May 22, 2018

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) observations on this viral infection

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is an infectious viral disease that weakens the immune system of cats. FIV is passed from cat to cat through saliva/ blood transfer typically from bite wounds or mating.

Casual contact such as sharing food bowls or mutual grooming is not likely to spread the disease but in rare cases can happen.

Tom cats (mature, unneutered males) are often infected because of the frequent fighting and mating.


  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chronic or recurrent infections of the respiratory, skin, bladder etc
  • Gingivitis (infected gums)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Eye conditions

Diagnosis can be made with a simple blood test at most clinics.

How can you prevent FIV?

  • Vaccination – discuss this option with your veterinarian
  • De-sexing – can discourage roaming and mating
  • Keeping cats indoor, especially at night time when they are more likely to encounter other cats.

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