Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Cat AIDS
What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a Lentivirus that attacks the immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to many other infections. Although FIV infected cats may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection occurred as the virus is slow-acting, a cat’s immune system may severely weaken once the disease takes hold.
Many people are confused about FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FELV (Feline Leukemia Virus). Although both viruses are in the same retrovirus family and can cause many similar secondary conditions, FIV and FELV are totally different diseases.
What are the symptoms of an FIV Cat?
1. Enlargement of lymph nodes
4. Weight loss
5. Poor appetite
6. Inflammation of the gums (Gingivitis)
7. Wounds are not healing
9. Discharge from the eyes or nose
10. Behavior changes
How to know if Cat is infected with FIV disease?
To diagnose FIV infection Blood sample is required, nowadays FIV testing is commonly done in-house on any of the Vet clinics using a Snap Test (Snap Combo FIV/FELV test) or speed test, a vet will collect 3 drops of blood to run the test, this test diagnose both FIV and FELV in one time. It takes only 10 minutes to read the result.
Prevention / Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no currently definitive cure for FIV, the only way to protect cat getting infected of FIV is to prevent their exposure to a virus. FIV can only be transmitted by deep bites wounds. Keeping your cat indoors is the best way to protect them from getting the virus.
Can FIV transmit to Human or other animals?
The answer is No. FIV can only be transmitted from Cats to Cats.
Can you adopt an FIV positive cat?
The answer is YES. It is important to realize that an FIV + cat can live for many years in an excellent health, with a loving family, a safe home, and regular health checks. FIV + cats can live a normal life span, although keeping them indoor is a bit of a challenge but keeping infected cats inside is highly recommended as they can be aggressive with the other feral cats and in order to avoid passing the virus to other cats.
Always remember, FIV Cats need Loves TOO.