Objective—To determine proportions of cats in which
feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) was diagnosed on an
annual, monthly, and regional basis and identify
unique characteristics of cats with FIP.
Sample Population—Records of all feline accessions
to veterinary medical teaching hospitals (VMTH)
recorded in the Veterinary Medical Data Base
between January 1986 and December 1995 and of all
feline accessions for necropsy or histologic examination
at 4 veterinary diagnostic laboratories.
Procedure—Proportions of total and new feline
accessions for which a diagnosis of FIP was recorded
were calculated. To identify characteristics of cats
with FIP, cats with FIP were compared with the next
cat examined at the same institution (control cats).
Results—Approximately 1 of every 200 new feline
and 1 of every 300 total feline accessions at VMTH in
North America and approximately 1 of every 100
accessions at the diagnostic laboratories represented
cats with FIP. Cats with FIP were significantly more
likely to be young, purebred, and sexually intact males
and significantly less likely to be spayed females and
discharged alive than were control cats. The proportion
of new accessions for which a diagnosis of FIP
was recorded did not vary significantly among years,
months, or regions of the country.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated
that FIP continues to be a clinically important
disease in North America and that sexually intact
male cats may be at increased risk, and spayed
females at reduced risk, for FIP. The high prevalence
of FIP and lack of effective treatment emphasizes the
importance of preventive programs, especially in catteries.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1111–1115)