Cat FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
Cats who are infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection occurred. Although the virus is slow-acting, a cat's immune system is severely weakened once the disease takes hold. This makes the cat susceptible to various secondary infections. Infected cats who receive supportive medical care and are kept in a stress-free, indoor environment can live relatively comfortable lives for months to years before the disease reaches its chronic stages.
What Are the Symptoms of FIV?
An FIV-infected cat may not show any symptoms for years. Once symptoms do develop, however, they may continually progress -or a cat may show signs of sickness interspersed with health for years. If your cat is demonstrating any of the following symptoms, please have examined by your veterinarian:
How Is FIV Transmitted?
FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through deep bite wounds, the kind that usually occur outdoors during aggressive fights and territorial disputes-the perfect reason to keep your cat inside.
Which Cats Are Most Prone to FIV?
Although any feline is susceptible, free-roaming, outdoor intact male cats who fight most frequently contract the disease. Cats who live indoors are the least likely to be infected.