In the past two months we’ve welcomed nearly 300 cats and kittens at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, including several who tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) during the routine health check that we provide.
FIV is a viral disease that affects the immune system of cats. It makes them more susceptible to illness, but with proper care FIV cats can lead long, healthy, loving lives.
FIV is not transferable to humans or other species (e.g. dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc). It is commonly spread through deep bite wounds, which would typically occur during aggressive fights between cats over territorial disputes. The virus is also transmitted via seminal fluid and in the womb of an FIV-positive mother.
As the virus only lives within the infected feline it is unlikely to spread to a non-FIV cat. However our team recommends that FIV cats be rehomed as an ‘only cat’ or with other FIV positive felines as even domesticated cats can have spats resulting in bites which could transmit the disease.
FIV cats also need to be indoor-only cats. With a compromised immune system keeping them indoors reduces the risk of them contracting a disease or infection from other cats, parasites, fleas or ticks. Cats with FIV also require a diet that excludes raw meats because of the risk of parasites.
Currently there is no cure for the disease, but it is easily manageable through treatment, diet and care. Cats with FIV are living happy and healthy lives, bringing much joy to their owners.
Our current resident Lorenzo has FIV and has been patiently waiting in foster care 137 days to find his forever home. If you think you could offer one of our lovely FIV friends a home please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org