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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Kit

Felimm, BK-Detox, & Multi Essentials

USD $122.85
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Kit USD $122.85 Add to Cart

Vet Talks: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – FIV in Cats

Pet Health A-Z 4 min read
White, rough-looking cat sitting on the sidewalk

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a viral infection of cats and it is mainly diagnosed in male adult cats.

FIV is shed mostly in the saliva and other blood fluids and it is transmitted primarily through direct bite-wound inoculation when an infected cat that is actively shedding virus into the saliva bites another cat.  FIV can also be transmitted through blood transfusion or by equipment contaminated with infected blood or other body fluids and from an FIV-infected mother cat to her kittens. 

Once a cat is infected with this virus, he will have it for all his life, but just because your cat was diagnosed with FIV doesn’t mean he will develop the immunodeficiency syndrome.

Outdoor and sexually intact males have more chances to contract the virus since they are more prone to fighting behavior, which can lead to bite-wound transmission.

FIV is part of the lentiviruses group, under the family retrovirus. This kind of virus can take several years to manifest itself through infections or diseases that gradually get worse over time or may not respond to treatment as well as would normally be expected. This happens because FIV causes the progressive loss of T lymphocytes, which are part of the immune system barrier. The virus can damage these cells or compromise their normal function and this process results in a chronic immunodeficiency syndrome which leads to recurrent infections since the normal immune responses are compromised.

Once a cat is infected with this virus, he will have it for all his life, but just because your cat was diagnosed with FIV doesn’t mean he will develop the immunodeficiency syndrome. It’s possible to live with the virus and have a good quality of life especially if you take good care of your kitten and take him to the vet for periodic visits. 

Sick little kitten. Colds. Purulent discharge from the eyes and nose. Need help with a cat. Veterinarian, vet. Virus and bacteria. Catarrhal disease, snot

Symptoms

Some of the clinical signs of FIV can be:

  • Inflammation of the gums and mouth – (gingivitis/stomatitis)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Recurrent fever
  • Lethargy
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Chronic or recurrent respiratory, ocular, intestinal, and skin conditions
  • Neurological conditions

Since these signs can also be related to other diseases, it is essential to rule out other conditions with your veterinarian.

Diagnosis

FIV is diagnosed through blood tests that detect antibodies to the virus and they can be performed in a veterinary clinic. When the kitten is infected with FIV, his body will react producing antibodies against it. However, the test is not 100% accurate, and false positive and false negative cases can occur. For instance, when a cat is exposed to FIV, it might take up to 3 months after infection for detectable levels of antibody to appear in the bloodstream. False-positive results can occur in cats who have been vaccinated for FIV and in kittens whose mothers were FIV positive and transmitted their antibodies through the milk. For these cases, it’s recommended to retest the kitten after a couple of months. 

Prevention and Control

There’s a vaccine against FIV in some countries already, however it’s not completely efficient since there are different strains of FIV that are not covered by it. 

If you have FIV+ cats with other cats in the same house, ideally they need to be separated and they shouldn’t share the same food/water bowls, even though the higher risk of transmission is through bite wounds. You should also disinfect litter trays and food bowls frequently.

how to help fiv cat

Treatment

Since there’s no cure for FIV, it’s important to keep the immune system balanced and to treat the secondary infections as they arise. Regular check-ups at the vet (regular flea and worm control, routine vaccinations, etc.) are essential. 

There is some antiviral therapy available that although they cannot cure the condition, can be helpful in some cases. Your veterinarian will be the best person to advise you on that.

Your kitten’s diet is also key to keep the immune system strong. It’s important to avoid products like raw meat, for instance, since they can have microorganisms that can cause diseases especially in an immunocompromised cat. 

There’s a variety of premium commercial foods, but in case you’d like to cook for your pet, a personalized nutrition plan is an excellent option. Our in-house veterinarian, Dr. Amanda can create a nutritional plan based on your kitten’s needs taking into consideration his health conditions. 

Natural Support For Cats With FIV

AT NHV we offer great natural support for your kitten with FIV with the NHV Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Kit, which comes with Felimm, Multi Essentials, and BK Detox.

Felimm helps fight against FIV and other infections, it encourages detoxification of the lymphatic system, stimulates the appetite, and improves energy levels. 

Multi Essentials helps to keep the immune system balanced by filling possible nutritional voids. It also aids digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, and helps stimulate metabolism. 

BK Detox supports a healthy immune system and helps detoxify the vital organs and the blood.

You could also consider adding Turmeric to your kitten’s regimen since its extract is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and nutritive properties that increase overall vitality while helping support a variety of health conditions. 

Keeping your kitten indoors offering him a healthy environment and neutering him is also an important step in order to prevent FIV since most cats become infected from bite wounds from fighting.

If you have any questions or need any advice on how to take better care of your kitten with FIV feel free to reach out to us. We are always here for you.

Dr. Aline Dias DVM

Dr. Aline Dias DVM

Dr. Aline Dias is a veterinary graduate from the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. She worked for five years with research in Bacteriology and Virology fields, but she found her true passion in feline medicine. As soon as Dr. Aline immigrated to Canada, she adopted two kittens: Chilli and Keke. Dr. Aline is now a full-time crazy cat lady and when she’s not working at NHV she spends her time spoiling her furbabies or going for walks at the beach.

Published: July 3, 2020

2 replies

  1. Debra Sisco says:

    I want to start my FIV positive cat on the virus kit recommended. My question is , what should I give my non FIV positive cats to keep them healthy and boost their immune systems?

    1. Hi Debra,

      We would recommend that you also give your non-FIV kitties the Felimm and Natures Immuno for the virus kit as well. It will help keep them healthy, and help keep their immune system balanced. Please do message us if you have any further questions. We are always here to help.

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