Question by Cindy A: My cat recently died of FIP. Does the virus linger in the environment? When is it safe to get another cat ?
I am hoping a Veterinarian may see this and know the answer. FIP is short for Feline Infectious Peritonitis and it is a virus. I have found a wonderful cat at a shelter that I would like to adopt but I do not know if there is any risk of it catching this disease. My cat who died has not been in the house since July 9th. Does anyone out there know anything about this? Thank you for your help.
Answer by Pam and Corey
This site will give you EXCELLENT information. I’m sorry about your loss.
*Edited to add*
Dr. Addie’s answer:
“I have lost a cat with FIP – how soon can I get another cat? How long will my house remain contaminated with coronavirus?
Answer: FCoV is shed in the faeces, so the main area of contamination will be the litter tray, so clean and disinfect it thoroughly with a household bleach, such as Domestos, or Milton. Remember that microscopic particles of infected, dried up, litter could have been blown around the house or taken into other rooms on feet – so do a thorough vacuuming. FCoV can possibly survive up to 7 weeks in dried up faeces. FCoV is only shed in the saliva for a very few days at the beginning of infection, so it is unlikely your cat’s food bowls will be contaminated, and I expect you would give them a good wash anyway. Thankfully, FCoV is a relatively fragile virus and if you follow this advice, it is unlikely that your house will be infected for more than a few days. However, my advice would be to wait perhaps a month before introducing a new cat.
All the above assumes you only had one cat – the one who died of FIP. If you have other cats, it is likely that they, too, will be infected and you might choose to test them for FCoV antibodies every 3-6 months, keep them in small groups according to their antibody titres, and only get a new cat when your remaining cats’ antibody titres return to zero.
Remember to test the new cat for FCoV antibodies too!”
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!