The F.I.V. also called "cat AIDS" is a contagious viral disease. Although the officer is very close to that of human AIDS, it is absolutely not transmissible to humans. Because the transmission mode, whole cats are much more exposed than their castrated counterparts.


Cat AIDS symptoms :


Incubation can be several years. Meanwhile the cat externalizing symptoms but is contagious to other dogs. This condition causes a dysfunction of the immune system, that is to say that its white cells are unable to properly defend the organism. The first phase of the disease is characterized by a rise in temperature and an increase of volume of nodes. This period is generally two to three months and at the end the cat seems healed. However, the virus is still present in the body and can contaminate natural congener and for several years. Then begins the next phase characterized by a further increase in the ganglia volume. The immune system is then extremely weak. The cat stops eating and losing weight very quickly. Infections appear to mouth (infectious gingivitis), the eyes, nose (muco-purulent discharge) and on the skin. It is also observed vomiting and diarrhea. Death is inevitable.



Cat causes AIDS :


The virus F.I.V. is a retrovirus. Infection occurs through direct contact between a sick cat and a healthy individual. It can be done through saliva particularly during bites (fights for the defense of the territory) of licking or sexually during matings with females. The virus may also be present in breast milk and therefore contaminate kittens from birth.


Treatment and prevention of AIDS cat :


Once overt disease , very heavy treatments with antibiotics and corticosteroids can relieve the animal, but the outcome is always fatal. There is currently no vaccine against FIV.

The test is mandatory for all cats due in exposure and those intended for breeding . We must be aware that the secreted antibody test against FIV has its limits. Some individuals carrying the virus can have a negative test ! This can last for several months after infection. That is why we must not be content with a single test when the result is negative but renewed two or three times at intervals of several months to get certain that the offending animal is not wearer.





The feline leukemia virus (FeLV Feline leukemia virus) was isolated for the first time in the 1960s and the test that has the highlight was developed in 1973. leukosis virus is a retrovirus, virus in which genetic information is contained in RNA instead of DNA. All retroviruses, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), produce an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. Reverse transcriptase allows them to insert copies of their genetic material into the cells they have infected. Although often mistakenly take as a single virus, FeLV and FIV differ in many aspects:


1. They differ from others by their appearance: FeLV is more circular while FIV is elongated.

2. The two viruses are also quite different on the genetic map, and their surface proteins are different in size and composition.

3. Although many diseases caused by FeLV and FIV are similar, the specific ways in which they are caused are different.

It seems that natural medicines are used to provide the affected cat an acceptable level of comfort by acting on the stimulation of the immune system although the final cure, however, remains compromise1.


Pathogenicity :


The sensitivity to this virus is very high in kittens and young cats then decreases with age. Affected cats are usually male , and veterinary medicine relates primarily between the ages of 1 and 6 years . When a cat is exposed to the virus, it can react in different ways depending on the reactivity of the immune system. This virus can cause proliferative diseases ( leukemia, lymphoma , .. ) , degenerative diseases ( such as spontaneous or repeated abortions in females anemia in the affected cat ...) and / or immunosuppression .




Pale mucous membranes in a cat with severe anemia due to feline leukemia.

The clinical signs of infection with feline leukemia virus are highly variable and nonspecific. Mostly it will be noted:


4. a decreased appetite up to loss of appetite (anorexia)

5. weight loss

6. apathy, lethargy, fever

7. diarrhea

8. breathing difficulties

9. inflammation of the conjunctiva (repeated conjunctivitis)

10. affections of the oral cavity (gingivitis, stomatitis, ..)

11. an increase in the size of lymph nodes

12. one or more abscesses that are struggling to heal .



These signs often discrete, depend on the organ affected by the virus and the presence or absence of sequelae.

Sometimes it is repeated diseases, anemia, leukemia that are suspect, although it also can exist despite no symptoms is obvious. Indeed, FeLV positive cats can remain "asymptomatic" (without clinical signs) for years. However, they are contagious to other cats.


Cats who breathe through their mouths, seem anemic (pale gums) or seem to suffer from chronic cold, may be infected with feline leukemia (leukemia) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) But these chronic symptoms can have other causes.

In all cases the diagnosis is made by the veterinarian based on clinical signs and is confirmed by blood test. At clinical examination, we can highlight pale mucous membranes, intra-ocular abnormalities, abdominal mass, increase in size of an organ. In blood, several tests may be performed:


13. Antigen Assay

14. Search of DNA / RNA of the virus

15. Hematology (red cells, white cells, platelets) and some biochemical parameters

When a cat is FeLV tested positive after blood test veterinary practice advises to repeat the test 6-8 weeks later because elimination of the virus is possible, depending on the cat's immune reactivity (see below). In addition, when a mass is detected, the vet's practice to perform a fine needle aspiration or biopsy.




The virus is spread through bodily fluid transmission (saliva, blood, etc.) from one cat to another during a fight or sometimes a coupling. Indeed saliva is very concentrated viral particles in the case of leukemia. Some cats get rid of the virus and develop defenses immunitaires.On call this virus neutralization. Others become healthy carriers (this represents 1% of affected cats) for the production of antibodies by the cat keeps the virus localized to the epithelium. These cats can live as long as uninfected cats provided that they remain in a quiet, familiar and stress free.


There is also the lag phase, during which the immune system does not eliminate the virus because it dissimilue in cells but not multiply. Then changes will be viremia, a neutralization (representing on average 30% of infected cats). Finally, you can also attend a viremia (virus remains in the blood) persistent, that is to say that because of poor immune response then there is possibility of tumor proliferation (lymphoma, leukemia), or degenerative diseases.

The different immune response options of a contaminated cat virus leukosis are:


1. Neutralization of virus

2. Latency

3. Persistent viremia

4. The status of healthy carrier


There is no specific treatment against feline leukemia. Treatment with interferon has not been rigorous scientific studies; only isolated clinical cases have been described. It stimulates the immune system of the cat and therefore would result in an improvement "clinical" and increased quality of life. Secondary diseases (such as lymphoma or anemia) can be treated, lead to remission but not a cure.

By cons, a preventive vaccine against feline leukemia is now marketed. He, apparently, reduced the number of affected cats.