What is Feline Immunodeficiency virus or Feline AIDS?

Feline Immunodeficiency virus is a contagious virus that is spread by blood.  The virus often infects male cats from bite wounds, and is less contagious to other cats in the same household compared to feline leukemia virus.  Once infected the virus remains latent in the body for many years before activation.  The virus is closely related to human AIDS, but only infects cats.  It causes immunosuppression and prevents the white blood cells from working correctly.  Because these cats are immunocompromised it is very important to keep them healthy and to contact a veterinary clinic at any sign of illness.

There is no treatment for the virus, but human antiviral medication has shown to help.  It is important to keep these cats indoors and free from parasites.  Many cats with this disease can live to old age despite carrying the virus.