I know what you’re thinking -“has the cat been sleeping around with many partners unprotected?” Common guys, it’s a cat! And the cat according to a network of independent medical laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya, is infected with FIV – a virus that is similar to HIV/AIDS in humans.
Reports have it that the blood of the cat was subjected to lab tests after it suffered weight lost and lack of energy. The lab tests results revealed that the pet has Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is a virus categorized in the same family with HIV. Don’t panic. Though FIV is a lentivirus similar to HIV, and causes a disease in cats similar to AIDS in humans, it is a highly species-specific virus that infects only felines.
Several studies have failed to show any evidence that FIV can infect or cause disease in humans. Dr. Dhaval Shah, one of the pathologists involved with the aforementioned medical laboratory confirmed this. He said: “humans cannot be infected by FIV, nor can cats be infected by HIV…
The virus is spread between cats through bites during fighting hence cat owners should be vigilant against aggressive or free-roaming cats. This discovery should prompt cat owners to protect their cats from exposure to the virus by keeping them indoors and reducing contact with free-roaming cats which tend to carry the virus,’ Shah advised. Now worried about the well-being of your cat huh? Worry not, your cat will be fine.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt from Cornell Feline Health Center that you can protect your cat by preventing their exposure to the virus. “Cat bites are a major way infection is transmitted. So, keeping cats indoors-and away from potentially infected cats that might bite them-markedly reduces their likelihood of contracting FIV infection.