Devons, a small, lively breed (5–9 pounds adult weight, sometimes a little larger depending on family lines), eat and drink about three times as much as ordinary cat-cats. Just hours old, Devon babies can easily drink 3 cc of milk.
Young kittens wean to wet canned food first before learning to eat dry food. All things being relatively equal, our food choices are based on what the kittens and cats really like and will eat readily.
Kittens eat 2-3 meals a day of wet canned food (Royal Canin Mother and Babycat or Royal Canin kitten):
At about 5-6 weeks of age kittens begin eating Blue Buffalo Wilderness kitten dry food (chicken recipe):
Leave dry food out (free feeding) so that your kitten or cat can snack throughout the day and night unless weight gain is an issue with an adult. Continue the wet food for kittens for at least 2-3 months after you bring them home. Devons and especially Devon Rex kittens need calories all day and night long to fuel their antics and loving adventures.
Adults do very well eating the high protein foods Blue Buffalo Wilderness (chicken recipe) mixed with 50% Crave (chicken formula). It is recommended that you feed your kitten or cat a balanced feline diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not require veggies and may find foods with herbs and vegetables hard to digest. Look for AAFCO labeling on food bags and cans to assure that the food meets the nutritional levels established for felines. Kittens should be started on the foods they are familiar with here; if you wish to switch foods, do so gradually to avoid digestive upset. Devon Rex kittens and cats love to eat and a few human snacks and tidbits can be shared. Avoid spicy foods and foods with garlic and onion. Many Devons are food thieves and a few pilfered treats won’t hurt them.
Adult Cat Foods:
Blue Buffalo Wilderness (chicken recipe): https://bluebuffalo.com/dry-cat-food/wilderness/chicken/
Provide as much water as your kitten or cat will drink. Cats have a relatively weak thirst drive. The amount of water they need varies with the type of diet they eat, their level of activity, and the environmental conditions in which they live. Those who eat only dry food (many cats prefer only dry) will drink much more water. Healthy cats can survive large losses of body fat and protein, yet the acute loss of 10-15% of body water may be lethal. Part of their water requirement is provided in their diet, the amount depending on the type of food. Cats eating canned food may not need to drink at all. Wet canned cat food contains 78-82% water.
If your new kitten refuses or is reluctant to drink water, he or she may be finding the odor or taste of his/her new water objectionable or the dish or bowl the water is in may not be to kitty’s liking. A cat can readily detect odors and flavors we cannot. Fort Worth has very good water but it is quite hard, containing abundant calcium and magnesium and a few other constituents. Your water may contain many more minerals, like iron or manganese, for example, or less minerals (“soft” water). What you can do if your kitten balks at drinking your water is buy bottled water, then gradually mix more and more of your water with the bottled water until the kitten becomes acclimated to his/her new water. Or, try an ounce of club soda (carbonated water) to 16 ounces of ordinary water if you’ve got some handy – cats love carbonation and that might do the trick to get kitty jump-started on its new water.
All kittens and cats are housebroken when you get them; just show them the litter box and make sure they can get to it and into it comfortably and without distractions. Here, kittens and cats use Tidy Cat clumping litter (“Instant Action” formula). It has great odor control and is easy to scoop. Devons are very good about using their litter boxes and kittens adjust well to other brands of cat litter. Pine, cedar, and alfalfa products may cause allergies in some kittens or cats. Experiment and find a good product balance for you and your kitten(s) and cat(s). Cats don’t seem to care one way or another about brands of litter as long as they have clean, fresh litter. If you opt for a covered, hooded litter box system make sure your Devon doesn’t outgrow it as he/she ages. What worked for a small kitten may not work for a longer, taller, bulkier adult. Please make sure a young kitten is comfortable using a mechanical litter box systems if you opt for one of those.
Some of our clients have trained their Devons to use the toilet. Products are commercially available to aid toilet training.
Core 3&1 vaccinations (FVRCP)
Before they leave home, kittens here routinely receive two core 3&1 vaccinations (Merial PureVax Feline 3, a modified live, non-adjuvanted FVRCP vaccine) and two check-ups by our excellent licensed veterinarian.
The FVRCP consists of coverage for the three main diseases implicated in feline disease: Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), Feline calicivirus (FCV), and Feline panleukopenia (FPV).
