Clay County Animal Shelter
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Clay County Animal Rescue & Shelter
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This beautiful cat showed up as a stray with a limp from a leg injury late this summer. He went into a loving foster home and healed up with antibiotics. However, when we sent him for neuter, rabies and testing, we found out he was FIV positive.
FIV is spread by deep bite wounds, generally from territorial fights out on the "mean streets." While Anakin will need to be an indoor cat, he could live a long and healthy life of up to twelve years. Here is some information about FIV.
Let's start with the basics - FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It's a slow developing, life long retrovirus of the lymph nodes and white blood cells that eventually weakens the immune system.
Approximately 1.5 - 3% of all cats in the USA have FIV. A cat may be infected with FIV for years before any symptoms show up. With the proper diet and veterinary care, cats with FIV may have a fairly normal life expectancy and live 10-12 years or longer.
Now before we go on - let's be clear - FIV poses no danger to humans or other types of animals, like dogs . And the risk of infection for other cats in the household is very minimal. Passing the infection from one cat to another can NOT occur through casual contact. Many FIV+ cats live in multi cat households with FIV- cats and there are no issues.
FIV Transmission - How it Happens
In Utero - a mother cat with FIV may pass it on to her unborn babies. This is not common as the majority of FIV+ cats are male. FIV is generally not considered to be sexually transmitted; why male cats are more likely to get FIV is explained in detail in the next section.
Deep Bite Wounds - this is by far the most common source of FIV transmission. We're not talking about a playful nip among feline friends, either. We're talking about aggressive biting that results in deep wounds that draw blood. The blood mingles with infected saliva, and the virus is transmitted.