We have adopted and fostered many FIV cats who have brought us much joy and happiness. The founders of Gold-D brand, Ken Ken and Gold-D are both FIV+.
When people who hear of FIV, some common queries always arise. FIV is not a death sentence and cats can lead quality lives with love and care.
That is why we prepare these common questions about FIV. We hope to dispel myths about FIV so that more people can welcome a FIV cat into their homes.
What is FIV?
FIV stands for feline immunodeficiency virus and was first discovered in 1986.
The FIV virus cannot duplicate itself and needs cat’s cells as host to reproduce the virus.
FIV attacks the cat’s immune system making them vulnerable to infections. FIV+ cats are also more prone to certain types of cancer and blood diseases.
There is currently no cure for FIV. However, with good care, a FIV+ cat can lead a happy and quality life and will even pass away from non FIV related causes.
As such, FIV is not a death sentence.
Can humans get FIV?
FIV is species specific so FIV CANNOT be transmitted from cat to humans.
How is FIV spread?
Infected cat’s saliva contains high concentrations of FIV virus. FIV is transmitted through deep bites during a cat fight. FIV mother to kitten is also possible but less likely.
How to know if a cat has FIV?
A FIV positive cat may or may not show any symptoms. The most accurate way is to test for FIV at a vet.
Kitten should be tested after they are at least 6 months old as they may carry antibodies from their mother to give a false positive. If tested before 6 months old, they need to be retested after they are more than 6 months old.
Do I need to isolate FIV cats?
Non-aggressive grooming, sharing of litter box, water or food is not generally known to transmit FIV.
If FIV+ cats get along with other cats and they do not fight, the risk of transmission is extremely low.
How to prevent spread of FIV?
Since FIV is spread through deep bites, preventing fights helps to prevent transmission of FIV.
Do not let cats roam outdoors. If they fight with FIV+ cats, they can be infected. For indoor sterilised cats, making sure they are non-aggressive with each other prevents the spread of FIV.
How to care for FIV cats?
FIV cats need a clean environment, loving home, good quality complete food, medical check-ups and lots of love. Basically, the same requirement for any cats!
Cornell University Cornell Feline Health Center: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
WebMD: Cat FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
University of Florida Office of research