Nairobi - Pathologists at Lancet Laboratories in Nairobi have cautioned cat owners to be vigilant after a cat was diagnosed with a virus similar to HIV.
The cat was said to have exhibited gradual weight loss and lethargy when its owner took it to the vet.
Blood tests conducted by the pathologists indicated that the cat had Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which according to Citizen Digital caused degradation of the immune system.
According to Kenyans.co.ke, Dr Dhaval Shah, who examined the pet, said, however, that the virus could not be transmitted to humans.
"The virus spreads between cats through bites during fights, hence cat owners should be vigilant against aggressive or free-roaming cats," he was quoted as saying.
According to health sources, prolonged infection could lead to poor coat condition and persistent fever, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis).
Other complications included chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present, persistent diarrhea, various kinds of cancer and blood diseases, abortion of kittens and other reproductive failures.