What is Cat Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? (FIV)
Cat FIV is a virus passed from cat to cat. This virus typically develops from the saliva of a deep bite wound or from an FIV-infected mother cat to her kitten. It is less commonly spread through sharing of food bowls and litter boxes, and sneezing.
FIV significantly weakens the immune system which causes the cat to also be more susceptible to secondary infections. FIV symptoms may not emerge until several years later. There are a significant number of symptoms. We recommend you review the complete list of symptoms by clicking onto the link: http://pets.webmd.com
How can a cat be diagnosed and treated?
Contact your vet to conduct a blood test to review a complete chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. There is not a specific treatment, however, your vet will determine the best approach to ensure a well-managed life with potential medications to stimulate the cat’s normal immune response. Keeping an infected cat in a stress-free environment and a proper diet can be an important approach to pet care to help foster a long and productive life.
How can FIV be prevented?
Any cat is vulnerable to FIV, however the best cat care includes keeping your cat indoors to help protect and prevent your cat from aggressive territorial fights with other cats that cause deep bite wounds. You can also vaccinate your cat against the virus, however the vaccination is controversial. A vaccinated cat will also test positive for FIV, and the antibodies produced from the vaccine cannot distinguished from natural infection. Therefore, an incorrect diagnosis of FIV may be made.
Can a cat transmit FIV to a human? No. It is only transmitted from cat to cat.
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Blog adapted from http://pets.webmd.com.