ZenByCat: raising awareness and fundraising to end FIP

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Edited by: Ingrid King. Last updated: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys

FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) is caused by a coronavirus. Easily transmitted between cats, it is just as easily eliminated by most, but unfortunately in a small subset of cats the virus changes from a non-pathogenic form to one that aggressively infects intestinal macrophages. Until very recently, FIP was almost always fatal.

Peter Cohen’s FIP Cats

Peter Cohen discovered FIP the hard way, like so many other cat parents whose cats have succumbed to this dreaded disease. When he adopted two kittens, Peanut and Butter, in 2012, Butter thrived. Peanut was diagnosed with FIP, failed promptly, and was euthanized.

In 2016, Peter adopted a kitten named Bean, who was also diagnosed with FIP. He successfully got Bean to participate in a drug trial with Dr. Niels Pedersen at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Unfortunately, Bean lost his battle after 31 days of treatment.

After Bean’s death, Peter adopted Smokey after seeing a post on a Facebook page from a couple in Long Beach, California who were desperate for help. They had been accepted into Dr. Pedersen’s drug trial, but the logistics of the trip from Long Beach to UC Davis were overwhelming.

Six years later, Smokey is on the rise and has become an ambassador for ZenByCat.

Smokey-FIP treatment
Smokey before and after treatment

About ZenByCat

ZenByCat’s mission is to raise awareness and funds to help fight FIP, specifically to raise funds to help researchers bring to market the breakthrough drug that saved Smokey, along with other similar drugs, and to help all cats facing FIP have the same chance at life as Smokey.

ZenByCat does not have paid employees. 90% of all funds raised go directly to funding ongoing FIP research, with only 10% reserved for overhead.

They are asking people to sign up for monthly donations of $10 as this is the best way to help researchers receive a steady stream of income. The cost of just two cups of coffee a month for thousands of cat lovers can make a huge difference.

ZenByCat also offers a wealth of resources on FIP.

For more information and to donate, please visit https://www.zenbycat.org/.

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