(Un)treatable Disease

Up close photo of cute cat.

It’s a medical miracle — for cats!! 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We would love to have our furry friends with us forever! However, a DEMON called Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or F.I.P, may rob cats of all nine of their lives. 

F.I.P is a fatal disease caused by a virus.  There are no effective vaccines or approved treatments for F.I.P. So what can we do to protect our precious kitties?

Niels Pedersen from UC Davis and collaborators gave it a shot — literally! They proposed using an antiviral drug developed to treat HUMAN coronaviruses to fight F.I.P. Researchers tested the new treatment on over thirty cats suffering from naturally occurring F.I.P. Cats were injected with the experimental treatment every day for at least twelve weeks. 

And . . . HOORAY! Around EIGHTY PERCENT of all treated kitties survived and remained healthy after the treatment! Compared to the almost zero survival rate without the medicine, this is a HUGE improvement!

Now, is there a miracle drug to stop my cat from peeing on my shoes when she’s mad? I’ll wait. 

Reference: Pedersen, N. C., Perron, M., Bannasch, M., Montgomery, E., Murakami, E., Liepnieks, M., & Liu, H. (2019). Efficacy and safety of the nucleoside analog GS-441524 for treatment of cats with naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(4), 271–281. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098612×19825701