Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus that attacks you cat's immune system. Similar to the human AIDS virus, it reduces the effectiveness of the immune system, making it difficult for your cat to recover from an injury or disease. FIV is not curable, but you can help your feline companion have a long and comfortable life.
Secondary Symptoms Are the Problem with FIV
The virus itself doesn't produce symptoms in your cat, but you'll see changes in your cat's body and personality in response to the suppressed immune system. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Your cat's fur will look rough and may develop mats.
- They may lose weight because their appetite is suppressed.
- Infected gums and teeth can develop.
- Diarrhea and vomiting can become a problem.
- Bladder and urinary tract infections can develop, making urination painful.
- Your cat may develop seizures and be unsteady on their feet because of the neurological changes.
Making Your FIV Cat Comfortable
FIV is not curable, but your cat clinic can help you manage the secondary symptoms so your cat will be comfortable.
- Keep your cat from having contact with other indoor or outdoor cats to prevent them from passing an illness to your cat.
- Have the cat clinic spay or neuter your cat so their reproductive system doesn't put a burden on their body.
- Feed your cat a high-protein, low-grain diet to give them the energy they need without producing excess waste.
- Report to your vet if your cat looks like urinating is uncomfortable for them.
- Don't feed your cat raw food to prevent the risk of a bacterial infection.
- Check your cat's mouth, teeth, lips and gums daily for any signs of sores or infections.
- Help your cat with their grooming and remove mats as soon as you spot them.
- While brushing your cat's fur, look for sores or rashes on their skin.
- Feel your cat's joint's for any soreness or swollen lymph nodes.
Ask your veterinarian how often your cat should see them for an examination and blood work. If your cat had other medical issues before contracting FIV, your vet may want to see them regularly. FIV will complicate diseases such as thyroid tumors and kidney disease. Your vet will tell you which symptoms to look for that indicate an existing disease is getting worse.
You and your cat will live long lives together if you pay attention to changes in your cat's health and take care of them immediately. Contact a clinic like Metropolitan Cat Hospital Limited for more information.