The Best Natural Remedies for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

| Modified on Jan 29, 2024

Having a cat diagnosed with FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) can be frightening. Cats with FIV can become very sick. FIV can cause death. Fortunately natural remedies can be surprisingly helpful for FIV. Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and dietary changes can strengthen the immune system and fight the virus itself.

FIV symptoms start out as mild lethargy, anorexia, fever, and swollen lymph-nodes. As the disease progresses these symptoms may disappear, and your cat may appear normal for a number of months to years; but the last stage is known as feline acquired immune deficiency (FAIDS), which makes the cat susceptible to infection and disease which can cause death.

A proper diagnosis of FIV from a vet or lab is important so that you know what you are dealing with. Antibiotics do not work for viruses however, and would only be used in the case of a secondary bacterial infection resulting from a depressed immune system. A very sick cat may benefit from IV fluids before any home treatments are used.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw and organic apple cider vinegar may sound too simple to treat such a serious infection, but may work well for your cat nonetheless. You will find more information about using apple cider vinegar for your cat on this page.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a powerful natural antiviral food. Be sure to use raw coconut oil that smells like coconut oil. 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon is typically used 3 times a day, internally. It can be melted and added to food. If your cat has conjunctivitis or weepy eyes, a bit of coconut oil can be applied to the eyes for healing.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver can be given three times a day to fight viruses. A dropperful at a time is typically given. You can also add it to your cat’s water.


Echinacea strengthens the immune system. 5 drops of Echinacea can be added to your pets food or you can dose it orally, thrice daily.

Dietary Changes

Be sure to give your cat a diet rich in nutrients. Cooked meats, fish and eggs are ideal. A natural cat diet does not include grains, though sparing use of quality whole grains can provide some nutrients to your cat. Dairy products are not well digested by cats. Most cats won’t eat much in the way of fruits or vegetables but if they enjoy them it is fine for them to have them in moderation.


Keep stressors to your cat at a minimum. Stress makes healing more difficult. Climate controlled living quarters so that your cat is neither too hot not too cold is important. He should also be kept free from irritating parasites like fleas and ticks. Other pets in your home that tease or bother your cat should give him rest while he recovers as well.

Do you have a natural remedy for FIV? Please send us some feedback!

Keep reading to see how our creative and dedicated readers have treated their cats with FIV naturally!

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sierra (Pakistan) on 07/07/2017

ACV for URI Sinus infection - post medical care after FIV.

Apple Cider Vinegar works! Plain and simple. We had 7 cats. We lost two cats to what the doctor believed was FIV. We lived in a remote area and access to a reasonable vet service was never a choice. The condition worsened for our two cats. We took them to a vet after making arrangements some 160Miles away after antibiotics for 3 wasnt until one of them started to foam and pus at the mouth we knew the medicine wasnt working. Stopped eating too. The other one became lethargic. They fought for 4 days at the vets and the best the doctor could do was to put them on IV and painkillers to see if they could fight off the disease. They didn't make it. Doctor was cooperative. It was horrible.

We immediately quarantined our house. It was a horrible strain of FIV that killed nearly a hundred feral cats in the community...we saw them dead lying everywhere. Our 4 cats survived but one of them was clearly infected. he contracted a horrible URI and wont stop dripping from the nose. The ANTIBIOTICS didn't help much again this time.

EARTHCLINIC COMMUNITY SAVED MY CAT by recommending ACV. We gave it to him in minced chicken meat in small quantities and have kept him on wet food mixed with homemade rice/yogurt/porridge type stuff ever since.Its been some 6 months since that ordeal, and my other cats were lucky Thank God. If they interact with other street cats its better to get them vaccinated.

Once FIV is gone, their bodies become resilient so they cant fight it off the next time. It will appear as a minor cold if the infection comes back. ACV will do wonders whenever that happens.

Replied by Vikki
(Ennis, Tx.)

How much do you give them, and how often..

Replied by Christina
(Jefferson City Tn)

How much of the ACV did you give your cat? My cat has lost weight and I am very concerned.

Replied by Heather

What an ordeal that must have been!! My heart goes out to you!! I have an FIV+ kitty in my home with 3 other non FIV cats. One of my non FIV cats had a serious, nearly deadly upper respiratory. Luckily, an injection of antibiotics cured her. A week later, my FIV+ cat "sniffled" this morning and I'm freaking out!! She seems to also be working on a hairball; so, I am hoping it's that that's making her "sniffle". I am going to try ACV with my FIV kitty and hope I'm simply being paranoid. As a side note, FIV is a forever virus. It doesn't go away or kill cats outright. It is an immune disorder that makes the cats suseptable to other infections more easily. If I may guess, the cats in your neighborhood were dying from untreated upper respiratory and had weak immune systems due to FIV. Many blessings and thanks to you for your input on apple cider vinegar!

