Let’s talk about FIV. It’s something that deserves mentioning because many, many cats and kittens are being euthanized every day because they have this virus. FIV+ cats require a little extra attention but can live healthy, full, normal lives, like any other cat, and those that are euthanized because of it are unnecessarily robbed of that opportunity. Here are ten things you need to know about FIV:
1) FIV is NOT a death sentence.
2) FIV is transmitted through deep bite wounds. Keeping your cat indoors can help him avoid these types of encounters. Having your cat spayed or neutered will also lessen the chance of him getting in such a fight.
3) FIV is not spread through sharing of food bowls, litter boxes, grooming, sneezing, or other normal contact between cats.
4) Humans and dogs cannot contract FIV.
5) Kittens who test positive for FIV at birth may re-test negative after six-months of age. They should never be euthanized because of a positive test result.
6) FIV+ and FIV- cats can live peacefully together in a shared household. As long as there is no fighting, the possibility of transmission to non-infected cats is very low.
7) Symptoms can include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, anemia, weight loss, conjunctivitis, dental disease, sneezing, eye and nose discharge, poor appetite, and diarrhea. These symptoms may not appear for many years, if they appear at all.
8) FIV+ cats can live upwards of 16 years, just like a normal cat, with proper vet care and a high-protein, grain-free diet.
9) FIV is NOT the same as Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).
10) FIV+ cats are adoptable and are waiting for you to take that first step!
If you’re interested in adopting an FIV+ cat, here are some places you can start searching for your new friend.
If you know of any other places that adopt out FIV cats, let me know and I’ll add them to this list!