Feline immunodeficiency virus, or feline AIDS, is a disease that is highly contagious amongst us cats and is caused by a virus that in the majority of cats can affect our immune system slowly but fatally.
It is very important that everyone thinking about adopting a new pet knows about this disease and its symptoms in order to be able to detect it. Because cats who are FIV carriers can be prevented from passing the virus on to other felines, knowing a few basic steps for caring for a cat is enough for cats to live together perfectly and risk-free.
What is feline immunodeficiency virus?
Feline immunodeficiency virus is a disease caused by a virus called FIV. This virus attacks a cat’s immune system, weakening it little by little until the feline is completely vulnerable to any disease.
When a cat comes into contact with the virus, it can beat it and become immune, it can become a carrier without having the disease, or it can suffer its effects with its immune system ultimately becoming compromised. The outcome depends on the strain of the virus and also on how the cat is cared for prior to this contact.
Symptoms of feline immunodeficiency virus
Cats present no symptoms in the early stages. In the more advanced phase, symptoms begin to show, such as fever, weight loss and strange behaviour. Infections are also frequent, which can lead to the animal’s death.
Do you suspect your cat might have FIV? See the veterinarian immediately to have the relevant tests done. In case of infection, the best prevention is to strengthen his immune system. To prevent the virus from spreading, cats 8-weeks-old and older can receive an FIV vaccine.
If you are a larger family and you have adopted more than one kitty, preventing this type of disease is recommended. Amongst the steps to taking care of a cat, avoiding the spread of disease, especially if your felines go outside, cannot be overemphasised.