What is IVF?

Young kittens can contract IVF from their mothers.

FIV is an acronym for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, a disease that affects domestic cats and other members of the feline family. FIV is similar to the HIV virus that affects humans, however, FIV only affects cats and cannot be transmitted to people. Unlike feline leukemia, another feline immune disease that is always fatal, a cat that has contracted FIV can live a long, healthy life with veterinary care and a healthy lifestyle.

Cats must be vaccinated against FIV by a veterinarian.

FIV is contracted by contact with a cat that already has the virus. The most common way to pass is through saliva, especially during cat fights. A cat can become infected during mating and kittens can contract FIV from their mother. Occasionally, FIV can be transmitted between cats who are sharing a litter box and plates of food or water, although the exchange of bodily fluids is the biggest factor. In addition, blood transfusions can also cause a cat to become infected; however, veterinarians usually test a donor’s blood for IVF before use.

Outdoor cats are at risk of contracting FIV.

FIV alone does not cause symptoms in the cat’s body. However, it compromises the immune system and makes it difficult for the animal to fight off common illnesses that a healthy cat would never show signs of. Cats infected with FIV are prone to pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, FELV, cancer and a myriad of other problems. There is currently no cure for FIV, but there is a preventive vaccine. You should vaccinate your cat against FIV if you plan on letting them outdoors.

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FIV is contracted by contact with a cat that already has the virus.

A cat that has already contracted the virus can have a quality life with special care. First of all, the cat must not be allowed to leave the house and must be kept away from other cats that may enter or leave. If you have other cats at home, they should be vaccinated against FIV and other common feline diseases. Second, the cat must receive regular veterinary care and be seen for the first signs of illness, however insignificant it may seem. A cat with IVF must also be given a highly nutritious diet to stay in optimal health.

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