Caring for a cat with Feline immunodefiency virus (FIV) is a little different than caring for a perfectly healthy cat. Your cat with FIV is going to require some extra care, time, patience and attention.
FIV is a lentivirus that affects domesticated household cats. FIV is closely related to HIV; however FIV can’t be transmitted to humans. Like HIV, FIV attacks the immune system of the cat. It can be tolerated well by cats but it can eventually lead to debilitation of the immune system
Testing your feline companion for FIV is the first step. This test can be performed by your veterinarian and only takes about 10 minutes. If your cat does test positive for FIV you will have to have any other cats in your home tested too.
FIV is transmissible between cats. Any other cats will need to be kept separate from the infected cat. The virus can be transmitted through all bodily fluids. So even sharing a water bowl puts an uninfected cat at risk of contracting the virus.
Feeding your cat a proper diet is very important in helping them lead a long and healthy life like a perfectly healthy cat. Many of the cheaper brands of cat food have fillers in them such as corn. Fillers provides little to no nutrition. Brands like Iams have less of these fillers and they are still on the affordable end of the market. Be sure to give your feline friend some sort of vitamin as well to help protect their immune system and health. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. Proper nutrition will help your cat in defending off illness.
The best place for FIV cats is indoors. Not only does this reduce the chance of them infecting other cats, but is also better for their health so they have a reduced chance of catching an illness that will be difficult for their immune system to fight off.
Yearly visits to the vet will help to ensure your cat is staying healthy as well as getting yearly vaccinations. Be sure to keep a close eye out at home for excessive discharge from the eyes or nose. A change in stool, eating habits, water intake and activity can all be signs your feline companion may be sick. If there is any change contact your veterinarian.
Providing your FIV cat with the proper care and love they will ensure they live a long happy and healthy life.