TAIPEI (Taiwan News)－The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) found in cats is similar to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosed in people, but cats cannot pass FIV to humans, reported New Taipei City Government on Saturday (Nov. 30).
The government report said that while some cats do not show signs of FIV, others may have poor appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, a disheveled coat, and hair loss.
The Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office of New Taipei City (NTPC) said cats diagnosed with FIV should avoid contact with other felines, as fights can result in injuries and lead to the transmission of the infectious illness through saliva and blood. For this reason, it is advised that cats are neutered so they are less likely to stray.
Since stray cats are considered high-risk for FIV, NTPC quarantines and observes captured cats to prevent the further spread of the disease. Although a cure for FIV has not yet been found, treatment to prolong the asymptomatic period or ease symptoms is available, according to WebMD.
Coinciding with World AIDS Day, on Sunday (Dec. 1), the head of NTPC's Agriculture Department, Li Min (李玟), wanted to raise awareness of FIV and called on the public to adopt stray animals and treat all cats with respect.
For more information on animal adoption in Taiwan, visit the National Animal Shelter Management System.