FIV cats colloidal silver (2022)

Reviewing the page January 2022: Please read everything below the line on this page in the light of this long introduction which is an updating and amending section for this article on treating FIV cats with colloidal silver. The text below the line below was written about 12 years ago.

Colloidal silver for pets
Colloidal silver for pets. Photo: Product shot in public domain.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.


What is colloidal silver?

Colloidal silver consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid. My research indicates that it is both antibacterial and antiviral. So, in essence there is some supporting science that it might help in treating viral infections at least theoretically. However, the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health in their online website states that “evidence supporting health-related claims [on using colloidal silver as a treatment] is lacking. In fact, colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health”. They are referring to using as a treatment for people. Note: according to a study, and on my understanding, colloidal silver is the same as nano silver (nanosilver). If you read an article about nano silver the same conclusions can be drawn about colloidal silver it seems to me. If you disagree with that then please tell me in a comment.

And the FDA (America’s Food and Drug Administration) warned, in 1999, that colloidal silver isn’t safe or an effective treatment for “any disease or condition”. Therefore, you should watch out for claims about colloidal silver. In treating people, it can cause a condition called argyria, a bluish-grey discolouration of the skin. It is a buildup of silver in the body’s tissue.

The Mayo Clinic in America says that “supplements containing colloidal silver aren’t considered safe or effective for any of the health claims manufacturers make”. Manufacturers often claim that colonial silver boosts the immune system (an important aspect of FIV cat care) but there been no sound scientific studies evaluating these claims published in reputable medical journals.

Reviewing this page 2022

I felt it necessary to review and refresh this page about 12 years after it was written. The reason? To gauge current thinking about treating FIV cats with colloidal silver. Cat owners need to be careful when researching this kind of information. A lot of it can be anecdotal. That does not mean it’s bad. It just means that you need to thoroughly research the matter as I am doing right now.

FIV cats can live long lives

FIV cats can live long and happy lives. The FIV virus attacks the cat’s immune system and therefore immune support is an aspect of their care. It’s a question of supporting a compromised immune system. There are various ways of doing this including: minimising vaccinations, not using chemical flea and tick prevention treatments, using quality supplements to boost the immune system such as antioxidants and probiotics and providing high quality food. Reducing stress is also important. It’s quite easy to stress a cat as they are wedded to their routines.

Anecdotal reports

There are some optimistic comments on the website about treating FIV cats with colloidal silver. Tanya Dixon wrote: “The big one also for us is colloidal silver in all drinking bowls. That’s been a game changer also, best natural antibiotic and blood cleanup.”

Scientific reports – studies? – science behind this?

However, Google Scholar, which lists probably millions of scientific studies does not have any scientific tests on treating FIV cats with colloidal silver. That I think is quite important. If colloidal silver was considered useful across a wide spectrum of cat owners you would have thought that scientists would have tested it. Although, below, you will see reference to a study about colloidal silver being used to treat Covid in people, at least potentially.

It is said (you can see that I’m being cautious) that silver is a well-documented anti-microbial. It has been shown to kill bacteria, fungi and certain viruses. Apparently, the positively charged silver ions have the anti-microbial effect.

The website (it’s nice to inject a bit of science into this) tells us that silver in medicine dates back thousands of years and that it is a potent antibacterial agent. Incidentally, the word “microbial” means a microorganism or very small lifeform especially a bacterium that causes disease. So, the word anti-microbial is compatible with antibiotic.

It was found that bacteria killed by silver make them deadly to other bacteria. Reservoirs of silver nanoparticles build up in the dead bacteria. The dead bacteria act like sponges. So, silver can kill bacteria. But FIV is caused by a virus, an entirely different organism. Does silver kill viruses? That is the $64,000 question.

