With more than 2 million uploads and almost 25 billion views, cat videos are by far and away the most popular and most shared subjects online. Yet around 3% of those cats may well test positive for Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), and a similar number the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
Exactly why cat videos go viral is obvious to those who love cats and a complete mystery those who don’t. What can’t be denied is that more and more people want to show off their cats, and even more want to watch other people’s cats showing off.
If you want to see dogs doing what cats do on the internet, all you have to do is walk anywhere dogs are let off the leash. Set free, dogs perform the same feats of acrobatics and athleticism. Away from the camera, even healthy cats are mostly either sleeping or patiently stalking something.
Viral, in any context other than social media, is invariably bad news
The key word for both dogs and cats is ‘healthy’. Video clips and real-life views of sick animals offer no attraction to anyone who hasn’t an interest in veterinary diagnostics. Yet the word ‘viral’, in any context other than social media, is invariably bad news.
Though it may have the more serious immediate impact on your cat’s health, there is a vaccine for FeLV. A third of affected cats develop tumours while two-thirds succumb to infections related to the loss of disease resistance.
No vaccine and no cure for FIV
The FIV virus reduces your cat’s ability to fight infection. There is no vaccine and no cure for FIV. However, most FIV positive cats still enjoy a normal life-span without any apparent health problems attributable to the virus.
Early diagnosis in cats exposed to infected animals, such as feral populations, is essential to effective treatment. Veterinary diagnostic kits such as Vetlab Supplies’ FASTest FeLV-FIV testing for Cats reliably checks for both viruses in a single test.
FeLV and FIV testing recommend
If you have new cat or kitten in the house, or a cat that likes to roam, or if you breed cats or manage a cattery, your veterinary laboratory will recommend FeLV and FIV testing.
Many of the most viewed cat videos show cats coming unstuck. Maybe that’s because we’re somehow in awe of the intelligence and agility of cats. We know that, if they could just get themselves organised, cats could take over the world.
But for now, and for their most important needs – a healthy diet, veterinary treatment and preventative vaccinations, cats are entirely dependent on us, their devoted owners and keepers, otherwise known as… their servants.