Is your Cat at risk of FIV ?

Your cat is at risk of contracting FIV if it spends any time outdoors. This includes letting your cat outside to go to the toilet, potentially letting your cat outside in a mesh or wire pen or enclosure and allowing your cat outdoors when you go outdoors.

Vaccinating kittens against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) before they have outdoor access prevents infection in 66% of cats that encounter the FIV virus. To put this into context the human flu vaccine can only reduce illness (not prevent infection) in 40-60% of the human population each year.

Australia has one of the highest rates of FIV infection in the world and within Victoria 15% of cats in studies that presented to the vet and whose owners agreed to testing were found to be positive for FIV. Given that many cats do not regularly visit the vet the likely infection rate is even higher.

FIV is spread by cats fighting and unfortunately the only way to completely protect cats against FIV is by preventing contact with any potentially infected cats by always keeping them indoors. However, this is often neither practical nor realistic for many Australian cat owners. Therefore, vaccination provides a useful means to help prevent infection.

Why do we want to prevent infection with FIV?

Unfortunately, FIV is not treatable and has lifelong consequences for your cat. Shortly after infection an infected cat may show fever, enlarged lymph nodes and appear tired. As the disease caused by the virus progresses it suppresses the cat’s immune system. Cats are prone to developing various infections and more prone to developing cancer, neurological diseases and chronic inflammation of the gums. Cats can pass away either from these diseases or otherwise from the second stage of FIV where the virus is unable to be controlled by the immune system and becomes terminal. Usually this process occurs over several years.

The FIV vaccination

The FIV vaccination course involves 3 initial doses 2-4 weeks apart. In kittens there is no need for prior testing for FIV and the vaccinations can be done in line with your kitten’s other routine vaccinations. In adult cats that have had any outdoor access a FIV blood test is recommended prior to starting vaccination. The blood test is cost effective, run in the clinic within 10 minutes and only requires a drop of blood.

For all cats after the initial course a yearly booster is then required. This can be administered at the same time as your cat’s other annual vaccination and health check.

The FIV vaccine has an excellent safety profile. In a recent study cats were followed for 2 weeks post vaccination and 98.92% demonstrated no adverse reactions at all. For the remainder, mild lethargy and a mild fever that self-resolved were the most commonly reported side effects, as with all vaccines.

If you have any questions regarding this article or FIV please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic on 83730301 and chat to one of our helpful vets or nurses.


Is it worth vaccinating a cat against FIV?

Yes! Vaccinating cats and kittens against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) helps prevent infection in 66% of cats that encounter the FIV virus when outdoors and exposed to other cats.

How is FIV spread?

FIV is spread by cats fighting

Do you need to prevent FIV in cats?

FIV is not treatable and has lifelong consequences for your cat. Cats can pass away either from these diseases or otherwise from the second stage of FIV where the virus is unable to be controlled by the immune system

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Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

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  • Avatar Krystel H ★★★★★ a week ago
    Didn’t have a chance to read reviews prior to our visit because our beloved little Pum had a random and very scary one off seizure that sent us all into a panic yesterday afternoon. My daughter googling emergency vets while we were in a … More frenzy trying to load this precise cargo in the car resulted in us ending up here and after the care we received from the point of first contact to getting the favourite child home in one piece safe and sound was impeccable!To the lovely ladles on reception, Thankyou! You were so comforting and reassuring during the initial call at the height of our panic. Your guidance over the phone was invaluable and the service received upon arrival was brilliant. Only two calls were made to you guys and a vet closer to home and the reception from both couldn’t have been any more polar opposite which is why we ended up here and I’m so glad we did. You represented your establishment so fabulously. The vet herself and training student were also so lovely and while I never want to go through that experience ever again I’m glad we found you guys because all the reviews are pretty spot on, our family agrees and are so thankful for your help!
  • Avatar Vereena Dodds ★★★★★ 2 weeks ago
    Everyone at Lynbrook Vet are so welcoming and caring. Everything is explained to you in great detail so that you know what is going on with your pet. I would 100% recommend them for your fur baby
  • Avatar Marissa L ★★★★★ a month ago
    Highly recommend Lynbrook Vet! I travel 30 minutes to take my fur baby Charlie and would do so in a heart beat any day. The team at Lynbrook goes above and beyond to ensure my dog had a good experience. He came in for a dental clean and … More came out with pearly shinny teeth. He did not show any signs of destress upon picking him up and came home to finish all his dinner.The lovely team provided updates throughout the day via texts and calls - it made me felt really comfortable that he was in good hands.
  • Avatar Katelyn Reynolds ★★★★★ a month ago
    Took our cat BB to the Lynbrook vet once we moved into the area. The other reviews for this vet are accurate. My cat had to go in for a dental and lump removal and the transparency and care were top notch from start to finish throughout … More the day. From the phone calls before, during and after the surgery, to the messages and photos from “our cat” to the detailed aftercare plan. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff in both the vet team and the admin staff. These are our vet team through and through.
  • Avatar Rhiannon JH ★★★★★ a month ago
    The BEST veterinary practise. Amazing customer service they remember our dogs and make them feel loved and special at every visit.
  • Avatar Gabriela Zumaran ★★★★★ a month ago
    The have an excellent service and the team is really friendly and caring. I will recommend Lynbrook vet to all my friends. They look after my little one so good.

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