Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a highly contagious virus that destroys the immune system of domestic cats.
It is mainly transmitted from cat to cat through bite wounds and sharing bowls or food. Although less common, it can also be passed from an infected queen to her kittens through the placenta or milk.
FIV can progress to feline acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which is also known as feline AIDs.
Symptoms of FIV
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Swollen lymph nodes
Complications of FIV
Because FIV depletes your cat’s immune system, they will often suffer from other health complications, such as:
- Dental disease and gingivitis
- Declining body condition
- Low white blood cells and platelets
- Inappropriate urination
- Rage and depression
- Eye inflammation
Prevention and Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for FIV. Infected cats will need to be treated symptomatically. Steps should be taken to prevent spread of the disease.
Vaccination is the best and most cost effective way to protect your cat from FIV.
The FIV vaccination involves an initial course of 3 injections 2-4 weeks apart, followed by an annual booster shot. Your cat will need to be tested for FIV before vaccinations are administered.
To protect your cat from FIV, also consider keeping it indoors to limit its exposure to infected cats
Life with FIV
With the correct veterinary care, FIV is not always a death sentence. Many FIV-positive cats live full and active lives. To help your cat cope with FIV, we recommend a premium quality diet, routine parasite control, vaccination, and regular wellness checks.