Cat Wellness: What Should You Know About Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

Cat Wellness: What Should You Know About Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

September 17, 2022 Off By timetobuybc

FIV-positive cats are ordinary in pet shelters and rescues, so odds are you’ve seen one. Cats contaminated with FIV are generally kept separate from the rest of the household and should be put in houses with other FIV-positive cats or families without other pets. In other words, what does the acronym FIV stand for? When a cat is FIV-positive, what does it signify for the feline?

Understanding the Truth About Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus that is distinct from the cat family. Because it hinders the immune system and there is no cure, it is similar to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS in people). FIV was first found in cats in the 1980s, and it has since spread around the world. Regardless of its prevalence in people, the illness barely impacts cats. Only a small percentage of infected cats (between one and five percent) might present symptoms.

Nonetheless, like with HIV, being detected with FIV is not a “death sentence,” as some have said. However, if it stays unattended or undiscovered, it can negatively affect your cat’s health and quality of life. Whether you have a cat that has been identified with FIV or are thinking about taking on an FIV-positive cat, here are some things to bear in mind.

There is no FIV vaccine available right now.

In the past, a vaccination was available to protect against some strains of FIV, but it was inadequate in areas where vulnerable virus variants were much more common. FIV vaccine leads cats to get FIV antibodies, which is a good thing; nevertheless, these antibodies would cause false-positive testing for FIV, which is terrible.

Numerous unwarranted euthanasias were the outcome of this. Ensure your pets have cat and dog vaccinations against other infections and diseases as a final preventative measure.

FIV is more commonly found in outdoor cats.

Male cats, specifically, can be pretty aggressive when squabbling over territory in the wild. Consider neutering your male cat if they want to go outside: This lowers the chance of a fight. Along with minimizing animal shelter overcrowding, neutering and spaying cats have countless other advantages. If you want to have your cat neutered or spayed, you can go to a veterinarian to have the surgery done.

FIV is an infection that lasts a lifetime.

FIV is currently incurable. As long as the cat has been affected, they will remain diseased for the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, it is unknown if all cats infected with the virus would grow ill. It might take weeks, months, and even years for a cat to begin showing signs and symptoms of FIV infection. FIV-positive cats should be kept indoors as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus and associated conditions. 

Feeding them a particular diet to stay clear of the threat of foodborne bacterial or parasitic ailments, and having frequent wellness checks, twice a year with a veterinarian to examine their total health and spot problems early. Furthermore, you can visit vet websites like to schedule a visit for your pet’s health and wellness.

Bottom Line

Cat owners must keep their pets inside and away from other cats to prevent the spread of FIV. Breeding cats must be evaluated yearly before introducing new cats to an FIV-free territory. All FIV-positive cats must be removed from the area and checked once more in three to six months to see if the infection has infected the other cats.