Modern Treatments for FIV, FeLV and FIP

Today I’d like to discuss promising new medical breakthroughs in treating FIV, FeLV and FIP in cats. While the new medications aren’t a cure, they do buy an infected cat some time, as well as improve their quality of life. I’m especially excited about a breakthrough in FIP. More on that later.

  • FIV = Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • FIP = Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  • FeLV = Feline leukemia virus

New Treatments for feline diseases
New Treatments for feline diseases. Research.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

FIV and FeLV

T-Cyte Therapeutics, Inc. has created a drug called LTCI (Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator). This drug has been around since 2008 and was approved for use in the U.S. in February 2009. The drug is classified as a lymphocyte T-cell immune modulator. This means it improves the immune system so a cat has a better chance at fighting off an infection. It’s used to treat cell abnormalities and opportunistic infections. LTCI is the only USDA approved drug to treat FIV and FeLV in cats.

The development of LTCI has an interesting history that can be found here. Dr. Terry Beardsley, a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, set out to find a treatment that would mirror the body’s ability to fight infection. He used FIV and FeLV positive cats in his studies as he searched for a drug to treat HIV/AIDS. He’s the founder of T-Cyte Therapeutics, Inc.

The USDA granted T-Cyte a conditional license to test the drug using a study of 23 infected cats, of which 22 completed the study. The drug had no notable adverse reactions and their blood work showed marked improvement. This wasn’t a very large study, but individual cat owner’s are now spreading the word as to how LTCI saved their cats.

I would imagine the success of the drug is also influenced by how long the cat has carried the disease.

LTCI works by increasing the number of lymphocytes in the blood, as well as increasing red blood cell production. The increase in red blood cells will help a cat fight anemia. It also increases Interleukin 2 (IL-2) production, which helps the body fight off viruses and other infections.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition lists IL-2 as: an interleukin produced by antigen-stimulated helper T cells in the presence of interleukin-1 that induces proliferation of immune cells (as T cells and B cells) and is used experimentally especially in treating certain cancers.

A list of veterinary clinics currently using the drug can be found at by using this search facility [sorry this link is broken and therefore deleted at 1st Nov 2016].

Here’s the information to give your vet (if your vet isn’t familiar with the treatment) should you wish to use the drug on your cat:

  • In the USA, T-Cyte Therapeutics phone number is (1-800-483-2104).
  • Agrilabs, another carrier of the drug, can be contacted at (1-800)542-8916.
  • Abroad it can be ordered from Masters Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Unit 380, Centennial Avenue, Centennial Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3TJ, UK and their phone number is (0208 327 0900).

Please note I didn’t call or try to contact the suppliers of LTCI. Hopefully your clinic may already be using it on some of their patients.


Now for the exciting news! As though the success of LTCI in treating FIV and FeLV cats isn’t enough, LTCI is also being used to treat cats with FIP. I won’t go into all of the symptoms and dangers of FIP because that would take up a lot of space.

I lost an 8 month old kitten named Tramp to FIP back in 1993. It’s a cat disease that’s always been considered fatal. I can tell you from experience how horrible it is to know there’s little hope once your cat contracts FIP. There are several stories of hope written by average cat owners about their experience using the drug on their FIP cat.One is at Whether LTCI is a treatment or a cure, cats who receive the drug are living longer with their disease.

The LTCI regimen consists of a series of injections. A typical schedule is one injection weekly for three weeks, a fourth injection two weeks later, a fifth injection two weeks after that, and a sixth injection one month after that. Then a booster injection is needed every six weeks. I did reference where one vet had given a total of 21 injections to an infected cat. I don’t know whether there’s a maximum number of doses a cat may be given or if there’s a cut off point. Since the drug has shown to have no bad side effects, perhaps it can be given for the life of the cat.

Use in FIP cats is classified as “off-label,” which means a vet can use it for a use other than what is was developed for. Unfortunately, some states may have laws limiting the use of an off-label drug.

The cost per injection is usually under $50 if ordered in packs of 4-6 from a manufacturer. A private vet may charge $110 or more per injection.

I’ve used quite a few reference articles in gathering the information for this article. Instead of giving the readers a long list, those of you wishing further information can Google “LTCI for cats” or “Tcyte for cats.” I also found a good bit by Googling “new FIV and FeLV treatments.”

Do any of the readers here have experience with this drug or know more about it than I’ve listed here? Any vets out there willing to comment? If so, did it show any marked improvement in your cats or the cats you treated?

One final question for the readers. How do you feel about the experimentation being done on cats who were FIV/FeLV positive to test a drug for treating HIV/AIDS? This is clearly a case where the cat has benefited from medical testing on animals. That doesn’t appear to happen very often.


Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

27 thoughts on “Modern Treatments for FIV, FeLV and FIP”

  1. Helena Frangogiannis

    ALAS, I just spoke with them and they said they don;t sell it any more because they can’t get the license!!! I will continue searching !!!

  2. Helena Frangogiannis

    He doesn’t know where it could be sold. He found out through me. I started looking for something to save my cat when I saw she was going to die. He was kind enough to sign all the official documents needed to import it here and give the shots to the cat. But that’s all he knows about where and how to buy it locally. I saw you posted a tel number in the UK I will call them and see if they sell it etc. Thanks for the info!

  3. Helena Frangogiannis

    When LTCI was just out and still in the experimental stage in the USA I used LTCI on my cat that had FIV and was almost dead. 2 days after the first shot she started eating and even played a bit. It was like a miracle, as far as I am concerned. She recovered totally and is still alive even though she has other complications since a couple of months ago. I live in Greece and it is very complicated to bring LTCI from the USA, here. Is there a way to find it in Europe somewhere?

    1. Thanks Helena for your positive comment. Unfortunately, I don’t know about the supply of this drug in Europe. What does your vet say about this?

