FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) is a disease similar to HIV in humans – although it is not transmissible to people.
The virus can cause a number of health problems as it decreases your cat’s immunity, lowering their ability to fight infection and illness, such as severe gingivitis, cancers and other serious diseases which can potentially lead to a shorter lifespan.
FIV is transmitted through saliva, so cats usually become infected following a cat fight from an FIV-positive cat.
A simple blood test can confirm whether your cat is FIV-positive or not. If your cat is positive, he or she will need some special care to help them remain as healthy as possible. Ideally, they also need to be kept as an indoor cat to prevent the spread of infection to other cats.
If your cat is FIV-negative, you may want to think about vaccination to prevent your cat getting infected. The vaccine needs 3 initial shots and yearly boosters. Young kittens less than 6 months of age do not require blood testing prior to vaccination.
If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, your cat may be at an increased risk of contracting FIV:
- Does your cat ever go outside?
- Has your cat ever been in a fight?
- Has your cat ever had an abscess?
- Are there stray cats in your area?
We can vaccinate your cat to protect them from FIV which is a serious disease. Please contact one of clinics to arrange an appointment.