Caused by a virus that affects cat under about three years of age, this infection is known to spread rapidly among cats, and so is particularly dangerous in households where there is more than one cat.

Treatment
There is no treatment for FIP and most cats die as a direct result of this infection. It may be advisable to have your cat put to sleep; your vet will help you to make this decision.

Causes
A virus which is contained in blood, semen and saliva; it is spread through mating and bite wounds.

What to do
There can be a delay of as much as three years between the cat becoming infected and showing signs of the condition, so there is no real urgency to seek veterinary treatment unless the cat exhibits severe symptoms that cause him pain or discomfort.

Symptoms
These include loss of appetite, a swollen abdomen, loss of weight, breathing problems and a fever.