FIV-positive kitten may just carry maternal antibodies. Either way, he's due for neutering.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Tue Jan 4 00:00:00 PST 2005

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A FIV vaccine is available, but one huge drawback is that after vaccination these cats show positive on subsequent FIV tests. That is, we cannot tell a vaccinated cat from an infected cat. In some cases, depending on the time the cat was vaccinated, they can be both vaccinated and infected. If you can possibly find out, it would be important for your veterinarian to know whether your kitten was vaccinated against FIV.

I have neutered hundreds, possibly thousands by now, of FIV-positive cats. FIV does not generally cause lymphocytic cancers that we see with FeLV-positive cats. Many cats with FIV live long and relatively healthy lives because the immune system is not impaired. I still recommend neutering this little fellow. 

Last, a short comment on the canned vs. dry cat-food issue. Wet food includes water intake and calories per gram of food; therefore, feeding a high-quality canned cat food can help prevent obesity and reduce the chances of urinary-tract problems. To keep weight off, try giving your cat proper portions and limiting him to two or three small meals per day and institute a good home dental program as well.

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Reader Comments

Tarra    Carol Stream, IL

4/29/2011 1:38:34 PM

I was just told that my 8 month old kitten has tested positive. I don't know what to do. I don't have a lot of money to spend on x-rays and hospital stays.. she already is barely eating and sleeps a lot. I was told there are abnormalities in her liver enzymes but that could be from not eating. Can anyone please advise me? I'm lost as to what to do and I don't want to lose her right now if I don't ahve to.

Julie    Lodi, CA

10/20/2008 1:41:10 PM

I am feeling horrible after reading all of the responses. I had a 10 week old kitty that I had to have put down because the vet said there was no cure. He had fluid around his lungs and in his abdomen. It broke my heart. Did I do the right thing? He was having trouble breathing, mouth breathing and had coughing seizures where he was pushing out his chest and having trouble catching his breath. So after reading everything I am worried I did the wrong thing.

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