Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Keeping Your Kitty Protected Against Being Infected

Pets & Animals Blog

Taking care of a cat is a huge responsibility. There is a lot that goes into making sure that they are healthy and happy: food, attention, etc. Good health care starts with the veterinarian. Make sure your pet gets regular check-ups so they are always up to date on their shots. But sometimes, despite all your best efforts and care, you cat can get sick. One of the most common illnesses a cat can suffer from is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

How does a feline get Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

There are a few different ways that your cat can contract this virus:

  • Passed from another feline through bite wounds, which are typically caused by two fighting cats

  • Outdoor male cats frequently get the virus from roaming around fighting other cats

  • FIV-infected mother cats spreading it to her kittens

What are the symptoms of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

This part is tricky. A cat can have the virus for years without showing any symptoms. Yet once the symptoms do start to show, it causes a rapid decline in health for the cat. Look for these signs to detect FIV in your cat:

  • Gingivitis – inflammation of gums

  • Weight loss

  • Conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eyes

  • Poor appetite

  • Anemia

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Increased urination or urinating outside of their litter box

  • Wounds that don't heal

  • Hair loss

  • Behavioral change

Can Feline Immunodeficiency Virus be prevented?

Unfortunately, the only way to keep your cat FIV free is to keep them indoors at all times and away from other cats. Other methods to prevent it are:

  • Test adopted felines for FIV before bringing them home or they might infect your cat

  • Keep your cat on a leash if you want to take them for a walk outside

  • Don't take your cat to a kennel without making sure there are no infected cats at the facility

How is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus diagnosed?

If you think your cat may be infected, please consult your veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will take a sample of the cat's blood and test it for the virus. The blood will show antibodies if the cat has FIV. There is no treatment to cure Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, so if your pet has it, it's just a matter of making them comfortable and treating the symptoms. Your vet may prescribe medication for infections, anti-inflammatory drugs, immune boosters, healthy diet, and plenty of fluid.


Should your poor kitty end up infected, keep a good eye on them and watch for any changes in their health. Don't let your cat outside. Your pet will need more check-ups than normal now, so keep each one. Give them the best life possible for as long as you can. Contact a vet hospital, like Cats Only Veterinary Hospital, for help.


17 September 2017

Giving Pets The Care They Deserve

Hello everyone. My name is Vern Mitchell. Welcome to my website about pet care. When I was a young kid, I helped the neighborhood families take care of their pets during the vacation season. As my neighbors went on their trips, I would go by their houses to feed and play with their pets. Throughout this journey, I learned about the care techniques required for almost every step of pet. On this website, I would like to help others understand how to care for pets of all kinds. Thank you for coming by my website about pet care. Come back soon!