Cat owners have been cautioned to take good care of their cats after one tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is similar to the human HIV/AIDS virus.
While speaking in Nairobi, Veterinary pathologist Dhaval Shah said that this was the first time this has been confirmed in Kenya. This is despite the condition having been documented in 1986 in the United States.
Just like in humans, the condition manifests itself in the same way as HIV does. The feline will exhibit low immunity which will make it vulnerable to opportunistic diseases and skin infections. With time, it develops into feline AIDS.
In the Nairobi case, the owners subjected the cat to serological tests which involve the study of body fluids after they noticed gradual weight loss and a lack of energy.
Pathologists note that the feline version of the virus cannot be passed on to humans and nor can the human virus be passed on to cats. They further note that pet owners should not be in a hurry to get rid of their cats following the discovery.
Instead, they caution on keeping them indoors to protect them from getting exposed to the virus; which is mostly transmitted through bites during cat fights.