We can move forward to the Covid pandemic to look at a study published online 2020, September 11. That study entitled: Potent antiviral effect of silver nanoparticles on SARS-CoV-2, states that “silver nanoparticles have been studied to possess antiviral properties”. They concluded that silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) “are a highly potent microbicides against SARS-CoV-2 [the Covid virus] but should be used with caution due to their cytotoxic effects and their potential to do range environmental ecosystems when improperly disposed”.

That study confirms that silver has antiviral properties.

My conclusion as at 2022

I have to conclude that colloidal silver as a treatment for FIV in cats carries too much risk without hard evidence of benefit to be a recommended treatment. I wouldn’t do it. There is simply not enough science to support it as an effective treatment and there are dangers.

Everything below was written about 12 years ago when we knew less about colloidal silver as a treatment and I knew less about colloidal silver as a treatment. I take responsibility myself. Although I was cautious then I am more cautious now about this treatment today.

Today, the strides in FIV cats colloidal silver treatment are slowly becoming an increasingly known possibility for combating the scary health threat that places infected cats at a disadvantage to their healthy counterparts. Throughout the world, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is a reality and within the United States, between 1 ½ % and 3% of cats are infected with the disease.

Using Colloidal Silver to Treat FIV-Infected Cats

In FIV cats, colloidal silver has shown promise in animal studies and pet owner testimonials where a colloid of silver particles in water is administered to felines in order to take advantage of its anti-microbial properties. In the past, colloidal silver was used to treat external wounds and burns in an effort to avoid infection. With FIV cats, colloidal silver is especially productive in combating eye problems and open wounds.

Research conducted in Mexico on colloidal silver and FIV cats involved the anesthetization of infected cat subjects. They had a silicone rubber catheter containing a silver wire inserted into their jugular vein with a cathode attached to the skin on the chest. In addition to tracking silver levels in the blood, results revealed that a treated cat began eating better by the second post-treatment day and within four weeks, many sores on its back and ears disappeared.

It has been reported that some owners, who have used colloidal silver to treat eye problems in their cats have been pleased, as in a matter of days – swelling, infection, seeping pus, and unpleasant odors were successfully treated. One testimonial states that colloidal silver was able to fight a powerful infection instead of resorting to surgery for the removal of an infected eye. Overall, in FIV cats, colloidal silver is a secret slowly spreading amongst pet owners, which is quite effective in treating ocular (eye) issues and infection.


I’d think that you will find that there is little or no hard science supporting the effectiveness of colloidal silver as a medical treatment despite the fact that it is quite widely used and advertised as a supplement or homeopathic remedy. In the USA, the FDA has not approved it. Personally I would consider it a last resort treatment.

With respect to using it for humans, online there is warning about it being used by mouth (webMD website). Although there is a conspiracy theory that the big pharma companies discredit colloidal silver to protect their profit margins because it can’t be patented and it eats into their profits. It is a rather controversial products it appears.

What is FIV?

Feline immunodeficiency virus is an infectious condition that is found in domestic cats and cheetahs, which is comparable to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection) that threatens their owners. The disease strikes the immune system and causes weakness and vulnerability, as sickness and diseases not a problem to healthy felines now harbor life-threatening consequences for FIV cats. Unfortunately, the disease comes with no cure and there is no vaccine to give.

Eventually, the condition becomes fatal and a FIV-infected cat succumbs to a different infection or sickness. The scary part of the disease is that a cat can live several years without showing any signs of the illness. Feline immunodeficiency virus is classified as a lentivirus, which means it is a virus associated with a disease that develops at a slow pace.

The transmission of FIV takes place when a deep bite wound penetrates the bloodstream, allowing the virus to pass and infect. Sometimes, a mother cat can transfer the virus to her offspring during the gestation period of her pregnancy, as the kittens travel through the birth canal. Nursing may also spread FIV to kittens when they come in contact with tainted blood. While FIV only affects cats, it is important to note that some of the bacteria or parasites that cause the infection in cats are transmittable to humans. Those with a compromised immune system will become ill.