  4. One aspect of the treatment of FIP in a cat that is neglected is the nutrition, I found that the highest amount of protein you can feed your cat the longest he lives and I have one cat that had FIP, undeniably so, but with an immunostimulant, Maitake mushroom extract… and fresh chicken livers had an amazing recovery. He had it when he was 3 month old, his little belly was totally full of fluids that were syphoned out 3 times, the fluids stopped refilling his little belly and he is now 5 YO!

  5. I have two FIV+ cats and one Felv+, how can I get Retromad1 here in the US? How did the catwhisperer get a hold of it??

  6. Dear Michael,

    I have a cat FIV and FIP positive ๐Ÿ™ We do live in Poland. Could you please help me if there’s any way to try the cure in this case? She’s 5 years old now (we’ve found her when she was 7 weeks. Unfortunately 2 years ago we’ve found anther very sick cat and we wanted to help him. He was much better on a first months but then he was bad condition again and we made tests – wet FIP positive :(.He died year ago as he was 12 months) We supposed that our 5 year old cat had FIV (which we had no idea beause she was ok for all 4 years and then she got sick on FIP after that litle kitten). Now she’s loosing weight but feeling ok. Is is possible to try LTCI in case of having both FIP and FIV? What do you think? I would like to try because I know there’s no other way to help her…

    1. Hi Daria. Thanks for asking. It is nice to hear from Poland although I am sorry to hear your cat is ill. It is sad. LTCI is at an early stage of use and I struggled to find clear information about its effectiveness. I have a page on my research:

      There is a new drug for FIV called RetroMad1, which you may have heard about:

      I can’t offer much more because I am not a vet but I am concerned and I wish you and your cat the very best of luck.

      1. Thank You very much! I’ll try it. Why wouldn’t I if there’s no any other drug. I’ll let you know about the results if I’ll only buy it (hope delivery to Poland is possible).

      2. TheCatWhisperer

        RetroMAD1 absolutely works and it has no side effects. It saved my kitten who was deathly sick with a skin infection, upper respiratory infection, and a 106 fever, all from her FeLV infection. After 3 days of treatment taken twice a day orally she literally crawled out of the hiding place she picked to pass away in and began to get better and better each day. The only problem I have now is once she tests negative for FeLV there will still be some of the virus hiding out in her DNA waiting to replicate. Since RetroMAD1 is so new and untested there aren’t any Vets in the U.S. who know what, if anything, can be done to keep the cat virus free or at least able to fight off the virus if it replicates. It actually took me 3 months just to convince my Vet that RetroMAD1 would work and wasn’t a scam. Does anyone have any ideas how to keep these retroviruses from replicating again once they have been eradicated from the blood but still dormant in the DNA?

  7. Hello guys! I hope someone can help me here.
    Do you know something about the use of LTCI, from t-cyte, (approved for FIV/FELV) for FIP?
    Searching the internet i could only find the Healing Heart cats case, examiner article and Emmit case, sounds promising, so why arent more research about?
    I have two kittens with the dry form, being treated with human interferon, we dont have feline omega or LTCI here (Brazil), and its very expensive to import, so I have to get to a conclusion before importing.

    Thanks very much.

      1. Thanks for you attention, Michael. I know that LTCI is a controverse treatment, even for fiv and felv, but sounds promising… I wish more info about its use for FIP, specifically. My cats are fiv/felv negative, and show the dry form of FIP.

  8. i am looking for opinions on the LTCI drug used specifically for FIP. my cat has tested high for the corona virus in FIP and has had two injections. my vet was kind enough to administer them for free as these two shots were given to him. i am seriously considering buying more injections. he has also tested positive for the toxoplasmosis disease. unfortunately, my dear cat, Linus, is suffering from two diseases. please submit any stories and/or personal experience with the LTCI drug for FIP.

    1. Ann, I’ll write a further comment later this morning having done some work on this. I am a bit rushed right now. Thanks for visiting and asking. Sorry to hear about your cat.

    1. Katherine, thank you for sharing. I am sure it will help a cat somewhere. For people who don’t know or people who are perhaps living in a different country, can I presume that LTCI means “Long-Term Care Insurance“. If I have that wrong please correct me.

      1. Michael, in this case it stands for Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator, a drug being used as an immune system booster, as also referenced in the above article.

  9. FIP research has a special place in my heart. You might want to check up on what is even more current. Polyprenyl Immunostimulant a veterinary biologic by Sass & Sass, Inc., recently FDA approved for treatment of feline herpes virus (URI) is being used off-label with great success for treatment of “dry” FIP. Research continues, but is available to confirmed cases of “dry” FIP. In my group discussions with people involved in the case studies, many say their cats are doing extremely well and the quality of life has vastly improved. I recently heard from someone on P.I. for 33 weeks now and the cat is doing wonderful.

  10. Well in principle it’s wrong. But its true to say that many great discoveries in science are made by accident. Even so I don’t think this makes it ok. Obviously tests are different as well, some being very unpleasant and painful for animals and some less. I’m not sure if I feel ready to draw a line and say ‘well if its not hurting the animal then its ok’ since ‘hurt’ needs to be defined, by humans, and I dont trust the humans to make the right call on that. In every case of anything I think the best thing to do is to put human babies in place of cats and see if it is still ok. If it is, then ok, do it. Thats the only real measurement that can be given to people who are totally objective and have no feelings for animals – like scientists. If you would do it to a baby then I think its acceptable to do it to an animal. I’m not even sure of that though really. Its not like we humans have an amazing track record with regard to our own experimentation on ourselves. Let’s face it, HIV AIDS was the result of scientists taking shortcuts when testing cures for poleo on primates. Another accident but with bad results.

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