Replied by Kelly

I am honestly sorry about your loss. I adopted a mommy cat and three day old kitten. Maukie is now 6 months old and a monster. After always having purebreed persians or mainecoons my whole life a stray is a whole other sort cat. Mauike does not like to be held because of his character BUT can not be without me . Very wierd indeed. I suspected my kitten and mommy cat had FIV from the start. I was Just not strong enough to check. Yeasterday I did go to the vet, back home with an arm of medicine and not much info. I am glad my cats eat grainfree and a bit of coconut oil in the morning. Maukue loves veggies 🤔 Acutally begs for his meds and eats anything and everything I eat. Luna is very picky from living outside her whole live . (though we suspect she just turned a yr old)

What I wanted to ask though is how the vinger is given to the cats. Luna is showing no signs. Maukie has large lymph nodes, blocked tear ducts and mucus in his throat. He had never been outside. However, I do have two adopted greyhounds. He loves to push the door open and sneak into their room. The doctor told me the dogs bring the sickness in.

I have seem all sorts if cat sickness Leukemia, kidney but this is one I never had to encounter . I do know it is not a death sentence if managed. I just do not want Maukie to suffer.

EC: Hi Kelly,

Please see this Earth Clinic page for more information:

Coconut Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Karen (Ca) on 10/11/2015

I have a kitty sent to me by a breeder in Florida, I am in California, that was diagnosed with feline herpes (aka Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV) about two months after she arrived. I was hooked on her and ignored the breeders. She and I are great friends. I discovered unrefined virgin coconut oil is excellent in treating virus of all kinds. I was successful with my own herpes simplex onset. All I had to do was dab my Virgin Coconut Oil on the forming blister and went to bed. The next moring it was gone! I began having VCO in my coffee ... and I am glad. I also freeze melted Virgin Coconut Oil in a sealed baggie and break it into bits to put in my cat's treat dish with a few tid bits.. she ingests the Virgin Coconut Oil and she is doing much better. I cannot get her to take it any other way and it is not as much as she requires for killing the virus but she feels much better and no fever.

I wish we could get HIV patients eating VCO then that jerk that is gouging needy people for HIV meds can go fly a kite.

Blessings to all and your felines too... love from Karen and "Tickety Boo" my delightful Scottish Fold.

Replied by Mia

Hey, I just wanted to tell you that FIV is not the AIDS virus at all. That's a myth. Look up the myths and save yourself some worrying! My cat has FIV and all it is, is a weakened immune system.

Homeopathic Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Om (Hope, Bc. Canada) on 06/14/2014

For cat with respiratory issues.

After many years of antibiotics which did only do lasting damage, I have found a remedy homeopathic that works like a charm.

It is VIRUMED by HOMEOCAN in Canada. I am so pleased and my cats are well! Never give antibiotics. They kind of wither after that. I just put about 10 drops in water enough for a medium syringe and gave it hourly for two days; then three times a day. You have to watch - if they do not sneeze, stop and resume just once if needed. I can't say how much I am pleased with this remedy as in the past I lost many rescues with the routinely used antibiotics. The immune system is precious and has a purpose. Not to damage it!!

Try it and good luck.. Namaste, Om

How to Combat

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 10/22/2014

A vet visit is in order for a proper diagnosis.

How is infection diagnosed?
Antibody tests detect the presence of antibody in the blood of infected cats.

Positive results

  • Because few, if any, cats ever eliminate infection, the presence of antibody indicates that a cat is infected with FIV. This test can be performed by most veterinary diagnostic laboratories and also is available in kit form for use in veterinary clinics. Since false-positive results may occur, veterinarians recommend that positive results be confirmed using a test with a different format.
  • Infected mother cats transfer FIV antibodies to nursing kittens, so kittens born to infected mothers may receive positive test results for several months after birth. However, few of these kittens actually are or will become infected. To clarify their infection status, kittens younger than six months of age receiving positive results should be retested at 60-day intervals until they are at least six months old.

