What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)?
FIV is a virus in cats that is similar to the human virus, HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. However, FIV does not infect humans in the same way HIV does not infect cats.
Signs and Symptoms
An FIV positive cat can live healthily for years with the virus before any signs or symptoms start to show.
The main impact of FIV is a weakened immune system for the cat, which can make them vulnerable to other infections.
Living with FIV
FIV is present in the bodily fluids of infected cats, including their blood and saliva. The virus cannot be transferred to other cats from your hands or clothes, as it is unable to survive for long outside the cat.
Cats mainly pick up the virus through bite wounds from fighting; mating behaviour and an infected female cat can pass it on to her kittens.
Unfortunately, there is currently no reliable treatment for FIV and once a cat becomes infected, they will be FIV positive for the rest of their life.
Adopting a cat with FIV
FIV positive cats need loving homes just as much as FIV free cats. A perfect example is the lovely Mog, who landed in our care this week.
Mog is estimated to be about 10 years old and apart from being FIV positive, he has had a full vet check-up and is fit in every other way. He is affectionate and friendly, and just wants a warm home with food and lots of cuddles.
Although he has no need to be on medication for the foreseeable future, he will need to be kept indoors as a house cat, to prevent the spread of FIV to other cats. Advice from Cats Protection includes:
“Cats Protection recommends that FIV-positive cats are kept indoors and only allowed outside in an impenetrable garden or safe run. They should not be allowed direct contact with FIV-negative cats”
Mog will make the perfect house cat for an elderly person or couple.
At the ripe old age of 10 – we think he is doing ok! If you’re looking for a house cat with character, Mog is your man.
If you think you can offer Mog that special home, we’d love to hear from you.
Phone: 0345 371 2759
Read the handy guide to FIV produced by Cats Protection here.