Taking Care Of Your FIV Positive Cat

Posted on: 12 November 2015

The animal hospital has diagnosed your cat with the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Like HIV in humans, this virus attacks the immune system so your cat can't easily fight off disease. This virus grows slowly in the cat's body and may have been there for years without showing any symptoms. With some help from you and your veterinarian, your cat can live comfortably for many years.

Symptoms of a Compromised Immune System

Your cat is no longer protected from even the simplest of infections. Bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses surround your cat everyday so you will need to protect your cat from becoming infected. Just a cold or runny nose can become a major health problem for your cat.

The dangers of FIV are in the side effects of a depressed immune system. There are a number of symptoms that you may see that indicate your cat has some form of infection including:

  • rough looking coat that easily develops mats
  • appetite loss and weight loss
  • infection of the gums and sores in the mouth
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • bladder and urinary tract infections
  • upper respiratory infections
  • seizures and unsteadiness

Cats are masters at concealing their illness so you'll need to be especially attentive and watch for any changes in their behavior. Don't hesitate to contact the animal hospital at the first sign of a problem.

Helping Your Cat to Avoid Infections

There are a number of things that you can do to protect your cat from being exposed to infectious organisms.

  • Always keep your cat indoors to minimize the risk that they come into contact with another disease-carrying animal.
  • Spay or neuter your cat to reduce the stress that the reproductive system places on your cat's body.
  • Talk with your vet about feeding your cat a high-protein, low-waste food. This will give your cat the energy they need and minimize the amount of waste material created in the digestion process.
  • Don't feed your cat raw food due to the risk of bacterial infection.
  • Check your cat's mouth, teeth and gums every day for sores, redness or swelling.
  • Help your cat with their grooming by brushing and combing their fur. Remove any mats you find immediately before they become tight against your cat's skin and cause an infection.
  • When brushing your cat, look for any rashes or lesions on their skin. Feel for swollen lymph nodes around your cat's joints.

Your veterinarian will want to examine your cat and do blood tests every few months to track the progress of the disease. If you can help your cat to stay healthy, they may live for several years with the virus in them. Help them to be comfortable and you'll continue to enjoy each other's company, in spite of the FIV. Contact a local veterinarian, like Stroudsburg Animal Hospital, for more information.


Keeping Your Pets Healthy

After I started staying home full time instead of working, I realized that my pets weren't as healthy as I thought they were. They basically laid around the house all day, and I started growing increasingly concerned about their well-being. I wanted to know more about their health, so I visited a veterinarian in my area. He gave me a few really good tips on reducing their caloric intake and encouraging exercise. Now, I can say that my dogs are truly healthy and energetic. This blog is all about keeping your pets healthy so that you can continue to enjoy their company.