Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Like its name suggests, the feline immunodeficiency virus attacks your cat’s immune system. It weakens the system and prevents it from eliminating various diseases it normally would be able to.
The immunodeficiency virus in cats is usually transmitted due to biting. Infected mothers can also pass the virus along to her kittens. The kittens can get the virus by ingesting milk or whenever they pass through the birth canal.
Feline HIV usually doesn’t cause any visible signs for years. However your cat’s immune system will eventually become weakened. This will lead to various symptoms such as poor coat, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, and gum inflammation. Cats infected with this virus also routinely develop different types of cancer and blood diseases.
In order to tell if your cat is infected with this virus, his blood will be checked for antibodies. However, antibodies can take up to three months to appear after the initial infection. Therefore, a negative test may actually be wrong.
The main problem in cats infected with feline HIV is the occurrence of secondary infections. They will need to be treated quickly with an aggressive course of antibiotics. Cats with this disease also benefit from a diet with plenty of protein.
The best way to keep your cat from contracting the feline immunodeficiency virus is to keep him indoors. This will keep him away from roaming cats who may have the disease and can pass it along to your cat.