How contagious is a cat with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)?

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  • #3330

    Question: This question is in reference to my daughter kitty,
    who was just diagnosed with FIV. She must be in a later stage, as she is “wasting” (4.25 lbs), has terrible gum disease and diahrea. My daughter and her kitty moved into our household 2 months ago and my cats tested negative to FIV today. My daughter wants to put her cat to sleep,
    but I’m such a hopeful person, I could isolate the infected cat from my cats until she moves out (that will
    be in a couple of months) and then she could live with her cat. She adores this cat and I quess I’m wondering how dangerous the situation is for
    my cats and how much sickness and pain the infected kitty will have from now on.

    Sex: Female Neutered

    username: [email protected]

    Pet: Canine

    Breed: siamese

    Age: 2

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    I would hate to see your daughter put such a young, beloved companion to sleep. FIV in and of itself is not painful, and the signs can be managed as they arise if she is willing to do so. You must realize however that your daughter may be ready to put this cat to sleep, now, and not agonize with a chronically ill cat through all of the emotional ups and downs. The danger to your cats is minimal, especially if you are able to separate them. FIV is transmitted primarily by bite wounds, and is therefore not aseasily acquired as FeLV. If she decides to try and treat, I would start the cat on a high quality, high protein diet such as human baby food (no cat food), or home-cooked wet rice/chicken or turkey with added enzymes. Coenzyme Q-10 10mg/day will help with the gum disease. I would also start her on a course of supplements/immune enhancers such as Interferon (which your vet can make up), dimethylglycine, and Pau D’Arco. These are all liquids so they can be administered relatively easily without having to pill her.

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