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How Do Cats Get Aids

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Cats with feline AIDS might not show symptoms for years. Unfortunately, the symptoms only tend to appear after a cat gets a secondary infection. Once symptoms show, they could continuously progress. Here are some symptoms associated with feline AIDS:

  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Seizures

Feline AIDS can cause a variety of symptoms beyond those listed above. If you notice one or more of these unusual symptoms in your cat, talk to your vet immediately. The longer you wait, the more illnesses your furry friend could face.

What Else Should I Know About Feline Aids

Life expectancy: It is important that you keep in mind that the life expectancy of a cat with AIDS is not easy to predict. It will depend on how their immune system responds to the attack of diseases. When we speak of a dignified life, we mean that a pet with a feline aids, can live with dignity and minimal care. Even when it seems that their health is improving, you should be very attentive to aspects such as weight and fever.

One of my cats has AIDS but the others do not: If cats do not fight each other there is no possibility of contagion. Remember that feline AIDS is only transmitted through bites. However, as this is somewhat difficult to control, we recommend that the infected cat be isolated, as if it were any other infectious disease.

My cat has died of AIDS, is it safe to carry a new one?: Without the carrier, FIV is very unstable and can not survive more than a few hours. In addition, feline AIDS is only transmitted through saliva and blood, and without an infected cat that bites, contagion to a new pet is very unlikely.As with any other infectious disease, we recommend some preventive measures:

  • Disinfect or replace all belongings of the deceased cat
  • Disinfect carpets
  • Vaccinate the new pet against the most common infectious diseases

If you would like to read more similar articles, we recommend you enter our Infectious diseases section.

If you want to read similar articles to Feline AIDS, we recommend you visit our Infectious diseases category.

How Common Is Feline Aids

Feline AIDS is common all around the world, but its prevalence varies from location to location. For example, in a 2017 study of cats in the USA and Canada, 3.6% of cats were positive. Cats that present as sick animals have a higher chance of being FIV positive .

Similarly, in the UK, between three to six percent of healthy cats are positive, while sick cats tested while visiting vet clinics have a higher prevalence of 12 -18%.

FIV infection is more common in intact male cats that have a history of deep bite wounds or abscesses, or that spend time outside.

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Preventing Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV in cats is a preventable condition. As outdoor cats are at an increased risk, keeping your cat indoors will reduce their risk of contracting FIV and other infections. Testing new cats for FIV before incorporating them into the household will also prevent accidental introduction of FIV into your home. Sometimes, however, accidents do happen. If your indoor cat escapes the house or comes into contact with potentially infected cats, you may want to get him or her tested for FIV.

Can Positive Cats Be Kept With Other Pets

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Although FIV isn’t easily transmitted between cats , the risk means that a FIV positive cat should only be adopted into a single-cat household.

As FIV can’t be transmitted to humans or other non-feline animals, an FIV positive cat is able to share his or her environment with a dog or other pet, as long as there are no other cats.

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About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm

Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.

Best Practices For Veterinarians And Animal Shelters

A cat who tests positive for FIV at a veterinary clinic or shelter should not be euthanized unless she is already ill or suffering beyond what can be treated. FIV testing should be done with a plan to help the cat if she tests positive, not to end her life.

No veterinary hospital or shelter should prohibit a cat who tests positive for FIV from leaving with her owner or caregiver. People should be allowed to take their cat regardless of test result. If a healthy community cat is brought into a veterinary clinic for spay and neuter as part of Trap-Neuter-Return , she should not be tested for FIV at all.

Alley Cat Allies recommends that adoptable cats in shelters be tested for FIV in-house only if they will be placed for adoption regardless of the result rather than euthanized. Shelters can also simply advise adopters to have their new cat tested for FIV at a veterinary clinic and not test in their facilities at all.

All shelters should implement programs that help find homes for adoptable cats who test positive for FIV. Many shelters already have model programs that can be used as blueprints.

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Veterinary And Health Needs For Fiv Positive Cats

Contact your vet quickly if you have any concerns that your cat has caught an infection, or shows any other signs of ill health. Visit your vet for an annual check-up and keep up to date with vaccinations. Make sure that you provide regular preventative healthcare, such as anti-parasite treatments, as recommended by your vet.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Fiv

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FIV is diagnosed by performing a blood test.

Currently there is no commercially available test that will differentiate between natural infection and a cat that has been vaccinated with the FIV vaccine.

