Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), similar to its human analog human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), enters the central nervous system (CNS) soon after infection and establishes a protected viral reservoir. The ensuing inflammation and damage give rise to varying degrees of cognitive decline collectively known as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Because of the similarities to HIV infection and disease, FIV has provided a useful model for both in vitro and in vivo studies of CNS infection, inflammation and pathology. This mini review summarizes insights gained from studies of early infection, immune cell trafficking, inflammation and the mechanisms of neuropathogenesis. Advances in our understanding of these processes have contributed to the development of therapeutic interventions designed to protect neurons and regulate inflammatory activity.