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Facts About Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Positive Cats
Facts About Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Positive Cats
FIV is a slow virus that affects the immune system over a period of
FIV is a cat-only disease. It cannot be spread to humans or other
is spread through serious, penetrating bite wounds. The type of bite
wound that is seen most often in feral, intact tomcats. The virus can
also be spread through blood transfusions and on occasion a mother may
infect her kittens while they’re in the womb or through her milk after
they are born.
can’t be spread casually between cats, such as in water or food bowls,
or in litter boxes. Cuddling, playing and other forms of casual
physical contact do not spread the virus.
FIV virus was discovered in 1986. Before then, FIV positive cats and
non-FIV cats lived together peacefully all the time.
itself does not shorten a cat’s life-span. Because FIV affects a cat’s
immune system it is more difficult for an FIV+ cat to fight off
disease. For that reason an FIV+ cat requires a diligent
owner—someone who will take her to the vet twice a year for check ups
and, immediately, at the first sign of illness.
cats are no different from other cats, often living long, healthy
lives, never showing any symptoms at all.
FeLV is a retrovirus that affects the cat’s health ability to fight off
infection. FeLV is a cat-only disease. It cannot be spread to humans or
other non-felines. FeLV is not airborne; it is transmitted through
close continuous contact among cats.
Usually prolonged contact or a serious, penetrating bite is necessary
for transmission. The virus can be spread through mutual grooming,
nose-to-nose contact, and shared food and water bowls.
can also be found in lesser amounts in tears, urine, and feces thus
litter boxes could be a source of infection in multi-cat households.
For this reason, it is recommended to not have FeLV+ and FeLV- cats
mother can infect her kittens while they are in the womb or through
nursing the kittens.
FeLV affects a cat’s immune system, it is more difficult for an FeLV+
cat to fight off disease. For that reason, an FeLV+ cat requires a
diligent owner—someone who will take her to the vet twice a year for
check ups and, immediately, at the first sign of illness.
Feline Leukemia Virus can remain latent in a cat’s system for years. A
low stress environment, a healthy diet, immune boosting vitamins and a
life indoors are essential for a FeLV+ cat.