Cats that become infected with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV, need to have a special diet as their immune system has been compromised. This condition is similar to HIV in humans and can severely weaken a cat. Therefore, you must put your cat on a strict diet to ensure that they can live a long and healthy life.
Fortunately, caring for a cat with FIV isn’t that difficult and you can talk with your vet to come up with a diet plan for your cat, which has FIV.
The FIV-infected cat will have a severely weakened immune system, so you will need to be careful about what food you are selecting for the cat. The virus can stay in the immune system for lengthy periods and shortens the life expectancy of a cat. However, there are some cats that have managed to live for a long time with a specialized diet that takes into account their FIV condition.
This article will talk about the best foods that you can give your cat with FIV and which foods you should avoid giving to your FIV-infected cat. Fortunately, by the end, you will know how to better care for cats that have FIV and ensure that your cat can live a long and healthy life.
Don’t Offer Any Dairy Products
You may have seen television commercials where cats can be seen lapping up a bowl of milk, but you shouldn’t offer milk to adult cats. Kittens can drink milk, but after they reach adulthood, they lose the enzyme that digests milk, and as such most cats are lactose intolerant.
The milk will not digest properly in their system and will cause them numerous problems. The last thing you want to feed your FIV cat is milk because it will not strengthen their immune system but instead weaken it.
Adult cats that drink milk won’t be able to digest it properly, and it will result in flatulence and weight gain in them, which is unhealthy. You want your cat to be on a healthy diet, and even though milk may seem like the ideal thing to feed your cat, you should avoid it at all costs.
That’s because adult cats are lactose intolerant, and when they have FIV, their immune system is already weak. Keeping them on a milk diet will only worsen the condition and cause you headaches.
Definitely NO Plant-Based Diet
Your FIV cat needs nutrients and proteins to live to a healthy age, and they won’t be able to get all of that if you have placed them on a plant-based diet. You should avoid feeding your cat any plant-based food as that will compromise their immune system and affect their health.
Cats need meat to be healthy, and when their immune system is already weakened due to FIV, you want to give them all the nutrients that they need to survive. Therefore, you should say no to any plant-based diet for your cat.
Cats rely on the proteins they can get from animal meat, and feeding them with protein-rich foods will boost your cat’s immune system. They will be healthier and more active as a result and will live longer, especially when they have FIV. You want to ensure that your cat has a healthy amount of meat in their diet, so that their immune system isn’t compromised and they live to a ripe old age.
Feed Them Some Kibble
Kibble is dry cat food and is a favorite among cats and cat owners alike. It’s affordable and tasty for the cat, but if that is the only thing you are feeding your cat, it will spell trouble for them.
You want to ensure that your cat is on a mixed diet of dry and wet food when they have FIV. Keeping them mainly on a dry cat food diet isn’t recommended because it can cause complications with their immune system.
You want your cat to be healthy and strong and even though they may prefer eating kibble, you should give it to them in moderation. Too much kibble can cause a host of problems for your FIV-infected cat, and you should avoid that at all costs.
Cats can’t tell what is good for them and what isn’t, so you will have to take the lead here and ensure that your cat doesn’t fall sick eating only kibble.
Speak to Your Vet about a Specialized Diet
When you have an FIV-infected cat, the last thing you want to do is feed them something without consulting with your vet. Take your cat to the vet and speak to them about the dietary plan for your feline friend, as that is your best bet in ensuring that your cat lives up to a ripe old age.
You want to ensure that your cat doesn’t develop any major issues and their diet is important when they have FIV. The vet will provide you with guidance and let you know which foods you should feed your cat and which foods you should avoid.
You can schedule a meeting with your vet and speak to them about the favorite foods that your cat enjoys and whether you should be feeding them a particular food. You must give extra care and attention to a cat that has FIV and that’s the reason why you must sit down with your vet and come up with a dietary plan for your cat with FIV.
Our Final Thoughts
Your cat may have been diagnosed with FIV, but it’s not the end of the world for them. There are many cats that can live up to a ripe old age with the condition but provided that you feed them the right diet. Most pet owners are unaware of what to feed their cat with FIV, but thankfully we have shared enough information above to help you out.
If you have further questions about what diet you should keep for your cat, or the best foods for cats with FIV, you should consult your vet today.