The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) accessory factor, OrfA, facilitates transactivation of transcription directed by elements of the viral long terminal repeat (LTR). In order to map OrfA domains required for this transactivation, we used N- and C-terminal deletion constructs of the protein, expressed in a Gal4-based transactivation system. The results demonstrated that FIV OrfA, unlike other lentiviral transactivators such as visna virus Tat, is unable to transactivate from minimal promoter-based reporters and requires additional elements of the viral LTR. Stable CrFK-based cell lines were prepared that expressed OrfA to readily detectable levels and in which we were able to demonstrate 32-fold transactivation of an LTR-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase construct. Transactivation was heavily dependent on the presence of an ATF site within the viral LTR. Changing the translation initiation codon context substantially increased the level of production of OrfA from a bicistronic message that also encodes Rev. In the presence of a more favorable context sequence, the upstream expression of OrfA increased 21-fold, with only a 0.5-fold drop in downstream Rev expression. This suggests that Rev translation may occur via an internal ribosomal entry site rather than by leaky scanning.