FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) is caused by a coronavirus. Easily transmitted between cats, it is equally as easily cleared by most, but sadly in a small subset of cats, the virus changes from a non-pathogenic form to one that aggressively infects intestinal macrophages. Up until very recently, FIP was almost always fatal.
Peter Cohen’s FIP cats
Peter Cohen learned about FIP the hard way, like so many other cat parents whose cats succumbed to this dreaded disease. When he adopted two kittens, Peanut and Butter, in 2012, Butter thrived. Peanut was diagnosed with FIP, failed rapidly and was euthanized.
In 2016, Peter adopted a kitten named Bean, who was also diagnosed with FIP. He managed to get Bean into a drug trial with Dr. Niels Pedersen at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Sadly, Bean lost her battle after 31 days of treatment.
After Bean died, Peter adopted Smokey after seeing a post on a Facebook page from a couple in Long Beach, CA, who were desperately looking for help. They had been accepted into Dr. Pedersen’s drug trial, but the logistics of traveling from Long Beach to UC Davis were overwhelming.
Six years later, Smokey is thriving and has become an ambassador for ZenByCat.
ZenByCat’s mission is to raise awareness and money to help fight against FIP, specifically to raise money to help researchers bring the breakthrough drug that saved Smokey, along with other drugs like it, to market and help all cats that face FIP have the same chance at life as Smokey.
ZenByCat has no paid employees. 90% of all funds raised goes directly to funding ongoing FIP research, with only 10% reserved for overhead.
They are asking people to sign up for $10 monthly donations as this is the best way to help researchers receive a steady revenue stream. The cost of just two cups of coffee a month from thousands cat lovers can make a huge difference.
ZenByCat also offers a wealth of resources about FIP.
For more information and to donate, please visit https://www.zenbycat.org/.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.