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FIP Warrior:


Ivan is our adored, almost 15 year old Norwegian forest Cat. This is his story. The take-away is that he is the 5% that has “lived with” FIP Ivan came from a very disreputable breeder. We have had him since he was 5 months old. We adopted him and his sister (Bagheera) when the breeder was shut down. Both Ivan and his sister are/were pure bred Wegies. Wegies are a special breed! They are incredibly smart, friendly, loving, talkers, snorers, chatterers and all around beautiful animals. There is no one who has met our Ivan that has not found him to be the friendliest cat with a serious personality that is almost dog-like if you read up on them, you will see that description…doglike. At 10 months old his sister died of FIP. It was a horrible death. She had the wet type and she just wasted away in front of us. She failed to gain proper weight between 5 and 10 months and she began to not eat, not groom and have issues breathing. At first the Vet could not figure out what was going on (from what I now know, that is common). However, after a few Vet visits, the Vet knew. We gave her antibiotics, injections to increase appetite, nutritional supplements, etc. Nothing worked. She had to be put to sleep. It was horrible! An autopsy confirmed FIP. After experiencing this with Bagheera, we had Ivan tested for FIP or more specifically the Coronavirus from which it mutates. Ivan had a high titer for it. It was in his system but he did not manifest the disease as his sister did. We were warned by our Vet that as Ivan aged the disease could take hold. At almost 15 it appears it has begun. He’s lost teeth and has had abscesses--the teeth are being pulled in a week. He’s experienced urinary issues (he’s on prescription food for it) and cataracts, he began to not eat (wasting). This is very food oriented cat- who has weighed anywhere from 12-14 lbs. in his life (Wegies are large cats)! I immediately sprang into action and got him to the Vet. The Vet feels that the gum disease and teeth issues are a by-product of the FIP, the urinary tract issues as well. We’re not so sure about the cataracts. However, his organs-lungs, heart, kidneys are still strong! The Vet placed him on strong anit-biotics, he’s getting Nutrical and we are free feeding him several times a day, small amounts. He’s doing pretty well! Now some of this sounds like pain old age and it is-- BUT the virus then begins to take hold because the cat’s immune system begins to deteriorate with age. Ivan has “lived with” the FIP virus in him for almost 15 years, it’s been dormant but has now woken up. FIP kills 95% of cats within their first year of life. The other 5% (of which Ivan is a part and for that I am eternally grateful) can and do live with it. It can be a ticking time bomb in their system though. I created a birthday fundraiser for Zen By Cat and am happy to see folks contribute! Finding a cure for this awful disease is so important. I am aware that there is a vaccine, however it was too late for our Bagheera and too late for Ivan, as the vaccine cannot help him now. I am just hoping to stay ahead of the FIP and insure Ivan has quality of life in his later years. I applaud the work that is being done to fight this disease and thank Zen By Cat for all they are doing!