Feline AIDS rampant in the Tweed

Vet Matthew Carey with fully vaccinated cat Lynx.
Vet Matthew Carey with fully vaccinated cat Lynx. Blainey Woodham

WHEN people talk about AIDS the last thing that usually comes to mind is cats, but our furry feline friends are susceptible to it as well.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is much more common than most people know and it's certainly prevalent in the Tweed.

"It's a virus similar to HIV but not related," Greenway Drive vet Dr Matthew Casey said.

Cats contract the disease from cat fights and bites and it attacks their immune system, just like HIV does to humans.

He assures us it's impossible for humans to contract it from cats.

"You can not get it (FIV) from a cat," he said.

To find out if your cat has the disease you need to get a test.

"All outdoor cats should get a test," Dr Casey said.

"15% of the cats we test after being bitten are positive."

The best thing to do is get your furry friend vaccinated and make sure to monitor their outdoor activities.

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