Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a disease caused by a coronavirus infection. Many different strains of the coronavirus can infect the cat, but most of them do not create a severe disease. FIP-producing strains are distinguished by their ability to enter and grow specific white blood cells. The infected cell transports the virus through the cat’s body. An intense inflammatory reaction occurs in bet tissue where this cell ends up. It is this interaction between the body’s immune system and the virus that causes the disease.
Infected cats excrete coronavirus through their saliva and stools. Most cats get infected by breathing in the virus by contacting an infected animal directly or by contact with objects that are infected with the virus, such as clothing, bedding, toys, and especially the litter box. Although the virus can survive in the environment for several weeks, it is rapidly deactivated by most household cleaners and disinfectants. A cheap and effective disinfectant is 1 part bleach to 32 parts water.