1 Bay Road, Fennell Bay NSW 2283
Westlakes Veterinary Hospital

Westlakes Veterinary Hospital


FIV Risk Assessment

1 in 7 Australian cats with outdoor access have tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), giving Australia one of the highest infection rates in the world.

Because there is no cure, it's important that all cat owners understand both the risks and protection options for their pet.


Cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection occurred. Although the virus is slow-acting, a cat’s immune system is severely weakened once the disease takes hold. This makes the cat susceptible to various secondary infections. Infected cats receiving supportive medical care and kept in a stress-free, indoor environment can live relatively comfortable lives for months to years before the disease reaches its chronic stages.


To assess the risk to your cat read our quiz below:

1. Approximately how often does your cat go outside?

Any outdoor access puts your cat at risk of infection. Even if your cat only toilets outside, it is still at risk, please advise one of our team at your next visit if your cat has outdoor access.

2. Has your cat ever been in a fight with another cat?

Cats like to have their own territory so it's common for them to squabble over boundries, particularly the males. If an FIV infected cat bites your cat, then the virus can be transmitted via the saliva. Let our team know if your can has ever been in a fight.

3. Do you know of any wandering cats in your area?

Stray cats tend to visit many houses at night looking for food or mates, they are more prone to territorial disputes and fighting. This puts them at high risk for contracting FIV and in turn, stray cats then create a high infection risk for all pet cats in their area. If you have noticed stray cats, or signs of stray cats in your street let us know.

4. Has your cat ever had an abcess?

An abcess is an infection under the skin. They are often associated with bite and scratch wounds from fights with other cats. This is a huge risk factor and you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible if you notice an abcess on your cat.




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