What is Feline AIDS?
The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) which attacks a cat’s immune system, making it prone to viral attacks and other diseases, is caused by the same family of viruses as AIDS in humans. This tragic effect of the human population through AIDS has had the same effect in cats. Feline AIDS drops the cat’s immune system almost immediately whilst attacking every cell in the cat’s body. The failure of the immune system causes the cat to be a very good victim for secondary diseases such as pneumonia. Because the cat no longer has any immunity barrier, these secondary diseases are the most fatal ones.
How is Feline AIDS passed on?
When an infected cat bites a non-infected cat, there is a 99% possibility Feline AIDS has spread. Feline AIDS does not live long in the free and exposed air however it transfers very quickly from one medium to another. Just like human AIDS, feline AIDS transfers through blood transfusions and saliva. This can be seen in the bite above as there will be contact between the saliva of the infected cat and the blood of the victim cat.
A mother cat which is infected gives a high possibility to infect her offspring with Feline AIDS. This is because, during birth, the kitten’s mouth may be open or even cuts and wounds will happen on the kitten’s body thus giving a direct transfer of the Feline AIDS from the mother into the kitten.
How can you help your cat avoid Feline AIDS?
Provide regular vaccinations for your cat. Although there is no vaccination for the prevention of Feline AIDS, there are other vaccinations that would prevent the secondary diseases from attacking your cat if ever she/he has Feline AIDS. Try to ensure that your cat does not mix around with wild or stray cats as you are unaware of their medical history or the sort of potential danger your cat might be in. Also get blood tests for your cat once a year to ensure that she/he is in a good condition. If you are a cat-breeder, you must test for Feline AIDS before accepting any new cats into your group as you must not mix infected cats and non-infected cats together due to the serious danger the infected cats will put your non-infected cats in.
Feline AIDS is a very important issue and has had several veterinarians battling for a cure. Just like human AIDS, feline AIDS is as fatal.