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.


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