Risk Factors

The age, gender, and amount of time that a cat spends outdoors influence the chances of becoming infected with the virus. Older cats are more likely to come in contact with the feline immunodeficiency virus, as the average age of FIV cats are five years old at the time of their diagnosis. A prior illness also elevates the risk of FIV, as around 15% of all FIV cats in the United States possess the medical signs of an additional condition.

The temperament and habits of cats also place them in danger of contracting the disease. Male cats that display aggression; like to roam the neighborhood; and fight with other cats face a higher chance of becoming infected than females or non-aggressive males.

The Stages of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

During the first stage of the feline immunodeficiency virus, the initial infection settles in and then later spreads to surrounding lymph nodes. Eventually, all of the lymph nodes in the body will become affected. This particular phase is often referred to as asymptomatic, which means no telling signs will surface. Gradually, the number of immune system cells (CD4 or T helper cells) will decrease. The lower the CD4 count in a cat, the higher the risk of illness.

Over the course of the first stage, FIV-cat symptoms include fever, anemia (low red blood cell count), and neutropenia, which involve the abnormal decrease in the number of a kind of white blood cell that circulate throughout the body (neutrophils). During the first stage, most cats still possess a decent supply of CD4 cells to battle the disease. Overall, the first stage can last as little as a few days to weeks and sometimes – months.

As the disease passes into the second stage, asymptomatic symptoms may continue for years. The third phase of the feline immunodeficiency virus is sometimes referred to as ARC (AIDS-related complex), where a considerable drop in a cat’s immune system occurs. This creates a vulnerability that allows viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans to compromise the health of the FIV cat, which normally doesn’t bother healthy felines. These opportunistic (or secondary) infections will continue to plague the health of an infected cat and will only worsen with time.

Symptoms of FIV Cats

In order to treat FIV cats with colloidal silver, a proper diagnosis and analysis of symptoms is required. While an infected cat may become lethargic, lose their appetite, develop a fever, experience weight loss, and suffer swollen lymph nodes, there are numerous specific symptoms associated with the feline immunodeficiency virus.

In about half of FIV-infected cat cases, chronic oral infections surface, as cats may wince when their face is touched or show difficulties when eating. Sometimes, they flat out refuse to eat because of the pain. Around the mouth, an unpleasant odor may arise.

Chronic upper respiratory diseases are common in FIV-infected felines, as about 30% of all cases suffer nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, and problems with breathing. Often accompanying upper respiratory disease, cats develop eye disease that creates redness, discharge, and a cloudy cornea. In the worst cases, glaucoma becomes an issue.

Gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic diarrhea occur in 10% to 20% of FIV cats. Infection surfaces about the skin and ears (severe ringworm lesions, chronic abscesses, and hair loss), which eventually manifests into chronic or reoccurring incidents. This is sometimes one of the first signs of the disease.

FIV cats also suffer uncharacteristic changes in their behavior, such as loss of housetraining. They may show signs of dementia – a symptom directly caused by FIV, but is also a sign of parasitic and fungal secondary infections. Additional FIV symptoms include anemia and enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen

On the whole, FIV-infected cats often pass away due to opportunistic infections, which attack their skin, eyes, coat, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive system, nerves, and appetite.

28 thoughts on “FIV cats colloidal silver (2022)”

  1. I have been using colloidial silver on myself and my cats for many years with great success. Anything topical. I do not recommend giving orally though because it can kill good probiotics also. But it has worked for ear, tooth, eye and skin infections and cleared my kittens severe eye infection after two weeks of antibiotics failed him. I also don’t have any faith in the FDA..they approve shit that should be banned while villianizing holistic treatments that actually work with no side effects because there’s no money in that! Colloidial silver is amazing and I speak from experience.

    • Many thanks Stephanie. I think you are right about not taking it orally and it nice to know that it helps externally. I’ll bear it in mind. I’ve just thrown some out because of the research I did!


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