FIV: symptoms of cat disease

Feline immunodeficiency virus infection (FIV) can lie dormant in your cat's body for a long time before it causes any damage. Read here about the symptoms of the contagious and incurable cat disease Gum inflammation is one of the symptoms of FIV - Image: Shutterstock / De Jongh Photography


FIV is a serious immune disease, also known as cat AIDS. Similar to humans, the animal can be infected with FIV for several years before the virus breaks out. As a rule, the cat disease is transmitted from animal to animal through a bite. Symptoms such as fever and swollen lymph nodes may appear around four weeks after infection. These are gradually attacked by T lymphocytes, the body's defense system is weakened. Diarrhea and fatigue in the cat can also indicate a recent infection.

Several years without symptoms

The cat can then remain symptom free for several years before the first signs of immune deficiency appear. Harmless pathogens such as fungi or bacteria can be difficult for a house tiger infected with FIV, while healthy animals do not have to fight them as hard. Even bacteria in the oral flora that are actually benign are directed against your own body. A typical symptom is therefore inflammation of the gums and mucous membranes of the entire mouth and throat, which is a real alarm signal at the latest when your animal is in pain when eating.

FIV is not curable

Watery eyes and nasal flow can also indicate cat sickness. Infections of the respiratory and urinary tract often occur. Wounds heal slowly. The cat is suffering more and more from diseases that it gradually wears out. Loss of appetite, shaggy fur, emaciation and fatigue go hand in hand. Tumors and serious infections such as pneumonia can also occur in the final stages of FIV. As soon as the symptoms appear so clearly, things go downhill quickly. Since there is no chance of a cure, you can only save your darling further suffering and have the vet redeem it.

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