Davis – General


If you have previously submitted samples to UC Davis for other tests, please click on  “Previous Samples” on the left side menu for an online form you can complete.

When you have the questionnaire completed and the samples ready, this document will tell you where to send the packet.

Following this article are several others that may answer questions you have or provide additional information, including guidelines for the three study groups and instructions for veterinarians on how to take and send FIP tissue and fluid samples.

Thank you for your support and participation in FIP research at UC Davis.

SOCKFIP Vet Breeder Cat Lover Letter

Dear Veterinarians, Breeders and Cat Lovers,

Your help is needed for FIP research at U. C. Davis. New tools and technology, coupled with sequencing of the feline genome, have provided an important window of opportunity to study a genetic basis for FIP susceptibility. As you may know, Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is an infectious disease that kills 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 of all cats in the U.S. However, the incidence is 5 to 10 times greater among young cats coming from catteries and shelters. It is a disease that is 100% lethal, and is heartbreaking for breeders and for the families that lose affected kittens and young cats.

Our purpose for this study is to find genetic markers to identify FIP susceptible cats and to use these markers to breed for resistance. In order to identify favorable or unfavorable genetic traits, we need to concentrate our studies on bloodlines within breeds of cats that are either inordinately susceptible or seemingly resistant. Such bloodlines exist in virtually all breeds of cats.

Samples are wanted from catteries and lines that have experienced FIP, as well as from catteries and lines that have not. We are interested in all breeds, but also welcome samples from owners of random bred cats that have developed FIP. We also encourage breeders to take buccal swabs from all kittens after weaning and save them for possible use in the future.

We desire information on three groups of cats:

1) those that have developed FIP, regardless of age;

2) healthy cats of any age that are close relatives (sire, dam, sibling) to cats that have developed FIP; and

3) healthy cats from bloodlines that have been so far free of FIP. We are especially interested in healthy cats five years or older from the same catteries or households.

We are also interested in three or more generation families that have both FIP affected and unaffected cats, but realize that such families will be hard to obtain.

We would like to encourage all breeders to collect four buccal swabs using regular cotton swabs from all of their future litters, and their sires and dams. These can be air dried and stored in regular paper envelopes. There should only be one cat or kitten per envelope, and you should make sure that each envelope is dated and has the name or other identification of the animal that is swabbed. The envelopes can be stored indefinitely at room temperature. Since the majority of FIP deaths occur in the first 3-16 months of life, some of these samples will unfortunately be needed. Many times breeders only hear about one of their placed kittens dying of FIP after the fact and having DNA on hand for all of your kittens is a simple and inexpensive way to assure that every pedigreed cat dying of FIP can be enrolled in FIP research studies. It should also be noted that these samples will not be used to diagnose FIP or predict whether a cat will ever develop FIP and any results from studies using these samples will be published in a peer reviewed journal format.

If you are unsure of the diagnosis, Dr. Pedersen will be glad to review the case histories and laboratory test results with you or your veterinarian (ncpedersen@ucdavis.edu). If you happen to live near the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital and think that your cat may have FIP or want a second opinion, Dr. Pedersen can arrange an appointment for you and your cat to be seen at our Community Medicine Service (http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/community_medicine/index.cfm;


Please complete the FIP questionnaire, and send in DNA samples where possible. Please attach as much documentation as possible on cats that have died of FIP. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please be assured that your answers will be kept in the strictest confidence. Each breeder or individual submitting samples will be assigned a unique case number that will be used for the study, with all personal information kept separate and confidential.

Thank you for helping with FIP research at U. C. Davis.


Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD

Center for Companion Animal Health
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis
One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8782
Phone (530) 752-7295, Fax (530) 752-7701


There are three study groups for study samples: Group 1 is for cats affected by FIP; Group 2 is for cats closely related to cats who have been affected by FIP; Group 3 is for cats who come from lines that have no history of FIP.

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UC Davis researchers are especially interested in cats that have FIP for its FIP genetics study. Samples are also welcomed from random bred cats dying from the disease..

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Cat with wet FIP usually have very large amounts of a yellow-tinged, mucinous fluid in their abdomen and/or chest cavities. This fluid is high in protein and contains a variable number of white cells made up of macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils. It will often form a partial clot on setting. There is virtually no other disease than FIP with this type of fluid, especially in a younger cat (two thirds or more of cats with FIP are under one year of age) that comes from a shelter or cattery environment (70% of total cases). Combined with history, physical findings, and common laboratory abnormalities, these findings should be sufficient to make the diagnosis.

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All funds given to SOCK FIP for the CCAH will go right into FIP research. Some of this research will be clinical in nature, and some bench top. $50,000 – 75,000 a year supports a single technician or graduate student, and the more such people the CCAH can engage in research the faster we will reach our goals. The genetic testing will be expensive – the DNA chip arrays will cost $400 or more each just to purchase (once they are developed by commercial companies), read, and analyze. As demonstrated by SOCK FIP’s predecessor, SOCK it to Leukemia, a great deal of money can be raised by ordinary people), and a lot can be accomplished with that money if it is concentrated in the hands of knowledgeable and capable researchers.

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Though SOCK FIP is trying to focus funding on U.C. Davis for greater impact, the scientific community is very collaborative and pedigree/disease information and DNA samples will be useful for meaningful collaborations. UC Davis researchers are also aware that other groups are raising money to study FIP, and this is also respected and accepted. The goal of SOCK FIP and the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Research is to solve FIP and in the end it really does not matter how it is accomplished or who does it. Scientific competition is always good. A world full of researchers have studied this disease for over 40 years, and although we know a lot more about it, we still do not have effective ways to totally prevent or cure this disease. Hopefully, this worldwide research effort will finally bear the needed fruit. Researchers at UC Davis and the CCAH can only do the best as their part.

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SOCK FIP can now receive donations through PayPal. All donations to SOCK FIP will support FIP Research at UC Davis