Feline coronavirus
Clinical Signs
Treatment and Prevention

Created for Virology 334
Leo Perlinger, Dean Jeffery, 
Jeff Thomsen, Dane Richardson, 
Colin Brown

About the Virus

Group: Group I [(+)ssRNA]
Subgroup: 1a
Order: Nidovirales
Family: Coronaviridae
Subfamily: Coronavirinae

What: Feline Corona Virus (FCoV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus. 

Where: The virus is found world-wide and has two antigenically-similar forms that cause two very different diseases in cats. The most common form of FCoV is feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). Few cats ever contract the rarer and more serious version, feline infectious peritonitis coronavirus (FIPV).
As the name suggests, FECV causes enteritis in cats. These animals generally recover without ever exhibiting clinical signs and develop an effective immune response upon recovery. 

Although a large number of cats may be infected with FIPV, this serious virus causes infectious peritonitis (FIP) in only a few unlucky cats. There are two main forms of FIP (more accurately called feline coronaviral vasculitis), which are the leading infectious cause of cat death in the world. With the wet form, also known as effusive FIP, fluid collects in the abdominal and thoracic cavities, making breathing difficult. With the dry, or non-effusive form of FIP, generally only the eyes and/or brain are affected. Cats displaying clinical symptoms may express only one form of the disease, or a combination of the two. Even with therapy, once symptoms are displayed mortality is near 100%.

Who: Although FIP is a disease primarily affecting household cats, it has been observed in wild felids, including lions, leopards, jaguars, mountain lions, cheetahs, lynx, caracals, and the pallas cat.

How: Close contact with infected cats, or their saliva or feces, is required for transmission. Therefore, cats living in multiple-cat households are at a greater risk for contracting various strains of FCoV.

Goals of this Website:

1. To provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding feline coronaviruses and the diseases they can cause.

2. To provide pet owners information on how they can prevent FCoV infection in their animals.