Feline AIDS

By Susan Aiello • Published: November 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Animal viruses rarely infect people and vice versa. But related viruses can cause similar disease in people and pets.

Such is the case with the feline immunodeficiency virus. FIV is a retrovirus just like HIV in people, and it can cause a similar disease in cats known as feline AIDS.

Fractious felines usually pick up the virus from a bite. They may appear fine for years but eventually enter a terminal phase that leads to wasting, repeated infections and ultimately death.

There is no cure for this contagious killer, so protect your tabby by keeping him indoors and away from cat fights. Have outdoor cats tested periodically, especially six months or so after a bite wound. A vaccine against several strains of FIV is available, so ask your vet about the pros and cons of immunization.

Actively protecting your cats from feline AIDS is the best way to keep your kitty purring.