What is the difference between FIV and FeLV?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in | Comments Off on What is the difference between FIV and FeLV?

FIV and FeLV are two important, but often misunderstood, feline viruses that affect cats’ immune systems. If you have a cat who tests positive for either virus, it is important to learn as much as you can in order to keep them healthy.

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It is most commonly found in unneutered, free roaming male cats as it is transmitted through deep, penetrating bite wounds associated with true territorial aggression. Once neutered, this level of aggression is uncommon and most FIV+ cats can safely live with FIV- cats. While the virus does affect the immune system, many of cats live symptom free for most, if not all, of their lives.

To learn more about FIV, read FIV – Catching a Bad Case of Rumors.

FeLV stands for Feline Leukemia Virus. It is passed between cats through prolonged, casual contact or from mother to babies. Some cats who are exposed to the virus fight it off while others become persistently infected. Persistently infected cats may live months or years in a healthy state, but many succumb to FeLV-associated disease. Cats who are persistently infected with the virus should not live with FeLV- cats unless they are fully vaccinated against FeLV.

More information about FIV and FeLV is available from Best Friends Animal Society.

For Animals tests all our cats for FIV and FeLV prior to adoption, and we do not euthanize cats based on the presence of the virus alone.