Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) discovered in 1986 is a lentivirus that causes AIDS in domestic cats. FIV is classified into five subtypes (A-E), and all subtypes and circulating intersubtype recombinants have been identified throughout the world. A commercial FIV vaccine, consisting of inactivated subtype-A and -D viruses (Fel-O-Vax FIV, Fort Dodge Animal Health), was released in the United States in 2002. The United States Department of Agriculture approved the commercial release of Fel-O-Vax FIV based on two efficacy trials using 105 laboratory cats and a major safety trial performed on 689 pet cats. The prototype and commercial FIV vaccines had broad prophylactic efficacy against global FIV subtypes and circulating intersubtype recombinants. The mechanisms of cross-subtype efficacy are attributed to FIV-specific T-cell immunity. Findings from these studies are being used to define the prophylactic epitopes needed for an HIV-1 vaccine for humans.