Should I vaccinate my cat against FIV?

The value of the FIV vaccine is in doubt, therefore it should not be given (as at 2011). In answering the question “Should I vaccinate my cat against FIV?” I have shamelessly referred to one source: Dr Fogle in his book Complete Cat Care. Of course you should do your own research and ask questions of your veterinarian. Personally, I vaccinate my cat the minimum consistent with protecting his health.

Cat Vaccination
Cat Vaccination. Photo: The Answer Vet
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

FIV is quite common amongst free-ranging cats and many are healthy but they transmit the virus to other cats where it may cause serious ill-health.

Studies of cats at veterinary clinics indicate that “10-20 percent of sick cats have been exposed to FIV, usually through bites or repeated social licking”.

First symptoms of an infection are:

  • fever
  • lethargy
  • possible lymph node enlargement

Later good heath returns but then other signs might develop such as:

  • weight loss
  • gum disease
  • loss of appetite
  • intermittent fever
  • conjunctivitis
  • tumours
  • fever

There is a vaccine for FIV which is licensed in the USA.

However, academic researchers “question its value”.

Therefore Dr Fogle who is a high profile and well regarded vet/author does not give this vaccination.

P.S. – The minimal quotes, which I hope are acceptable are from Dr Fogle’s book Complete Cat Care. This is an excellent book. Note: I have dated the advice as 2011. Science advances and therefore you may have more up to date information in which case please leave a comment which I may incorporate into this post.

1 thought on “Should I vaccinate my cat against FIV?”

  1. I think that feral colonies are the most at risk for having a spread of FIV infected cats. Until the colony is managed, male territorial fighting is frequent.
    But, even after coming under caretaker management, the remnants remain. I wish that all community cats could be tested, but it’s not feasible due to the expense.
    As all know, I have socialized, kept, and homed many semi-ferals. Princess, one that I have kept and have had for 5 1/2 years now, tested positive not too long ago. She still has bouts of infections but is OK today.
    I remember your article as to whether FIV positive cats should live among others. At that time, my Princess was newly diagnosed. The answer to the living situation is, ofcourse, yes.
    https://pictures-of-cats.org/can-fiv-positive-cats-live-with-other-cats.html

    Reply

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