What is FIV?

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus & is also known as Feline aids. FIV Causes immunodeficiency disease in cats similar to HIV in humans.

Is there a cure?

Just like HIV there is no cure for FIV.

Can humans and other animals become infected?

It’s purely a feline virus and can not be transferred to humans or dogs.

How is it spread?

The FIV virus is very difficult to transfer because the virus is not airborne nor is it spread by sharing food and water, sharing a litter box or mutual grooming. FIV is passed from cat to cat through a serious, penetrating bite wound or scratch where the infected cat’s blood-tainted saliva enters the other cat’s bloodstream.

How do i protect my cat against FIV?

Outdoor cats are particularly susceptible to the virus, and the best way to prevent infection with FIV is to ensure that your cat is microchipped, vaccinated, sterilised and stays indoors or within your safe enclosed garden. There is a vaccination for FIV. A vaccinated cat will test positive for the virus just because it is vaccinated. There is simply no way of knowing which “positive” cat is truly infected and which cat has simply been vaccinated against FIV. If a cat, with no collar & no microchip, that has been vaccinated against FIV goes missing and someone finds him/her & takes him to a vet or shelter they could think that the cat is a stray and test the cat for FIV. The cat will test “positive” due to the FIV vaccine. The vet will most likely think this is a FIV-positive cat and could possibly have him/her euthanised. To ensure this does not happen microchip you cat and make sure he/she is wearing a quick-release safety collar so that if your cat goes missing and is found and taken to a vet or shelter they will first check the collar & microchip & contact you. If a cat has no collar and no microchip only then will they be tested.

How do I know if a cat has FIV?

Most FIV+ cats show no symptoms. All cats coming into the household should be tested before introducing them to your cats.

Do FIV+ cats need to be euthanised once they test positive?

FIV is not typically fatal for cats, with proper diet and veterinary management they can live long, healthy and happy lives, and they deserve to do so. People who have FIV-positive cats just need to be aware that they may have a shorter life span and that they need to be taken to a veterinarian as soon as a problem is noted.

Can FIV+ cats live with FIV- cats?

If properly introduced, FIV+ cats can successfully co-mingle with FIV- cats and have no transfer of the disease. Our very own Coco is a perfect example as she has been living with FIV- cats since being rescued at 3 months and is still the only FIV+ cat.

Can FIV+ cats go outside?

FIV-infected cats should be confined indoors to prevent spread of FIV infection to other cats in the neighborhood and to reduce their exposure to infectious agents carried by other animals. Or you could build a catio or enclose your garden so that neighbourhood cats can’t get in and your cats can’t get out.