Just like humans suffer from Human immunodeficiency virus cats have their own version of the same problem. There is nothing to be scared of if your cat has FIV as in most of the cases the ailment doesn’t show up and your cat leads a normal life.
Feline immunodeficiency virus
The virus causing feline immunodeficiency belongs to the same group of HIV. And this virus reduces or run downs the number of white blood cells in a cat there by snatching their immunity power. Lesser the number of white blood cells indicates reduced ability to fight infections. But there is little to be worried as this disease causing virus is a slow actor and most of the cats have a normal life span without any serious health issues.
Do humans or dogs contract this FIV from cats?
Not at all!!! Thank god at least one ailment down the lane. Fortunately FIV is species specific and humans or dogs do not contract this problem or get infected from a cat. So you can actually relax and take care of the infected cat. My friend had a kitty which suffered from the same problem and they were initially reluctant to take care of it being scared that they might also get infected. So next time when you people have to deal with such cats never panic instead take care of your feline wholeheartedly.
How common is the infection in cats and how do they spread?
FIV is a worldwide problem and biting is the main mode of transmission. It is said that a cat has a chances of 1 to 2% of spreading the same to the other cats in the household or neighborhood. Healthy cats are at lesser risk of acquiring FIV than sick cats. In US around 3% of healthy cats and 15% of sick cats are prone to this infection.
FIV spreads through bites and casual contacts do not lead to such issues in most of the cases. FIV can also spread from a mother to its new born while passing through the birth canal in some cases although not all. Breast feeding kittens are also at major risk of acquiring this infection. Having sex or causal contacts generally don’t lead to FIV so household cats that do not fight are at lower risk of acquiring FIV.
A cat suffering from FIV
Generally cats suffering from FIV live normal life spans without many problems but in certain cases they may tend to develop a lower immune system that is powerless to fight infections. Cats suffering from FIV are easily prone to infections from a microorganism that usually does not cause any problems in a healthy cat due to its immune system working in perfect condition. Once a cat acquires this infection the lymph nodes gets enlarged in most of the cases accompanied with fever. In Most of the cases this stage goes un-noticed unless the cat shows recurrent illness.
Sometimes after getting this infection the cat may exhibit perfect health for many years and suddenly deteriorate all of a sudden with signs of a weakened immune system.
Symptoms of FIV in cats
- Fever that comes and goes periodically or stays permanently.
- Loss of appetite
- The quality or condition of the coats changes
- Gingivitis and stomatitis
- Skin infections
- Urinary infections
- Respiratory issues
- Reduced eye health
- Weight loss and diarrhea
- Neurological disorders
Conclusion: Feline immunodeficiency virus infected cats needs to be given proper treatment and care else they are at higher risk of acquiring various types of infections which may lead to untimely death. So owners need to be take care of them as per the vets instructions along with being empathetic towards them.
Originally posted 2016-03-16 00:00:39.