Learning that your cat has been diagnosed with any disease can be frightening. However, educating yourself about the disease is the best thing you can do for your cat. If your cat has FIV, you should consult with your veterinarian for the best practices to help keep your kitty healthy. Beyond keeping your cat well for as long as possible, here are three things you should know about FIV infections.
Risk for Other Cats
For many years, scientists believed that cats with FIV shouldn't be kept in households with other cats. The good news is that that's outdated information and no longer considered to be valid.
While FIV can be transmitted by bodily fluids, it's most commonly spread via bites that puncture the skin. Sharing food, water, and even grooming each other generally don't pose any risk to non-infected cats. However, if you have an elderly cat in the household or a kitty with a weakened immune system, you should consult with your vet first.
If your cat has FIV, it's ideal that you get your kitty fixed in order to help improve its quality of life. However, if your cat is already pregnant, that doesn't mean that the kittens are doomed.
When mother cats with FIV are pregnant, they share their antibodies with the kittens while they're still in the womb. As a result, many kittens are protected from the virus and are born completely healthy.
After the kittens are born, if you have their blood tested to see if they're infected with FIV, the test may show a positive result. However, most vets will recommend that you try again in a few months, as your kittens may have lingering antibodies. These antibodies can result in a positive FIV test even when your kitten doesn't actually have the disease.
One of the main ways that FIV harms cats is by weakening their immune systems. If your cat has FIV, you should do everything you can to protect it from illnesses. This means you should keep your cat indoors at all times, and if your other kitties develop a cold, sequester your FIV cat to prevent it from catching it. A simple cold or virus could be highly dangerous to a cat with a weakened immune system.
It can be tremendously upsetting to learn that your cat has FIV, but it's still possible for your kitty to live a happy life with the disease. Work with your veterinarian to protect your cat's health and plan on regular visits to check your kitty for signs of illness or cancer.
For more information, talk to companies like Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital.