HOW BREEDERS CAN HELP PREVENT FIP

Resistance is the ability of the immune system to cope with a disease. It is known that 50% of the incidence is heritable, and that resistance (or susceptibility) factors exist in both toms and queens. However, culling problem toms is the simplest genetic procedure to reduce incidence. Toms produce far more litters and kittens than queens, and therefore have a much bigger effect on the disease. Good judgment and husbandry will influence the other 50% of the equation.

Pick the largest and strongest in a litter to keep for breeding and avoid kittens that are slow growing and prone to other infections. Spay and neuter cats that throw FIP and adopt them into good homes.

Avoid stress and overcrowding; maintain only those cats deemed necessary for your breeding program and chose mating wisely to limit kitten numbers. Keep cats in small, separate groups. Consider isolating the kittens from the mother at weaning to avoid exposure to the virus. Don't mix very young kittens with older kittens. If you can limit coronavirus exposure until 12-16 weeks of age, when the immune system is better developed, the likelihood of developing FIP will be less.

Follow accepted protocols for vaccinations and practice good husbandry to limit other infections. Clean and disinfect cages and litter boxes regularly. The corona virus is easily killed by bleach and other disinfectants.