FIV Is NOT a Death Sentence
Most people tend to think that once aa cat is diagnosed with feline immunodeficiency virus the best course of action is euthanasia. While FIV is a lifelong disease and affected cats do require special attention, it hardly means the feline cannot live a fulfilling life without spreading the virus.
What is FIV?
FIV is commonly thought of as the feline form of HIV, but it’s only a risk to felines. Like HIV, it weakens the immune system, making infected cats more susceptible to other diseases. Unlike its more highly contagious cousin, feline leukemia, IV is mainly transmitted when an infected cat bites or scratches other cats earning it the title of a “fighting cats disease”. It can also be passed from mother to kittens, but only if the queen is infected while nursing or pregnant.
What happens to FIV infected cats?
Friendly cats continue to live a happy life for many years before the virus reaches its final, chronic clinical stage and the pet begins to show signs of illness. In the meantime, these cats are best kept indoors and away from other cats. This separation is not just to prevent the infected cat from spreading the virus, but also to protect the infected cats, with its weakened immune system, from contracting any other illnesses that other cats might be carrying. Some people might choose, in a situation where all cats are friendly and do not fight, to offer these special felines companionship by adopting multiple FIV cats. As long as they are monitored for any signs of sickness and kept away from potential sources of other diseases, they can live happily as typical house cats.
FOCA’s FIV Felines for Adoption
At our shelter, we have FIV cats for adoption. They are all extremely friendly with people, as well as other cats. We keep them away from the other shelter cats, more out of concern for their health than concerned that they might bite or scratch to pass the virus. If you can offer a safe, loving home with a little extra care, stop by our shelter and meet the sweethearts. They have as much love and life to offer as any other.