Your veterinarian may recommend a second FVRCP booster after 16 weeks of age depending on your location and your risk factors. There is some thought that maternal antibodies might interfere with a kitten’s immune response to vaccinations at a young age. We have always done just a first vaccination and a booster, followed by an annual booster. After that, we are on an ‘every three year’ plan for adult vaccinations.
Diagnostic testing via PCR panels specific for feline upper respiratory infections (URI) have become widely available. A recently vaccinated kitten may have positive results when tested via PCR and this is not cause for alarm. Due to the nature of the PCR test itself, both live (field or vaccine strains) and inactivated (killed) virus may be amplified and then detected. Thus, a positive PCR test result on a sample from an individual kitten has little meaning in and of itself. It does indicate that your kitten did, in fact, recently receive his/her vaccinations.
Feline Leukemia vaccinations (not recommended)
Your kitten comes from a Feline Leukemia negative closed-cattery and Feline Leukemia (FeLV) shots are not recommended. I don’t trade cats or provide stud service and all new incoming cats or kittens have always been fully tested. Thus, by having a “closed” cattery our risk for contacting diseases is and has always been very minimal. Feline Leukemia is a hard disease to catch, so, as an indoor kitty your kitten or cat is not likely to ever encounter it. The exception would be through another resident indoor/outdoor kitty whose FeLV status is unknown, or if your kitten or cat escapes. Even then, it takes some good biting to make it happen. Feline Leukemia is not readily picked up by a feline anywhere or walked into the house by you or your guests. FeLV is at low rates within the United States cat population – usually under 5% in North America. The Feline Leukemia shots are implicated in feline sarcomas – aggressive cancers at the site of injection. Feline Leukemia shots are now given in a leg so that if cancer develops, the leg can be amputated and the kitty will live. If you’re going ahead with this shot and booster, please know that mixing the Feline Leukemia shot with a 3&1 or 4&1 may crash your kitten’s immune system or make kitty very sick. Shots should always be given separately at 2-3 week intervals, or longer. Individual kittens are not routinely tested, but can be if a prospective owner so desires.
Rabies shots are required by most vets for their clients’ pets. Many cities, counties, and states require a rabies shot, usually every year or every three years depending on the area of the country (Texas rabies shots are good for 1 or 3 years; younger kittens get the 1 year shot; older adults get a 3 year shot).
Rabies vaccination is often a good idea – it protects your cat from accidental exposure to the rabies virus and also protects the cat from unnecessary quarantine or euthanasia for testing if he or she should ever bite someone.
Once in awhile a Devon kitten or cat will react poorly to their rabies vaccination. As with other shots, a rabies shot is best when given alone, and this is usually the last shot a kitten receives (immunity factors evolve better for rabies given later in a kitten’s life). It is too much for a small kitten to receive both a rabies shot and a 3&1 or 4&1 vaccine together. The core shots can irritate the kidneys and in combination with rabies shot a kitten’s immune system may be overwhelmed and compromised. Go back and get the kitten’s rabies shot later.
Although vaccination reactions seldom occur, they are always a possibility. If your kitten or cat vomits or seems to be in extreme distress 20-60 minutes after vaccination – return to the vet immediately. If your kitten or cat exhibits undue lethargy or has a temperature and feels very hot or refuses to eat the day of or in the next days after being vaccinated, consult your veterinarian. It is best to schedule vaccinations a few days ahead of the day(s) your vet is closed just in case you need to take your kitty in the next day. Treatment will have your kitten/cat back to normal within hours.
Human Cat Allergies
I do not advertise our Devon Rex as hypoallergenic because everybody is different. However, about 65-70% of our clients have bona fide cat allergies, myself included. Your oral and written contract calls for the disclosure of anyone in your household who has allergies to cats. People and children can react to proteins found in pet oils, saliva, and urine. Pet dander carries the skin oils produced by your cat or kitten.
While Devons work for 98% of all those with allergies, sometimes special care is necessary. Those with allergies should be excused from cleaning litter boxes. Bathing your kitty every week or every two weeks helps. So does good housekeeping (vacuuming, dusting, mopping, changing your HVAC filters every month). Just wiping your kitty down daily with a damp paper towel is sufficient to remove dander that carries the oils from skin or saliva.
Those with allergies do report that they build tolerance to their Devons in 2-3 weeks time. Pricks from the nails of kittens or cats may become inflamed, raised, and itchy in those who suffer from allergies; this mild reaction usually recedes fairly soon – just wash and forget them. Remember to trim kitten nails weekly as a precaution against accidental pricks.
