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Unread 01-11-2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is this FIP, stress, or something else?

Can anyone say with certainty my cat, Tabbitha, has wet FIP? Or is this simply a case of extreme social stress in a cat? I simply cannot afford a veterinarian. I have to base my knowledge on research, so I figured I'd ask a forum as well as look up as much as I possibly can. It's always good to get personalized answers.

Symptoms:
* Very bloaty belly. It is not hard, her belly is rather squishy as if it's filled with air.
*Weight loss: her spine and pelvis are very prevalent.
* Loss of appetite - she has almost, but not quite, stopped eating dry cat food and the amount of canned - wet - cat food she eats is dropping.
* Very lazy and inactive.
* No desire to play anymore.

Things that have NOT appeared in the cat:
*Jaundice
*Excessive displays of affection
*Seizures
*Excessive thirst, she drinks normally

Background
Tabbitha is female and she is about 11 years old. She was quite malnutritioned as a kitten for the first 6 months of her life until we rescued her. She was also, presumably, the runt of the litter and a long time ago a vet said she may have a shorter lifespan because of all this.
Recently, we got another kitten. Now, Tabbitha has never gotten along with any other animals or people well at all. She has always been extremely timid. This kitten, named Cinnamon, is very aggressive and playful and often tries to harass Tabbitha, but we firmly punish her for it so while it still happens it has calmed down quite a bit.
Cinnamon came from a filthy cesspool of a house that was chocked full of cats dogs and people and I now fear she may have been carrying FECV and has passed it onto Tabbitha, where it mutated into wet FIP. However, in this household we clean the litterboxes daily and replace the water daily, so it would have had to come from Cinnamon's previous dwellings.
These symptoms only started occurring after we got Cinnamon. Strangely, she still meows and begs and gets very excited over being given canned cat food, but she does not eat nearly as much of it as she used to. Other than that, all the other symptoms - and lack of symptoms - have been described above...

Ultimately, I want to know: is this more than likely FIP? Or could this actually be entirely due to simple stress and anxiety because Tabbitha has been an antisocial cat her whole life? Or is it something else? Again, I absolutely cannot afford a vet. The vets around here are incredibly greedy, and they will insist upon having a bunch of tests performed, and we just can't afford it.

Below are pictures of my cat.
Tabbitha B.jpg

Tabbitha A.jpg

Tabbitha C.jpg

Tabbitha D.jpg

Thank you for taking the time to read this and help me. I hope with your help and I can give Tabbitha the appropriate care she needs and that she can get better.
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Unread 01-11-2015   #2 (permalink)
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Your cat sounds extremely ill and needs a veterinarian. I do not understand why she hasn't been given this basic medical care yet.

If you can afford to adopt a kitten you certainly can afford to take your senior cat to the vet.

As for "punishing" the kitten for being a kitten, what the heck? Kittens are kittens, they play. Stop punishing the kitten for being a kitten. Take your sick cat to the vet and play with the kitten yourself.
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Unread 01-11-2015   #3 (permalink)
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I apologize for my bluntness. I should have waited to calm down after reading your post before answering.

I would like to know what you mean by "punishing" Cinnamon. Perhaps the word doesn't fit the deed.

Kittens should never be "punished" for being kittens. Redirection is the proper way to handle it. When Cinnamon tries to play with Tabbitha the thing to do is to redirect Cinnamon to another Game, with you.

Give Cinnamon a stuffed animal she can use to pounce on and attack and bunny kick. You can certainly remove Tabbitha from the room, but there is no point in punishing Cinnamon, she won't understand she will only learn to fear you. Cats need redirection and positive reinforcement.

As for Tabbitha, she needs a vet, and she needs a vet immediately. Yes, she will need expensive tests. There is no test on a live cat for FIP. But there are tests for cancer. A cat filling up with fluid could be FIP or could be cancer. Gas is hard, not squishy.

If the tests are out of your reach financially the vet may recommend palliative treatment of the symptoms and letting her go when she begins to suffer too much. That she can't eat says that she is already feeling pretty badly.

A diuretic may be tried, to reduce the fluid. This may or may not be effective. A course of steroids MIGHT give her some quality of life for a short time and is worth a try. But if she doesn't improve quickly on the diuretic and steroids, it will be time to end her suffering. I am sorry you are faced with this, it's the hardest part of owning a pet, but Tabitha needs you to get her to the vet.


That her symptoms showed up after Cinnamon arrived may or may not be coincidence. Cinnamon may be a carrier, has she been tested for FeLV, FIV and corona virus?

If Tabbitha was already sick, the stress of the new kitten could have brought the illness to a head. Cats are usually sick for a very long time before symptoms begin to show.

It is my experienced opinion that Tabbitha was already sick, and the stress of the new addition has simply brought it to an extreme point. It's not a matter of fault that this happened this way, so don't blame yourself. It may have just hurried things along, but Tabbitha, I think, has probably been ill for a long time. Cats hide illness, it is in their nature to do so.

Tabbitha needs the vet, urgently.
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Last edited by acerlt; 01-11-2015 at 10:04 PM.
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