FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is one of the most common diseases a cat could have, which is quite similar to HIV in humans. You probably have an FIV-positive cat and are wondering “can a cat live a full life with FIV?”
The answer is yes, but it would take way more time and effort for your cat to live its full life, especially if it has FIV.
You may have heard an old proverb that states: “A cat has nine lives”. This may not be true, but cats have survived too many falls that the nine lives narrative could possibly be true. Though cats are tough, these adorable feline friends of ours are prone to diseases more than you think.
If you want to know more about FIV, this article will provide the answers to the most common questions regarding cats with this disease.
Life Of A Cat
The life expectancy of cats typically ranges from 13-14 years. However, some cats are able to live around 18-20 years. This average life expectancy is divided into four stages: kittens, young adult, mature adult, and senior.
The kitten stage starts from birth up until their first year. Cats in the kitten stage usually rely on their mothers or human helpers for care and commonly have high play drives.
The young adult stage starts at their 1st year and ends at their 6th year. Cats at this stage are in peak health, develop maturity, establish their personalities, and are quite active and playful.
This stage ranges from 7-10 years, and cats could be compared to humans in their 40s-50s around this time. Moreover, cats at this stage are more prone to weight gain. This is also the time where cats begin to decrease their playtimes.
The senior stage comes in after their 10th year. Cats at this time begin to show signs of getting old. This life stage is where the risk of contracting illnesses and diseases happens. Cats usually slow down at this age.
What Is FIV?
FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus similar to that of HIV in humans — only that it happens to cats. It is a common disease that may shorten their lifespan if they are not properly cared for.
This illness is incurable and attacks the immune system of cats. It is usually transmitted through bite wounds from cats with FIV. It could also be transmitted through bodily fluids, such as water sharing and sexual intercourse.
Symptoms of cats with FIV
Cats with FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus may have the following FIV cat symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Poor coat condition
- Lack of appetite
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Abnormal appearance
Treatment and Management for FIV-Positive Cats
There is no available cure for FIV in animals, but there are medications you can use to slow down or prevent secondary health concerns for cats with this disease. This is vital to whether or not a cat can live a full life with FIV.
The best course of action an FIV-positive cat owner could do is to prevent the virus from spreading to other cats. Ideally, if you have more cats at home, it is best to isolate the FIV-positive cat from the other cats.
Cats with FIV should have their own bowl to eat and drink from. Their litter pans, beddings, toys, and even grooming tools must also be separated from the other cats.
If you want to take your FIV-positive cat outside, put them on a leash to prevent them from roaming around and fighting other cats. This is to prevent the disease from spreading onto other cats.
FIV-positive cats should also be fed nutritious and well-balanced meals, which means no more raw meat and eggs or any uncooked food. This way, you can prevent food-borne bacteria and parasites from infecting your cat.
Spaying and neutering cats are optional if you really want to lessen the possibility of spreading the virus through sexual transmission.
It is also important to take your FIV-positive cat on frequent check-ups. Make scheduled appointments with your trusted veterinarian to avoid any possible complications in the long run.
Adopting a cat with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV is quite a challenge. At one point, you may have asked, “can a cat live a full life with FIV?” By reading this post, you can be rest assured that this is possible; although you have to provide extra effort on your end to care for your feline friend.
One thing is for sure — it is possible for cats to live a full life even with FIV, as long as you are dedicated enough to give time, effort, a whole lot of patience, and provide the necessary measures to keep your furry friends healthy. Of course, you can do more by being a volunteer at Doobert! We have a lot of precious lives to care for, and you can be one of our heroes by reaching out to us today.