Cyprus, known for its huge population of (stray) cats and often referred to as the “island of cats”, is currently facing a deadly outbreak of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a strain of cat coronavirus.
FIP is “highly contagious” amongst cats and has rapidly spread across the island, veterinarian Kostis Larkou told news agency AFP. Cats with FIP can get a fever, abdominal swelling, and become very weak. People feeding strays said their ‘regular’ cats are disappearing.
Cyprus is home to a cat population that exceeds its human population of over one million. It is believed that FIP has led to the deaths of up to a third of the island’s cats since January, according to Dinos Ayiomamitis, head of animal welfare organization PAWS Cyprus.
Treatments for FIP are being considered, including molnupiravir, an anti-Covid pill. However, authorization, availability, and cost issues make it difficult to treat the cats effectively.Donate