Negative results

  • A negative test result indicates that antibodies directed against FIV have not been detected, and, in most cases, this implies that the cat is not infected. Nevertheless, it takes eight to 12 weeks after infection (and sometimes even longer) before detectable levels of antibody appear, so if the test is performed during this interval, inaccurate results might be obtained. Therefore, antibody-negative cats with either an unknown or a known exposure to FIV-infected cats-such as through the bite of an unknown cat-should be retested a minimum of 60 days after their most recent exposure in order to allow adequate time for development of antibodies.
  • On very rare occasions, cats in the later stages of FIV infection may test negative because their immune systems are so compromised that they no longer produce detectable levels of antibody.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are designed to detect short segments of a virus's genetic material. While antibody-based tests are ideal screening tests for infection, in certain situations (such as confirming infection in antibody-positive kittens or determining infection of cats vaccinated with antibody-producing FIV vaccines), PCR-based tests, in theory, would be superior. Although PCR testing methods offer promise and are being actively explored, at this time unacceptable numbers of false-positive and false-negative results prevent them from routinely being recommended.


How to Combat
Posted by Sylvia (Cincinnati, Oh) on 10/31/2010

Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus can be fatal for cats, but not always. There is a very helpful book -- Feline Aids by Tom Hapka -- that instructs the pet owner about ways to combat this disease, keep your FIV cat healthy, and save the life of a cat near death. I have tried different vets for 2 months for my FIV cat, and this is the first real help I have found.

Replied by Fadwa
(Upper Darby)

Hi I have found the ultimate cure for this.

First to get rid of the crusty thing in their eyes I would take a gauze sponge and put a squirt of hand sanitizer on it . Then I would run it with water but not too much. I would squeeze out excess so that it is not severly runny. THen I would use it to gently wipe my cats eyes with it. Make sure it is not runny because u dont want to get it in the cats eyes. I did this three times a day on the onset of the problem. Then I did it twice a day .

The second thing is I used l-lysine pills 500mg spring valley from walmart and echincea . This was a total of 11 bucks. The l-lysine I broke in half and gave a half morning and night. I turned the pill into powder and put on top of small portion of food. The echincea it came in a capsule and I gave it in the morning only. I opened up the capsule and poured it over the food. Thats it! Symptoms cleared in a week . and never came back . I thanks god!

Also for cats that drink milk I would put the pills in the milk.


Question for Fadwa - re your response in cat FIV on earth clinic - your post about echinacea and lysine - did u mean a cure for fiv? You said u found ultimate cure for this ( by this did I mean the fiv)? Thanks

Vanessa S.

Hi I have the powered L-lysine is that ok? My boy has a horrible URI that breaks my heart I feel completely helpless

Pam E.
(SouthWestern California)
130 posts

I hope you found a way to help your cat already! IDK whether L-lysine can help with a UTII or not, but this article shares several types of L-lysine for cats, & one of them is powder:

L-lysine for Cats: Overview, Dosage & Side Effects

(Kitchener On)

Hi Vanessa S.

I am not a Vet./Dr. but I feel I have a touch of good advice.

Potassium Iodide liquid, Start low. Maybe just 2 mgs in water to start. Every 2 days increase 1 mgs, Go up to 8 mgs. Potassium Iodide will cure 180 issues in people and I do not see why it won't work for pets.

God Bless


Hydrogen Peroxide

Posted by Dante (oh) on 07/31/2023

fiv/felv food-grade h2o2 for cats

Are there any research papers, or people with personal experience in using food-grade hydrogen peroxide in the treatment of fiv/felv in cats?


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Busybee100 (UK ) on 11/10/2021

NAC for treating FIV and sinus issues in cats

My little rescue cat suffered from blocked nasal passages after having recurrent infections before he was rescued. We couldn't stop the nasal infections unfortunately but I found that he seemed to get headaches and would ask me to rub his face in an unusual way. So I tried sprinkling a tiny amount of NAC (N-acetylcysteine) on his food once a day and he stopped asking for face massages and seemed better.

I use NAC myself for sinus headaches. I found a scientific research paper showing a sprinkling was safe for cats. It is also used for treating respiratory inflammation and FIV in cats. If you look it up you will see vets use it. I used human-grade NAC with no additives.

Raw Fish and Chicken

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Penny (Jackson, Mi) on 03/07/2009

I owned a cat that contracted feline aids...yes aids...didn't know they could get it. The vet gave it about a month to live...My holistic Chiropractor said "Take it off all comercial food and feed it raw fish and raw chicken." So figured it would hurt. It about broke me but he lived another 8 mo with the best coat ever...every couple of weeks I'd take it to the vet to get weighed, they were amazed at how well he did for so long...

