Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in Cats

Feline immune deficiency (or FIV is a kind of virus belonging to the same family with HIV (HIV) which causes AIDS however it is specific to cats. As with HIV for humans, FIV weakens the immune system which makes it more difficult for animals to fight other diseases. This could cause a myriad of symptoms like losing weight, swollen lymph nodes, fever as well as vomiting. But, many cats show no symptoms whatsoever.

Although any cat is susceptible

To contracting FIV, it’s most frequent among outdoors cats who get involved in fights with other cats. It can also happen in kittensthat get infected before birth, or through the milk of their mothers following birth. It’s not easily transmitted among cats that share the same space. 

While it is a fatal condition in the absence of treatment A positive test for FIV isn’t a mandatory end-of-life sentence to your cat. Where Do Birds Go At Night  If you feed your pet a high-protein diet, and a vigorous treatment for secondary infections, an FIV-positive cat may live a relatively normal life for a couple of years following diagnosis.

What Is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

The retrovirus FIV which is only found in cats. It is treatable, but it is not cure. Therefore that cats with FIV will likely live longer than healthy cats, however they could still make great pets.Within the U.S., approximately 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats are suffering from FIV. 2 Most cats that have FIV reside outside and therefore are more susceptible to bites from affected wild cats. FIV cannot infect humans.

When infected by the virus Cats go through three phases. The first, referred to as”acute phase,” which takes place approximately three to six months after infection, the virus infiltrates the lymph nodes in the cat and then is able to penetrate lymphocytes that are white. 

These blood cells constitute

a vital part that make up the immune system. In the initial phase, a cat could be suffering from lymph nodes swelling and a fever that is low-grade or lethargy, as well as the loss of appetite. These signs can be light and often overlooked by the cat’s owners, however.

The second phase, also known as the latent phase or asymptomatic phase in which the virus slowly reproduces inside cats’ immune systems. The cat infected isn’t displaying any obvious symptoms of illness in this period, though blood tests may show abnormal results. The asymptomatic phase lasts between a few months to a couple of years. Some cats don’t progress past this stage.

In the third stage known as the progressive phase the cat’s immune system decreases significantly, allowing secondary infections to develop. UTIs and skin infections gum diseases cancer, as well as the upper respiratory tract infections are all commonplace during this stage, and is often referred to as feline AIDS. The majority of cats will only live for a couple of months following the onset of this condition. 2

Symptoms of FIV in Cats

Signs and symptoms of FIV usually don’t appear until several years after an infection. Here are a few of the most frequently reported symptoms that cats with FIV have.

It is often difficult to identify FIV in the beginning, as the signs, like nausea, diarrhea and low-grade fever are often mild and can be blamed on other reasons. It’s the reason it’s important to bring your pet to the veterinarian if they exhibit symptoms of illness that last longer than a couple of days even if the symptoms aren’t severe.

When cats have advanced to complete feline AIDS various secondary illnesses, and cancer, are typical, however it is important to remember that it’s not FIV that is causing the signs. The destruction in the immune system of the feline, caused by the FIV in turn leads to the formation of secondary health issues and

Weight Loss

Since cats suffering from FIV have a tendency to decrease appetites, they tend to shed weight. This could be among the initial signs that you see. More

Disheveled Coat

Cats suffering from FIV might appear slightly shabby. This is due to the fact that they aren’t devoted to grooming their fur in times of discomfort and also due to the numerous secondary illnesses that cause FIV can result in the fur and skin to become less healthy, or even cause loss of fur.

Lack of Appetite

The majority of cats who are in the initial stages of FIV are unable to eat. The bowl of food remains full, or your cat ceases eating after only a couple of bites. In the final stage of the illness the cat may time stop eating due an additional infection, causing discomfort, pain or general discomfort.


In both the initial and final phases the FIV cat could be prone to watery or soft stool and could pass feces much more often than usual. Can cats eat yogurt The majority of healthy cats only have one or two movements of the bowel each day.


Conjunctivitis causes redness that affects the eyes’ whites. It is most often seen in cats that have advanced towards the stage 3 of FIV because they are more susceptible to eye inflammation and infections. It’s not uncommon in cats that are at the beginning stage of disease.

Release from Eyes or nose

Cats who are in the last phase of the FIV virus are highly susceptible to upper respiratory infections that typically manifest with a runny nose or eyes. The discharge could be goopy or watery, and there may be dry crusts that cover the eyes and nose of the cat.


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