FIV is caused by infections with Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). It is a viraldisease which affects the immune system of cats, and can be potentially fatal.It is important to have your cat vaccinated against FIV from their very firstimmunisations as a kitten and continued yearly for the entirety of their lifespan.

**What is FIV?

FIV destroys the immune system and leaves the cat extremely susceptible toinfections and diseases. As the disease progresses, eventually the immunesystem will become too weak to fight off other infections, and as a resultthis eventually leads to death.

Common Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How is it spread?

FIV is most commonly spread through saliva when biting occurs during catfights. It can also be transmitted by a mother cat to her kittens across theplacenta or through her milk.

Although FIV is related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causeshuman AIDs, no human has ever been reported to be infected with FIV (FelineImmunodeficiency Virus).

Can it be cured?

Unfortunately, there has been no successful treatment for FIV infections. Thebest that can be done is to be vigilant in watching for any signs of illnessin a cat who has FIV and have each infection treated as they develop.

Can the Pet Resort or Cattery prevent FIV?

If your cat already has FIV, then there is nothing that the Pet Resort orCattery can do to prevent this.

FIV is most commonly spread by saliva. Often, cats are carriers of FIV andtheir owners are unaware. This increases the risk of passing it from one catto another. All that a good boarding facility can do to minimise the risk isto ensure that all cats entering the Cattery are full vaccinated against FIV.Additionally, boarding facilities should always ensure that Cats have theirown separate accommodations, and cats from separate families are not able tomix together.

How to care for your Cat if they have FIV?

It is important to keep your cat indoors at all times, and limit your catsexposure to other cats in order to reduce the risk of catching any infectionthat their immune system will be unable to fight. If there are other cats inyour household, have them tested for FIV and ensure that they are vaccinatedagainst it. If your cats live together peacefully and do not fight, it isunlikely to spread to your other cat.

How to prevent FIV

  • Ensure kittens receive their full vaccination schedule. The FIV Vaccination usually consists of an initial course of 3 vaccinations done 2-4 weeks apart, followed by a yearly booster every year of life.
  • Ensure the yearly booster is done regardless of your cats age or if they are indoor or outdoor cats
  • Always keep your cats indoors or in secure outdoor play areas

Summary of Points:

  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a potentially fatal disease that interferes with the immune system
  • It is similar to humans infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus but it is not the same virus
  • All cats should be vaccinated against FIV
  • FIV Positive cats should be kept separate from other cats in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

_For more information, contact the Australian Pet Care Association anytime byemailing us [email protected] _

_Further Factsheets can be found by visiting usat _

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