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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – How Is It Spread?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT CUTIEThere is an outdoor cat who lives next door to us in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This cat is infected with FIV. It has shown no symptoms. Even though my cats don’t go outside, I do let them on our porch and always make sure that the cat next door is not around.  FIV infected cats are found worldwide. In the United States, approximately 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats are infected with FIV. Rates rise significantly-15 percent or more-in cats that are sick or at high risk of infection. Because biting is the main way that the disease is transmitted, outdoor cats are more likely to get infected.  As with HIV, casual contact does not cause infection.  This is the reason that I make sure that my cats do not come in contact with the cat next door. As with HIV, FIV infected cats can show no symptoms and live normal lives but the risk of developing FIV related illnesses significantly is increased.

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