Transmission of FIP

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) transmission occurs when a healthy cat comes in direct physical contact with an infected animal or with the feces (stool) of an infected animal. Infected cats shed coronavirus in their saliva and feces. Primary transmission occurs by ingestion of the virus by the fecal-oral route and, to a lesser extent, through saliva or respiratory droplets, followed by contact with an acutely infected animal that is shedding the virus.

FIP viruses can survive for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature on dry surfaces, including feeding bowls, toys, litter boxes, bedding, and clothing; and small particles of fecal material can adhere to the dust in cat litter. The virus conceivably could be spread via litter dust picked up on shoes, clothing, or another animal's fur.

If a mother cat is an FECV carrier, she can shed the virus to her kittens. Preventive measures, such as early weaning and isolation from the mother, are advised.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 01 Oct 2001

Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014