Replied by Deirdre
(Atlanta, GA)

Back in the 1980s, my mother had 2 cats (Birmans), age 2, that were also diagnosed with this virus and given very little time to live. I don't think she did anything special for them (will have to ask her again though) and they ended up living until 12 years old. I remember that they were diagnosed shortly after receiving vaccinations.

Replied by Kitty
(Christiansted, VI)

A quote from Long Beach Animal Hospital ( "[FIV positive] cats are also susceptible to food borne bacterial and parasitic diseases due to their immunosuppression, so do not feed them raw or unpasteurized foods."

The raw fish and chicken diet (suggested by the original poster above) would be high in Omega 3s, which is recommended for treatment in other sources on the internet. What would be an alternative?

Replied by Cynthia
(Joppa, Md, Usa)

I disagree with the suggestion to not feed any raw foods. FIV cats do have a suppressed immune system, however, all cats have a naturally acidic digestive tract. This is what usually prevents them from contracting bacterial illnesses. Think of how many diseases and internal parasites both birds and mice carry yet this is standard prey food for feral cats. A meat-based protein, raw diet for both cats and dogs is as close to a "natural" diet as they can get. It is the processed foods filled with grains, by-products, artificial ingredients and fillers that cause the most harm to these animals. No matter how "natural" or healthy a food claims to be, it is still processed and needs something added to retain its shelf life. When was the last time that you saw a cat hunting a stalk of wheat or barley to eat?

Replied by Barbara
(Venice, California)

Raw foods are terribly dangerous for FIV cats! Whatever you describe as natural is "once natural" and domesticated felines have evolved systems. In nature, FIV cats would simply die off early. They CANNOT combat bacteria that might be in these foods. It's really a shame that people would try this on your advice and endanger their animal. You can make healthful food for your cats; you don't have to add fillers like rice but you should add vitamins, especially iron. If your cat also has kidney problems, that makes it complicated. But, as a person who has had 4 cats living to be over 20 years old, I'm sticking with what I know. NO raw foods to FIV cats.

Replied by Polly
(Hobe Sound, Fl)

I buy my raw food from the Animal House of Distinction in Jupiter, Fl. The owner said that if the food has been frozen for 4 days ( it may have been 5) that that will kill the pathogens. My cats are negative but if I had FIV + cats I would not hesitate to give them the raw food that has been frozen. What I noticed with my cats who were already getting canned organic is that their coats became softer.

Replied by Kayla

I would agree that raw fish and chicken should NOT be given to FIV+ cats. I've had 2 cats with FIV, both lived 10+ years after being diagnosed and passed away in their 20s. We tried feeding raw meat inniaitally to boost protein levels but found our one guy got a bacterial infection and the vet blamed the raw food. We then switched to higher quality cat food and ensured they had a balanced diet, supplements were added as needed. The most important thing is to monitor your pcat and take them to the vet the minute you suspect they feel off. The biggest risk for FIV+ cats is not the FIV itself but rather complications from other dieases and infections that the FIV makes cats prone to.

Raw Salmon, Colloidal Silver

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kelly (California) on 01/24/2022

Our cat got really sick and wouldn't come out from under the bed for 24 hours. She had discharge out of her eye and some swelling in the lymphs below throat/cheek area. I gave her prayers and energy work and that got her purring. I gave her raw salmon and she actually ventured out to eat it. After a little bit she began to beg for more, and more and more. Next day she was back to normal energy and begging for more raw salmon but I ran out and gave her the dry food. She ate it during the evening and next day she was sick again with very swollen lymphs. One became huge like an abscess and she popped it. It was pretty disgusting.

We gave her oral colloidal silver and cleaned her wound with peroxide and then dropped topical colloidal silver directly on the wound. Got her more raw salmon and put the colloidal silver directly on the salmon, which I will continue to do for the next several days until the wound is completely healed. After this gross ordeal, we were so relieved to see her so relieved and feeling better. Glad we didn't need to take her to the vet because she probably would have been set back a few weeks knowing my cat's personality. She is highly anxious and the stress probably would have put her over the edge. We are grateful she is feeling better so quickly and the sore is healing nicely. She is not over cleaning it luckily so we don't even need to put a cone on her although we do have one. I'm feeling blessed by our kitty's miracle healing and that we didn't have to put her on antibiotics which have harmful side effects and can damage their sensitive microbiomes.