I had a request to cover the topic of FIV in cats and what someone who was considering adopting such a cat needs to know.
First of all, anyone who adopts a special-needs pet has an extra special place in heaven. 🙂 Always good to accumulate good karma.
Here are the basic things you need to know (which I have summarized from the excellent article at Veterinary Partner: )
1. FIV (or feline immunodeficiency virus) is not an automatic death sentence. The average life expectancy from the time of diagnosis is 5 years. Many infected cats live long and full lives.
2. People cannot get FIV from cats and vice versa. That being said, people who are immunocompromised themselves should not adopt a FIV+ cat.
3. FIV requires a pretty substantial type of contact to be transmitted. The most common route of transmission is a bite, the type most common to outdoor male cats. Brawlers. Frat boy types. You can have other cats in the house with an FIV+ cat as long as they don’t fight. For obvious reasons, FIV+ cats should be kept indoors- for their own safety and that of other cats.
Those are the main salient points, but the original article goes into quite a bit more detail. There is also a link to a fantastic info sheet from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
I hope you do consider one of these great kitties! Does anyone else have experience with owning a FIV+ cat (or for that matter, FELV?) Do you have other cats? How did you handle it?
PRIZE ALERT: Sick kitties (and well ones! And people! And dogs!) love blankies. My friend and amazing seamstress Lisa has donated one custom made blankie to the cause. I don’t have a picture for you, but they are soft and yummy and I know you want one.
To win it, hmmm, let’s do a cat question. At what age do kittens typically open their eyes?