Tricia

My Cat was Diagnosed with FIP. What Now?

September 4, 2020

Receiving an FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) diagnosis is heart-wrenching. If your cat was recently diagnosed with FIP, you are likely overwhelmed with information. Trying to navigate it all while your heart is breaking is no easy task. Use this list to help.

Before you begin, you should know that the drug used to treat FIP, GS-441524, is non-regulated and non-FDA approved. Because of the overwhelming success of this drug in the treatment of FIP, ZenByCat has chosen to provide information to cat owners, so they can make educated decisions about their cat’s health. If you have any reservations about using GS-441524, please click here to read information from the FIP researcher, Dr. Niels Pedersen. We do not prescribe or supply GS-441524 and cannot guarantee any outcomes.

  1. Check out the website FIPWarriors.com to get access to information, support, and treatment. You are not alone. Many, many cat owners around the world have faced an FIP diagnosis. Thanks to research by Dr. Niels Pedersen and his team, many cases of FIP have been cured by a medicine called GS-441524.
  1. Follow instructions on the FIP Warriors site and give them information about your cat
    When you make your first post, a moderator will respond to you and ask you for some information about your cat. This information will help your administrator make recommendations about treatment for your cat. If possible, include a video of your cat walking and a picture of their eyes.
Curio's eyes showing signs of dehydration but no ocular symptoms on the day of diagnosis.

At this point in the process, you will be contacted by an FIP Warrior Admin. These wonderful people volunteer their time to help people like you through the treatment process.

  1. While you are waiting for an Amin to get in touch, review this Frequently Asked Questions post.
  1. Arrange for a few emergency doses of GS-441524 and begin treatment ASAP.
    You may have a million questions about treatment. You may not be sure how much it will cost to treat your cat or whether you can possibly afford it. You may not know whether you want to do pills or injections. You may not have known this was even a choice. However, the sooner you start treatment with GS-441524, the better chance your cat has of surviving FIP.
  1. Ask your vet for a blood chemistry panel.
    Your vet may already have done blood work to look for common FIP markers. If they have, post the results in the comment section of your first FIP Warriors Facebook post. If they haven’t, request blood work that includes hematology and chemistry. You will track your cat’s progress through specific markers; knowing your cat’s starting point is helpful.
Bloodwork characteristic of FIP. Please note, not ALL cats who are FIP positive will display these markers. Consult your vet and FIP Warriors Admin.
  1. Evaluate your finances.
    Treating FIP is expensive. There is no way around that. Your FIP Warriors Admin can help you better understand the cost of treatment for your cat, but they cannot guarantee a price or an outcome. Consider the cost of the GS-441524, needles and syringes, blood work, and supportive care. This is a difficult moment for all cat owners, but it can be particularly challenging for those who cannot afford it without help.
  1. BEFORE you decide not to treat because of the cost, explore your options.
    If you cannot afford the treatment on your own, consider crowd-funding options such as GoFundMe. Many owners have their cat’s treatment partially or fully funded through these sites. Other owners create products and sell them to fundraise for their cat’s treatment. You may also ask your vet if they have programs such as CareCredit that can help you pay for services in installments.
Click here to visit GoFundMe and see the fundraisers for other FIP Warriors
  1. Choose your treatment option.
    If you choose to continue treatment with GS-441524, then there are multiple options. Your cat’s specific condition, your financial situation, and your preferences will determine which treatment option is the right fit. Talk to your admin about which method and brand is best for you.
  1. Talk to your vet about supportive care.
    Getting your cat on GS-441524 is the most important step toward helping them survive FIP. Some cats also need a bit of additional support such as an appetite stimulant or anti-nausea to help control the symptoms of FIP. Most supportive care is not required once the GS-441524 is in full effect. If your vet finds that your cat has a secondary infection that requires antibiotics, please read the post on the FIP Warriors FB page about which antibiotics are recommended to give when treating with GS-441524.

    If your vet is not willing to participate in your cat’s care because GS-441524 is not FDA-approved, reach out to your local chat; they may be able to help you find a supportive local vet.
  1. Track your cat’s progress and dosage requirements.
    Relying on your observations of your cat’s behavior to understand their progress is not ideal because improvement may not be linear and problems may not be visible. Create a spreadsheet to record your cat’s weight, dose, temperature, appetite, litter box habits, and any other observations that are significant for your particular cat (for example, the circumference of their belly if they have a swollen abdomen.)
An example tracking chart. Observations should be customized for your cat’s needs.
  1. Breathe
    Treatment of FIP is a difficult process. You may experience highs and lows, hope and anxiety. Don’t forget to breathe. You are giving your cat the best chance at surviving this devastating illness. Reach out to the community when you need support or have something to celebrate. You are not alone.

I know you are just beginning this process. However, please consider donating to FIP Research through ZenByCat. Ninety percent of all donations go directly to FIP Research. The other ten percent of donations go toward efforts to raise additional funds through raffles, corporate sponsorships, and more. Just $10 a month can help researchers continue their work to save the lives of millions of cats who are or will be afflicted with FIP. Join the FIP Warriors Club to join the fight against FIP.


You can also support ZenByCat’s mission by purchasing from our online store.

This blog was written by Tricia for and in support of ZenByCat and our efforts to end FIP for all cats.   Look for more blogs relating to FIP coming from her going forward.

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