In view of close similarities at the molecular and clinical levels, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection of the domestic cat is subject of increasing attention as an animal model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. A range of reverse transcriptase inhibitors effective against HIV are also active against FIV, allowing successful use of the cat model to investigate drug interactions and resistance development. Nevertheless, while combined nucleoside analog and protease inhibitor usage has proven remarkably effective in treating HIV infection, combination antiretroviral therapy of FIV infection has been hampered by lack of protease inhibitors specific for FIV. In an attempt to circumvent this problem, we have examined the feasibility of applying in the FIV system combination protocols lacking a protease inhibitor. We now report that, as observed during HIV infection, the nucleoside analog abacavir (ABC or 1592U89) is able to effectively block in vitro FIV-replication. Furthermore, we demonstrate that combined usage of ABC with the nucleoside analogs zidovudine (ZDV or AZT) and lamivudine (3TC) also blocks in vitro FIV replication in a synergistic manner. However, in contrast to its effect on HIV replication, the ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU) is unable to effectively control in vitro FIV replication.