As in human HIV, there is no specific treatment available to ensure elimination of FIV from infected cats. Treatment of sick cats involves therapy targeted at treating secondary infections.

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How Is It Transmitted

Cats most commonly transmit feline AIDS to each other through bites. If a cat has the virus, it will be present in their saliva. Thus, a bite wound is the easiest way for a cat’s infected saliva to transmit to another feline. The risk of a friendly cat transmitting the disease to another is low. In most cases, the virus spreads when an aggressive male cat has free roam. So, if you know your cat has the feline AIDS virus, you should keep them indoors.In rare cases, an infected mother cat can pass the disease onto her newborn kittens. It can occur during pregnancy, birth, or nursing, all of which are uncommon.

Can Infected Fiv Cats Be Treated

Provided an infected cat is healthy, treatment is not necessary there are no drugs that can cure a cat from the virus. Measures should be taken to protect the cat from infections. Regular vaccination to protect against illnesses such as cat flu is a good idea, although you will need to discuss with your vet whether a particular version of the vaccine is needed. Furthermore, there is some evidence that repeated vaccination can speed up the development of symptoms. If you can keep your cat isolated, it may be better not to vaccinate again, discuss with your vet.

Good quality flea control with a product bought from the vet also reduces the chances of contracting some cat diseases. If the cat appears unwell, see a vet as soon as possible, since drug treatment for infections is likely to be necessary. Regular veterinary check-ups say at six-monthly intervals may be helpful. It is also a good idea to monitor your pets weight monthly. Weight loss can be a sign of deterioration.

In some situations, some cats that are unwell, and especially those with sore mouths , may benefit from the use of antiviral products that are used for human AIDS patients, such as AZT. However, this is expensive, and cats need regular blood tests for side effects. Interferons can be used, and are sometimes effective in relieving symptoms. Many other products have been suggested for use, but there is no proof that they are effective.

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Ways Hiv Can Be Transmitted

How is HIV passed from one person to another?

Most people get HIV through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment . But there are powerful tools to help prevent HIV transmission.

Can I get HIV from anal sex?

You can get HIV if you have anal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .

  • Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
  • Being the receptive partner is riskier than being the insertive partner .
  • The bottoms risk is higher because the rectums lining is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
  • The top is also at risk. HIV can enter the body through the opening at the tip of the penis the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.

Can I get HIV from vaginal sex?

You can get HIV if you have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .

  • Vaginal sex is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex.
  • Either partner can get HIV during vaginal sex.
  • HIV can enter a persons body during vaginal sex through the delicate tissue that lines the vagina and cervix.
  • Vaginal fluid and blood can carry HIV, which can pass through the opening at the tip of the penis the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.

Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?Can I get HIV from sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment?

What Happens When A Cat Is Exposed To Fiv

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FIV can compromise the immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to a variety of opportunistic diseases.

Cats continue to shed the FIV virus throughout their lives, which means it is always present in their salivabut remember, it is very difficult for a cat to spread FIV to another cat other than through bite wounds.

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How Does Hiv Spread

HIV spreads when infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids enter the body. Because symptoms can be mild at first, people with HIV might not know they’re infected. They can spread HIV to others without knowing it.

HIV can spread:

  • during sex
  • through sharing needles for injecting drugs or tattooing

HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

HIV does not spread through:

  • pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
  • coughing or sneezing
  • sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses

Fiv And Hivsimilar But Different

FIV, the cause of feline AIDS, is not the same virus as HIV, the cause of human AIDS. But because FIV is so similar to HIV biologically, strategies and procedures for protecting cats from FIV are expected to aid in the development of human AIDS vaccines.

Researchers in Yamamotos lab focus their attention on cats with FIV who take a long time to exhibit symptoms of the disease. Yamamoto and her colleagues believe these so-called long-term non progressors may provide clues to preventing or curing the disease in both cats and humans.

One of the LCIRs major interests is in the use of the FIV vaccine model to identify effective HIV vaccine designs. The FIV model has several advantages for such studies:

Genetic analyses show that FIV has five main subtypes, thereby allowing for vaccine studies on subtype challenges from different species.

The use of cats is less hazardous and less expensive than most other models. Studies on subtype protection are more easily performed with small animals, and larger group numbers can be used.

FIV causes a naturally occurring infection in cats that is clinically similar to HIV in origin and development. Although no single animal model is an exact counterpart to HIV infection in humans, the FIV model offers many advantages for deciphering protective mechanisms, with the ultimate aim of developing an effective vaccine for HIV.

