Table 1: Commonly encountered features of signalment, history and physical examination seen in cats with feline infectious peritonitis
SignalmentYoung (often <2 years); male; breed*
HistoryBackground: recent stress (vaccination, rehoming, new cat, surgery); multicat household (current/historical)
Health: weight loss/failure to thrive; inappetence/anorexia; lethargy; pyrexia of unknown origin (non-responsive to antibiotics; +/- fluctuating); behavioural change, ataxia, seizures
Physical examinationAbdominal distention/fluid thrill test for ascites; palpable mass; uveitis; jaundice; pyrexia; restrictive dyspnoea with dull lung sounds (pleural effusion); neurological deficits; lymphadenopathy
  • *Non-pedigree cats make up the majority of cats presenting with FIP (80% in a recent study [Richards 1995]). However, various prevalence studies have identified increased incidence in certain pedigree breeds. The breeds identified of having increased risk vary from country to country, suggestive of either country-specific blood lines being more of a factor or reporting bias within the local pedigree cat communities