Although Devon Rex make good family members for most all people who have pet allergies, unfortunately some people will not be able to tolerate a Devon Rex. Reactions may be immediate or take 2-3 weeks to develop. Allergens may remain in a house after a Devon has been rehomed, so allergy symptoms may linger for as long as six months, even with good housekeeping and cleaning. It is best to answer the breeder’s questions before getting a Devon Rex if there is a possibility of allergic reactions. It is also best, for a quick but non-definitive check, for the person with allergies to visit with a Devon Rex first before everyone gets too excited by the thoughts of adopting a cute Devon Rex kitten.
Declawing is not recommended and it is a violation of your oral and written agreement with me. Declawing a cat may result in serious behavioral problems, biting and litter box avoidance included. Devons are not claw destructive and use their paws to hold, toss, touch, and play with toys and other items.
Softpaws: Devons love to jump and often leap to their owners’ shoulders or backs. Softpaws (http://www.softpaws.com/) can help prevent nail trauma from leaping Devons. They’re vinyl nail caps that are applied over a cat’s real nails. Used temporarily, they help break the leaping habit of Devon Rex. Softpaws have blunt ends making it impossible for the cat or kitten to get a nail into clothing, skin, or other fabrics. Finding no purchase and sliding down a few times helps them figure out that leaping is no longer much fun. Softpaws are also a good solution for problem cat scratching. Pet retailers also carry generic versions of Softpaws.
CFA Registration Papers
Your Devon Rex kitten can be CFA registered (process and mail in your ‘blueslip’). All kittens (with few exceptions) are registered as pets (not for breeding).
You must have my permission to begin showing your kitten or cat unless you adopted one specifically for show. It is easy and fun to show your cat or kitten and provides a way for other people to meet this special breed of cat. From 4-8 months, a kitten shows in the Kitten Class. After that, from 8 months on, he or she shows in the Alter Class or Premiership Class (depending on the cat club). Email or call me to discuss showing your kitten or cat. Below, find some interesting info on showing your feline friend. Each cat association web site provides a handy show calendar. Once your kitten or cat is CFA registered you can get your kitten or cat registered in TICA and ACFA.
The CFA (The Cat Fanciers’ Association): http://www.cfainc.org/
TICA (The International Cat Association): http://www.tica.org/
ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association): http://www.acfacat.com/
The Devon Rex Coat
We have several family lines each with their own distinct ‘look’. For example, some cats will have more coat than others and some cats may be bigger-boned than others from more petite lines. All our adults have full rich coats.
Some kittens molt.
Most Devon Rex have hollow, brittle whiskers that tend to break off so that only a portion of curly whiskers displays. This is normal. Some Devons may have a few regular whiskers amid the short ones. Make sure eyebrow hairs are not curling down to impinge upon a kitty’s eyes – trim if necessary.
The Devon Rex Molt (moult)
Molting is a peculiar feature of the Devon Rex breed and many Devon babies lose their coat between 5 and 10 weeks of age at my cattery. This is normal.
Molted kittens may become totally furless and look like Sphynx; they feel like soft suede. Molted kittens will regrow their coats from about 3 1/2 months to 12 months of age. All our kittens will eventually develop soft, wavy coats.
During their molted phase, kittens may exhibit scratches or pricks from playing with one another or, at the owners’ homes, from playing with other animals. Here kittens may engage in “mock nursing” – a social thing which is relaxing and comforting to them. The rare kitten will self-nurse or attempt to nurse the arm of his/her human. Hickies may result. Kittens outgrown this mock-nursing. Once in awhile a mother cat will over-groom a baby with resultant fur loss. Over-grooming most commonly occurs around the tail, rear legs, or face and head area. This lost fur will regrow.
Once refurred, an altered Devon from our family of Devons will stay in coat. Whole queens may lose coat during their heat cycles, while pregnant or during the weeks they are nursing a litter of kittens. As a rule, if a kitten has a good coat at birth or the first ten days of life, he or she will have a good coat as an adult.
Please make sure your veterinarian knows that molting is a characteristic Devon Rex trait. Little or no fur does not mean your baby has some dire skin disease. Molting, by itself, is not an indication of ringworm (a fungal disease), or feline acquired symmetric alopecia (a syndrome involving hair loss on both side of a cat’s body that occurs due to an underlying disease), mites, flea allergy dermatitis, or anything else. Molted Devons do not need skin treatment, vitamins, or oral or topical medication.
