At the Nekoya Cat Hotel, we strongly recommend that all cat owners produce a physical FIV/FeLV health certificate dated within the past 12 months of the cat’s stay certifying that they are negative for both illnesses. This will allow us to ensure that your cat is well suited to sharing a boarding space with other cats, and that it has a lessened chance of falling ill while away from home!
What are FIV and FeLV?
Feline-Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV, or Feline Aids in cats) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) are both retroviruses that cause immune dysfunction in cats. You may have heard of most famous retrovirus in humans; the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Similar to HIV, there are no cures for FIV and FeLV once a cat is infected.
How are FIV and FeLV transmitted in cats?
Both FIV and FeLV can be transmitted through bite wounds.
In FIV, the primary method of transmission is through saliva. Think shared food/water bowls, prolonged contact with an infected cat, or repeated mutual grooming. On the other hand, FeLV is primarily transmitted through bite wounds – The kind that your cat may get if it is allowed to roam freely, where the possibility of getting into outdoor aggressive fights is high.
How high is the chance that my cat may get FIV or FeLV while boarding?
Honestly? It’s low. Both the FIV and FeLV viruses are very fragile. They are often unable to exist for significant amounts of time outside of the feline body. At the Nekoya Cat Hotel, we also maintain a very strict policy of never letting cats from separate households mingle. Food and water bowls are also never shared between cats from different cabins, and always sanitized before and after meals.
In this case, and if the Nekoya Cat Hotel is so uptight about hygiene and cleanliness, you must be ready to ask –
Why Then, Must I Test My Cat for FIV/FeLV?
The FIV/FeLV test is important – More so for you, than for us – Because cats can get stressed very easily when they are placed in a new environment. It doesn’t have to be at cat boarding; even a trip out to the vet, to the groomer’s or to a relative’s home can cause elevated levels of stress.
Stress causes a cat’s immune system to become more susceptible to illness. While the chance is low and rare, this is a different story altogether for the immunocompromised cat with FIV or FeLV.
It is important for owners to know the status of FIV and FeLV in their cats so they can provide better care and quality of life for their cats. Cats with FIV and FeLV may not show symptoms for years after the initial infection occurs. Many cat owners live day to day, with many simply not knowing that their cats even have a retrovirus. And while most cats with FIV or FeLV can lead normal, healthy lives, eventually a weakened immune system can leave them susceptible to other illnesses or diseases that commonly shorten their lives.
How is an FIV/FeLV Test Done?
Testing your cat for FIV or FeLV is rather simple, only requiring a small blood sample. It can be easily conducted at your local veterinary clinic, and you can get the results in less than 15 minutes!
The FIV/FeLV test should be done once a year, along with your cat’s annual health check and vaccination. For cat owners living close to Nekoya Cat Hotels, our preferred veterinary partners; Amber Cat Vet and The Animal Ark are able to provide the following services to ensure that your cats are ready for cat boarding with us!
- Annual FVCRP vaccination
- VacciCheck (Titer test – Only available at Amber Cat Vet)
- Feline sterilization
- FIV/FeLV testing
While being FIV/FeLV negative has all along been an admission prerequisite at the Nekoya Cat Hotels, we have unfortunately recently come to discover that a few cat owners have been lying about their cat’s health status in order to board their cats at our facilities.
While the chances of FIV/FeLV transmission are low in consideration of the stringent measures we put into place to ensure our hotels’ cleanliness and hygiene, any illness that an FIV/FeLV positive cat may come down with is certainly very transmittable; etc. cat flu – And we seek to ensure that no cat in our care falls ill.
With about 40% of clients submitting their test results since we’ve opened our doors, we would like to take this opportunity to request that those who have not considered a FIV/FeLV test should send their cats for one, for added peace of mind! This move aligns with our vision of prioritizing the health and safety of all feline guests entering and departing from our facilities, and allows our caretakers to care for each cat to the best of our ability.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our existing clients and thank you for your cooperation in being a major force in helping us be the top holistic cat boarding facility for cats in Singapore!
The Nekoya Team
More reading about FIV and FeLV can be done at the following links: