world's best cat litter because it makes it easy to know if your cat has experienced a change in health by changing color. If you notice a color change in your PrettyLitter, it is important to take your cat to a veterinarian right away with a list of any symptoms you may have noticed.

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