FIV is serious health problem that may bring along a bundle of ailments to make the cats life horrible. FIV is similar to AIDS in humans and they lead to a weakened immune system which is no longer able to fight any infections and disease.
Detecting FIV might be bit tricky but here is what you should know about it
Basically two types of tests are used to test for FIV and they are polymerase chain reaction test and antibody based tests. The presence of antibodies indicates an infection and this can be tested easily by using kits that are available in veterinary clinics. As with all the tests there are chances of getting false-positive results so there are alternative tests that are used to confirm the cat’s status before coming to a conclusion.
New born kittens have antibodies in them which they get from their mothers via birth and so due to that it is not a must that the kitten is always infected with FIV. So to know their FIV status it is recommended to test them every 60 days until they cross six months.
If your cat isn’t infected then the result will indicate that there was no antibody detected. But if your cat has acquired the infection recently then it would take at least 3 months or even longer to show the levels of antibody that can be detected using the test. So there are chances of inaccurate results in certain cases. Therefore if your cat is bitten by an unknown cat whether FIV infected or not known about its status it is always better to go for a check after 60 days. This will help to detect any presence of FIV as enough antibodies would have developed by then. Also some FIV vaccinated cats also may show positive results so there is a lot of fuss behind these tests.
If a cat has a much weakened immune system and is FIV positive even then it can show a negative result as its body won’t be able to produce any antibodies to fight the infection. I guess there is too much confusion to get a result done but there is nothing to worry as your vet can easily find out the problem with all the needed precautions.
How to safe guard your kitty from such virus infections?
The only way to safeguard you cat is by keeping him or her indoors and away from FIV infected cats. While adoptions confirm that the cat is not FIV positive so that you can prevent the outbreak in your locality. There are vaccines that are available to prevent FIV infection but there is no guarantee that the cat might not acquire an infection even after being vaccinated.
Vaccinations are not always prescribed by a vet as there are a lot of pros and cons associated with it. Now the best thing is to prevent your cats from getting bitten from FIV positive cats. Of course I know it’s hard to keep your kitty inside four walls as they will surely find some route to jump outside to steal a look around the locality.
On the process if they encounter with an aggressive cat that is FIV infected then little can be done from saving the cat.
Here is what you should if your cat is tested positive for FIV
- Isolate the cat and confine it to indoors so that it doesn’t spread the infection to other cats nearby.
- Provide them nutritional diets that can help to boost the immune system.
- Keep the place clean and tidy with proper hygiene so that the cat doesn’t acquire other secondary infections.
- Never give the cat any uncooked food especially meat and eggs.
- Do not offer any dairy products that are unpasteurized.
- Take them to a vet and get them spayed so that they don’t transmit it
- Provide them additional supplements after consulting with the vet.
- Keep them hydrated and check their behavioral changes routinely
- Take them to the vet for a complete checkup periodically so that you don’t miss out any potential problems.
Conclusion: If your cat is tested positive for FIV then it is really hard to predict its life span as some cats may lead a normal life without many issues while some may turn seriously ill unexpectedly. Close monitoring and care is the only thing that you can provide to keep them healthy and safe.