There are no skin problems specific to the Devon Rex breed. In the absence of other problems, Devons, like any kitty, should manifest perfect skin, with or without their fur.
Devon Rex Blood Types
Devon Rex may have type A or type B blood. Some have been reported to have the rare Type AB blood. All our queens and studs are type A now. If your kitten or cat is of unknown blood type it is recommended that you have your pet blood typed for future reference or when necessary. If a blood transfusion is ever required, the blood for transfusion must be the right blood type. Plasma instead of whole blood is commonly used now and poses no problem when used with any blood type.
Reporting Illness, Injury, or Death
If your kitten or cat becomes ill or has an accident, I’d like to know about it. All kittens leave here healthy. Once in a blue moon a genetic or congenital defect comes to light after a kitten leaves home and these are covered by your warranty within the first year of life.
Breeding lines may be strengthened by following the lives of kittens and cats in placement and making changes to our breeding program as warranted.
Where a case is not clear, sometimes a second opinion can save hundreds of dollars or the life of your kitty. When asked, your vet should provide vet records to my vet. In the event the kitten or cat dies, a definitive cause, if not obvious (choking, insect bites, laundry-room accident, toxins, foreign particle ingestion, etc.), can only be established through a necropsy (post mortem exam) performed by a qualified veterinary pathologist. FIP is a catch-all phase sometimes used by veterinarians and owners to explain a death – FIP can only be diagnosed by necropsy and reputable vets will tell you this. All cats and kittens may exhibit symptoms similar to FIP when dying, often of treatable illness (bites, parasites, anemia, internal injuries from falls and other trauma, head injuries, toxins, septicemia resulting from swallowed objects, etc.). When in doubt see your vet. Contact me if you need help talking to your vet. I cannot be responsible for the future general health of your kitten – they have been given an excellent start here, the rest is up to you.
In this day and age when anyone can write, publish, or call-in unverified claims, it is getting harder and harder to be a breeder. Nevertheless, we continue as a legal and well-vetted cattery. Devon Rex are a wonderful breed and I am proud of our cats and kittens and what we do here. I am very grateful for our many wonderful owners and clients who take good care of their kittens and cats, loving and cherishing them.
Ears in young Devon Rex may be waxy; the waxy is dark-brown in color. Weekly gentle ear cleaning is recommended. Trim nails at the same time ears are done – the nails of kittens are needle-sharp.
Ear wax is not a sign that your kitten or cat has ear mites. Ear cleaning is easy and quick. Once and week or every 10 days, gently remove brownish ear wax from the folds and creases of your Devon’s ears using Q-Tips, or a soft paper towel or Kleenex. Avoid going deeply into the ear canal itself. To prevent wax build-up use Vet Solutions Ear Cleaning Solution or Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution during cleaning and after a bath. Use ~ 0.5 ml (cc) per ear.
Molted Devon kittens and young kittens in general will have a slightly oily coat (or skin) and may require bathing. Light-colored cats often seem to produce the most oil as youths. The skin oil is brownish in color and can be irritating to skin. Oils also provide an excellent medium for bacterial and fungal growth, so bathing is important.
Both ear wax and skin oil production subside as kittens age. Adult Devon Rex are very low maintenance, requiring bathing only if they get into something, or, in the case of those clients having allergies, as needed for allergen mitigation.
Devon fur is soft and easily broken; there is no need to brush a Devon Rex. Brushing may remove fur. Devons may be combed with a blunt-tipped comb if desired. Devon Rex rarely, if ever, shed and they are self-grooming. They may be oily (you will see a brown film or collection of oil in their ears, at the nail cuff, or on the skin under the arms or on the tummy); bathe as necessary in mild shampoos designed for cats or kittens.
Eyes, Nose & Face Cleaning
Porphyrin is an iron-containing substance found in the tears, saliva, and urine of cats and many other animals. Porphyrins may cause staining of fur around the eyes or nose and when dry cause reddish-brown, dark brown to blackish eye deposits and deposits around the nostrils. This is not harmful nor does it mean that your kitty is sick. Nose edges and nostrils may collect dust on the normal moisture resulting from exhalation, especially if your kitty plays in the litter box or dusty areas.
