AIDS vs. FIV

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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