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What Causes FIP in Cats?


Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), also known as "Feline Coronavirus," is an infectious disease caused by a weakened immune system. This leads to inflammation of blood vessels, potentially damaging various organs, particularly those in the abdomen, chest, eyes, and nervous system. The culprit behind FIP is a mutated form of the feline coronavirus (FCoV), called FIPV. This mutation allows the virus to replicate within cells, enter the bloodstream, and spread throughout the body, causing widespread infection and inflammation.

Triggers for FCoV Mutation into FIPV

The primary cause of FCoV mutation into FIPV is a weakened immune system. Common factors contributing to this include:

  • Stress: High stress levels in cats trigger the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses the immune system.

  • Relocation or Travel: Cats are prone to stress when their environment changes.

  • New Household Members: Introducing new pets can cause stress for both the newcomer and existing pets.

  • Vaccination: Vaccinating a cat with an already weakened immune system can sometimes overwhelm their defenses, making them more susceptible to FCoV mutation.

  • Neutering/Spaying: Anesthesia used during these procedures can temporarily suppress the immune system.

  • Repeated FCoV Exposure:  Frequent exposure to FCoV, often seen in multi-cat households with inadequate litter box hygiene, can strengthen the virus and increase the risk of mutation.

However, all of this just some common cause that usually found, now still have others reason that might effect to your feline companion.

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