Eye boogers and deposits around the nostrils can be gently cleaned away as needed using a damp tissue, soft, clean cloth or Q-tips. Some micro-cleaning pads are too rough and will irritate delicate skin. Once in a while if severe irritation has developed and these areas continue to hold deposits or stains, Neosporin-type ointments may be of some help to soothe tissues and coat hairs against further iron salt deposition. Areas where the kitty’s facial structure or skin-fur texture changes will hold more of the deposits. Scratches or abraded skin will also provide areas of greater iron salt deposition.
Young kittens may sometimes exhibit fur staining on tummy or feet and legs, especially if they have white, red, or cream fur that is generally more porous than darker-colored fur. This, too, is caused by iron-containing porphyrins in saliva that are deposited by grooming, nursing, or mock nursing. The back of the lower rear legs may show staining from grooming or urine. Stained fur will be replaced by new fur as your kitten ages. Adult cats have slightly different fur than kittens and usually stay bright-white and exhibit no staining although their eyes and nose area should be cleaned as necessary.
Iron salt deposits from porphyrins should not raise concerns about yeast, ringworm, or herpes. Areas of salt deposits may cause greater moisture retention and an environment for fungal and bacterial colonization so do clean eyes and faces. Some tabby cats and others may exhibit tabby stripes or color as distinct lines down from the corners of their eyes – this is pigment color, not porphyrin iron staining. Darker-colored cats and kittens may display pigment inside their ears – this is normal, too, as is some pigment color in their nails.
Bathing your kitten or cat
Bathing a kitten or adult Devon Rex is easy. Trim nails first and clean their ears. Wet their fur using tepid to lukewarm water, lather and rinse. A conditioner is not necessary. Gently towel dry. Apply ear cleaner-drier to ears and clean ears one more time to remove excess moisture. If it is warm, kittens may air dry. Or, you can blow dry their fur using a medium settling on a hair drier. Or, you can put them in a carrier in front of a space heater (check heat to make sure they are not too hot).
Test a new shampoo on a small area of your cat or kitten first (ear tips are a good place) – Devons are very sensitive to some chemicals. It is good to use an inexpensive plain eye ointment before beginning kitty’s bath to protect their eyes from irritation. Pet retailers carry these ointments (one brand is Puralube Vet Ointment). Our favorite shampoos are Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo, Fragrance Free (Chewy.com) or Vet Solutions Universal Medicated Shampoo (Revival Animal Health). While a little Patchouli oil is safe when added to a shampoo for an occasional bath, do not use shampoos containing Tea Tree, Neem, or other essential oils (especially limonene-contain oils found in citrus products). Cats have unique metabolisms and what is deemed safe for humans or dogs and puppies may not be safe for your kitten or cat. Cats have long been known to be unable to metabolize phenolic compounds and they also have trouble with terpenes. Other classes of chemicals are toxic to cats, too.
A quick touch up may be needed between the toes of little feet – sometimes kittens will have a lot of short fur between their paw pads that traps skin oils and clay dust from their cat litter. Between baths, or as needed, paws may be washed or cleaned with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove dirt and oil; 3% hydrogen peroxide may be used instead of water. Gently towel dry the feet after cleaning.
Clip nails weekly for optimum human safety and comfort and feline health. With kitty seated comfortably in your lap or on your knees, press lightly on the paw above each claw; this will produce the nail. Use a paper towel or Kleenex and remove any accumulation of oils around the nail bed (cuff). If a lot of oil has accumulated this is a good indication that your kitty may need a bath. A little ear cleanser or 3% hydrogen peroxide helps remove oils from nails, or use a damp paper towel, or a non-toxic oil such as Jojoba oil. Follow nail cleaning by cutting each nail right before the easily seen pink quick. If you cut the quick, your cat will be displeased and bleeding will result, but it’s not the end of the world. The nail will clot on its own or a styptic may be applied. In a pinch, a dab of (kitchen) flour works as a styptic.We love small nail trimmers such as Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers or Kaytee Small Animal Pro-Nail Trimmer (Chewy).
Parasites and protozoa
Some water supplies contain parasites, protozoa, or other organisms that can impact your kitten or cat’s health. Flood-prone areas keep municipalities hard at work keeping up with disinfection demands. Parasites and protozoa can be walked into the house after gardening, play time, or on the paws of dogs. Devons may play in the water bowl or test the water with their paws before drinking transferring any organisms picked up by paws to their water. Clean water bowls and freshen water frequently. If your kitten or cat develops loose stools, diarrhea or experiences vomiting, promptly check with your vet. Young kittens can become dehydrated quickly.
