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Pet Q & A

What is FIV?ask by Yvonne1

Answer:

FIV (Feline Immumodeficiency Virus) is a retrovirus in the same family as the human AIDS virus, with a few significant differences. It is estimated that in the United States, 2% of cats are infected with the FIV virus. Saliva to blood (biting) is generally accepted as the primary source of spreading the virus, and it is unlikely (but not impossible) that cats will spread FIV by drinking or eating out of the same food dish, or by mutual grooming. It is not surprising that outdoor cats are particularly susceptible to the virus, and the best way to prevent infection with FIV virus is to ensure that your cat stays indoors only, which eliminates the possibility of contact with FIV cats. Another, less common means of transmission is from the mother cat (Queen) to her kittens during gestation, during birth, or by nursing. There is comfort in the fact that not all FIV queens pass the virus on to their kittens. This phenomenon is not fully understood, but all kittens from FIV mothers should be tested for the FIV antibodies after six months.