Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat's ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment--where they usually do not affect healthy animals--can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV. The primary modes of FIV transmission are deep bite wounds and scratches, where the infected cat's saliva enters the other cat's bloodstream. FIV may also be transmitted from pregnant females to their offspring in utero though it is rather rare.
Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis) and chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present.
Persistent diarrhea can also be a problem, as can a variety of eye conditions.
Slow but progressive weight loss is common, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process.
Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV, too.
In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures have been noted.
Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders.
FIV blood test can be done at the clinic and results will be available in 10 mins.
Most vaccines in the market now are able to protect the cats against FIV infection; however protection is questionable. Since cats who roam are more likely to sustain cat bites, cats should be kept inside, or supervised when outside and not be allowed to roam.