There are three common intestinal parasites that trouble cats, and all are easy for a cat to pick up: Giardia, Coccidia, and Roundworms. Where fleas have been a problem, Tapeworm infection may occur. Details involving the definitive life cycle, mode of transmission, and full range of hosts are unknown for two lesser known parasites found in cattle and pigs that may cause symptoms in kittens cats – Tritrichomonas foetus (T. suis) and Pentatrichomonas hominis. Older cats or dogs may harbor small quantities of the two protozoa and roundworms while remaining asymptomatic – they can pass these on to your new, more susceptible kitten.
Our adults have always received routine, prophylactic worming throughout the year for common feline parasites and kittens begin a set worming protocol beginning about day 28. Spot checks are occasionally performed by our vet.
A negative fecal test does not mean that parasites are not present; they may well be, but are just not being found in a sample. Vets should treat symptomatically for the parasites mentioned here before recommending costly procedures.
We don’t treat for feline heartworms since the risks are very low. You might want to discuss the risks with your own veterinarian. In cats, heartworms are most often asymptomatic, but when clinical signs occur they can happen as early as three months post infection and are most commonly associated with the inflammatory responses in the pulmonary vasculature and parenchyma to immature adult infections, which can cause intermittent coughing, dyspnea, and wheezing. In very rare cases, worm death can precipitate an acute, shock-like reaction, resulting in the death of the cat with few, if any, premonitory signs.
In America, the most common condition caused by fungi in cats is dermatophytosis (superficial ringworm). The three main species involved are Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. In cats, 98% of the cases of ringworm are reported to be caused by M. canis which will usually fluoresce a bright-green color (even dead ringworm will fluoresce). Ringworm has as many manifestations as there are things that might look like ringworm. Not every loss of fur or an isolated spot is ringworm. Kittens, especially when molted, are more vulnerable to ringworm than adults and a ringworm infection can begin as early as three days after exposure. Sources are numerous, especially in warm-weather states. When in doubt or before any potentially toxic treatment begins, a fungal culture is definitive and should be done. The use of the older antifungal medications Griseofulvin (Fulvicin) or Ketoconazole (Nizoral) have been known to kill cats and their use voids your warranty. If your kitty gets ringworm, oral Terbinafine (Lamisil) is remarkably effective, safe, and quick-acting in both young and old Devon Rex.
Caution: Convenia (by Zoetis)
Convenia is an injectable, long-acting, third generation cephalosporin antibiotic. It has been known to cause death, hemolytic anemia, tremors/ataxia, seizures, diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, anorexia and lack of appetite, anaphylaxis, acute pulmonary edema, facial edema, injection site reactions (alopecia, scabs, necrosis, and erythema), salivation, and pruritus (itching) in cats. Convenia exerts its antibacterial effects for approximately 1-2 weeks after injection but stays in a cat’s body for over 2 months (approximately 65 days is needed to eliminate 97% of the administered dose from a cat’s body). If a kitten or cat has an adverse reaction to Convenia there is no way to remove this drug from the kitty’s system and it may continue to do damage. Some of our Devons in placement have reacted poorly to Convenia and one died.
FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
While rare, FIP is a disease potentially impacting all cats, including pedigree and non-pedigree cats as well as large wild cats or cats in wild cat breeding programs. It results when the ubiquitous, common, relatively benign feline coronavirus (FCoV) mutates within individual cats to a lethal form. The dog corona virus can combine with feline coronavirus within host cats. Transmission of corona virus occurs by a variety of means and even in research labs virus spread is hard to control. While there is much to hope for in the future, veterinary cures are not commercially available for FIP but can be obtained.
FIP is hard to diagnose in living cats and common blood tests merely show the presence of coronavirus exposure. Many cats can show a low to no coronavirus antibody titer but die of FIP. By the same token, cats with very high antibody titers may live long and happy lives never contracting FIP. Thus, for now, dry FIP diagnoses can only be achieved if a necropsy is done after death. If a biopsy of infected areas or fluid is possible and specialized DNA-testing is performed, it may reveal a strong possibility of dry FIP. Wet FIP (fluid in the abdomen area) has more definitive diagnostic standards.
Minimize the risk for FIP by providing good care for your kitten or cat, keeping physical stress low, and by separating routine vaccinations by having them given in sensible time frames. Avoid combining shots such as FVRCP with feline leukemia and rabies shots.