No one likes to think of their cat getting ill and passing away, but the threat of such an event is getting worse. Why are so many pets passing away? The answer is feline AIDS, and the risk is greater than you might expect, even if you have a healthy feline family member. If you have feral cats outside your home, the threat is more deadly than you think. The more you know about feline AIDS in the feral cats outside, the better you can protect your cats inside.
What is Feline AIDS?
Feline AIDS is an infectious immunodeficiency disease that kills domestic cats. Recent reports reveal that as many as 14% of domestic cats are infected with the virus FIV, or feline immunodeficiency virus. The virus is an infection that decimates a cat’s immune system. This triggers feline AIDS.
There are three stages of the illness: infection, sub-clinical, and terminal.
In the infection stage, the virus attacks the body and causes infections. Cats will experience frequent fevers and swollen lymph nodes, just like humans experience when infected with a virus. Once an infection hits the lymph system, it spreads through the body. The fever is the body trying to fight the fever, but it cannot.
In the sub-clinical phase, the cat appears to be happy and healthy because the virus is dormant in the body. This stage can last for years. In fact, cats infected with feline AIDS can live as long as 10 years.
In the terminal phase, the cat becomes seriously ill and will not recover. The terminal phase is fatal and will kill the cat in as little as a year. During this stage, secondary illnesses and infections kill the cat because the immune system has been ravaged.
How Do Cats Get Feline AIDS?
Cats get feline AIDS from other cats. It is highly infectious. Outdoor and male cats are at an increased risk because of the exposure to other cats and because of fighting. Feline AIDS spread via saliva and blood. When a feral cat bites or scratches your cat, contaminated blood can transmit the virus. Even if the feral cat doesn’t attack, a feral cat that mated with your cat can make them ill as well. A nursing mother cat can also pass feline AIDS to her kittens.
Prevention Starts with Feral Cat Control
The best defense against the illness is to control the environment in which your cat roams. If your cat does go outdoors, you must keep feral cats away from your property. You can’t do this on your own. Feral cats jump, hide, and sneak around your property. They also reproduce with domestic cats. Feral cats can and will infect your pet with an illness if they are on or near your home or commercial property. Here are just a few ways you can deter feral cats from your property:
Avoid letting your house cats outside
Don’t feed the birds often
Let your dog outside often
Cover your trash bins
Don’t feed feral cats, and encourage your neighbors not to feed them either
Call the professionals
Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions has a solution that will keep feral cats away from your property and keep your cat safe. When you contact the Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions Wildlife Division, you will get assistance from a professional who will humanely trap feral cats and remove them from the property, taking then to the local shelter so they cannot transmit feline AIDS or feline leukemia to your beloved pet.