An Ounce of Prevention

Two wall hangings in Yamamotos UF office sum up her passions for science and cats.

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What Is Fiv And How Is It Spread

Feline immunodeficiency virus belongs to the retrovirus family of viruses in a group called lentiviruses. Lentiviruses typically only cause disease slowly and thus infected cats may remain healthy for many years.

Once a cat has been infected with FIV, the infection is virtually always permanent , and the virus will be present in the saliva of an infected cat. The most common way for the virus to be transmitted from one cat to another is via a cat bite, where saliva cottoning the virus is inoculated under the skin of another cat. The virus does not survive long in the environment and is readily killed by common disinfectants. Rarely, the virus may also be spread by non-aggressive contact between cats , from a pregnant queen to her kittens and it can also be spread through blood transfusions.

It is not known if blood sucking parasites such as fleas can spread infection so it is wise to maintain a regular flea control programme.

How Is Feline Aids Transmitted

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The FIV virus causing Feline AIDS is mainly passed from cat to cat in the saliva via bite wounds.

The virus may also be transmitted from pregnant females to their offspring in the womb, or in early life via the milk. Rarely, the infection may transmit between two cats in the same household that have no history of fighting or biting each other.

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Are Feline Aids Contagious

Feline Aids can be passed from one cat to another. This is typically done through saliva. If an infected cat bites another, the bitten animal may become infected as well.

Male cats are more likely to catch the disease, as they are the ones who tend to fight and roam around outside.

It is also possible for a mother cat to pass the disease to her kittens. This may occur because of the blood and fluids that pass during birth. It is also possible for kittens to get the disease after drinking milk from their mother. Both of these are very uncommon and rarely occur, but they are possibilities. Typically, the kittens will test positive only because of their mothers antibodies.

It is not possible for cats to pass aids to humans. There are two separate strains that affect each of these species. HIV is for humans, while FIV is for cats. It is also not possible to spread the disease to any other type of animal, such as a dog. It is species-specific.

What Does It Do To My Cat

FIV affects the immune system of cats. Some cats show no outward signs, while others display symptoms varying from recurrent fevers, loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhoea and swollen lymph nodes. The disease can progress further leading to non healing sores in the mouth and chronic and difficult to treat infections. Eventually the immune system is unable to fight off infections and diseases and it is from these that the cat finally dies.

Not all cats will die from the disease. Once testing positive, many cats will carry the disease for many years before showing any symptoms whatsoever. However it is impossible to predict which cats will do this.

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How Does Fiv Cause Disease

FIV infects cells of the immune system . The virus may kill or damage the cells it infects, or compromise their normal function. This may eventually cause a gradual decline in the cats immune function.

In the first few weeks after infection the virus replicates and may cause mild signs of disease such as a mild fever and swollen lymph nodes. Usually these signs are so mild they go unnoticed. An immune response will develop which does not eliminate the virus, but keeps viral replication at a relatively low level.

After a period of time, in some infected cats viral replication increases again, and it is typically these cats that go on to develop signs of disease. In most cases this will probably be around 2-5 years after the cat was first infected. Increased replication of the virus leads to progressive damage to the immune system.

The Truth About Feline Aids

Can Cats Get Aids From Humans

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is commonly known as Feline AIDS because of its similarities to Human Immunodeficiency Virus . FIV is relatively uncommon, but it can have serious impacts on a cats health and well-being.

With proper care, cats with FIV can live many years and usually can share a household with other, FIV-negative cats. Medications and good nutrition can help greatly increase the lifespan of a cat with this disease.

Dr. Debra Zoran, a professor at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discusses the stages and prognosis for cats that become infected with FIV.

FIV is not a virus that is easily contracted by contact in normal household settings, such as from grooming, eating from the same food bowl, or contact with other secretions from the nose, mouth, or urine of infected cats, Zoran said.

FIV does not survive well outside the body it is mostly transmitted through bite wounds and blood transfusions, or is passed to kittens during birth. It is also spread through breeding, so cats that are spayed or neutered have a much lower chance of contracting the disease.

A cat with FIV that is neutered and not prone to fighting can live with another cat in a household and the virus will not affect the other cat, Zoran said.

Zoran highly recommends that cats with FIV become indoor-only cats, both for their own safety and to reduce the risk of transmission to other cats.

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