Categories: Cat Health

Highest Prevalence Of 4 Feline Illnesses USA, By State

This is a map of the United States of America showing the highest prevalence of 4 common feline illnesses by state. In other words the map shows the states in which these illnesses are most common across the USA.

I think it’s quite interesting! There would seem to be a conglomeration, if that is fair, towards the south east of the USA. Both the north-east and the far west of the USA appear to be better in respect of these common feline diseases.

I’m not sure whether you can say that states with the highest incidence of these four feline illnesses are the worst in terms of general feline health. I don’t think you can but there may be an indication that there may be greater feline health issues in those states.

The report upon which the map is based says that since 2009 the number of cats infected with the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) has increased by 48% and, at the moment, the experts don’t know why.

One journalist believes that the increase may be due to more animal shelters taking in cats infected with FIV rather than euthanising them. I presume what is saying is that there are more adoptions from shelters with cats that have FIV. FIV cats can live normal lives provided the standard of care towards them is high.

Another possible factor as to why the states shown in the map have the highest prevalence of these illnesses is that they may be states where it is more common to allow cats to go outside. However, there is no data on that as far as I’m aware. Perhaps a visitor might kindly provide an inside information on that suggestion.

FIV is commonly transmitted by bite wounds between male cats fighting over territory or a female. This clearly supports the idea that there are more outside cats in the states referred to.

Note: the report comes from Banfield Pet Hospital who do a good job compiling the information but they support declawing.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • We have an FIV cat in Slovenia. Actually wondering if there’s anything that can be done to help him live longer. He is under a year old and obviously no symptoms. Theoretically it could come at any moment.

    There must be some kind of preventative treatment?


  • I doubt that the reason for the increase is because shelters adopt more FIV positive cats out. It would surprise me if any county shelter even did any testing.
    I think the better answer is, as you have mentioned, that there may be more outdoor cats in certain states. Several of the states identified on the map have a lot of rural areas/farmland. There are, probably, lots of barn cats. At least more than Florida would ever have.

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