Click here to learn more.
In the past two years, I’ve taken on two foster cats. Each lived with me for a time. Both were healthy. Yet neither was considered adoptable by most cat lovers’ standards. Not after they’d come up positive for FIV, the feline immunodeficiency disease often referred to ominously as “feline AIDS.”
Nonetheless, I did eventually manage to place them in loving, forever homes. But it wasn’t easy!
The trouble with FIV isn’t just that it’s conflated with AIDS and, as such, scares the bejeezus out of potential adopters who mistakenly fear feline-to-human transmission. It’s also that a) the disease really does come attached to special health considerations and b) it’s a disease that’s transmissible to housemates via skin-piercing bites.
So how’d I persuade them? Read on.
1. FIV is not transmissible to humans! No way. No how. Never. I don’t care what you’ve heard tell. You should banish the thought once and for all.
2. FIV is about as transmissible as HIV. Which is to say not very. Animals in the same household cannot transmit the disease from one to another except by mating (a behavior sterilized animals will not effectively engage in) or by inflicting bite wounds (not typical even among cohabitants with bad attitudes).
So you know, the same can’t be said for FeLV (feline leukemia virus), which can be transmitted by more casual contact (e.g., grooming, sharing food, etc.).
3. Cats with FIV can live very long, perfectly comfortable lives. Here are some details:
FIV-positive cats can live a long time without suffering any related illness. That’s why many veterinarians, including the feline medicine experts at the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), suggest owners never opt for euthanasia based on a positive test alone.
These kitties do, however, require some special considerations. The AAFP’s FIV experts offer the following recommendations:
That’s not so hard now, is it?
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Sparky the dog's owner pulled him from an icy lake, and then the pup helped two men rescue his owner after she…
Ignoring your pup's bouncing and giving him something to carry in his mouth are a few simple ways to prevent…
Between the ages of 7 and 9, your cat is old enough to have some stable wisdom but still young enough for whimsical…
If you travel a lot or can’t afford a dog’s health care costs, maybe it’s not the right time to…
If your pup is tearing up the house while you’re gone, that could be a sign that she needs more physical…
The gentle, affectionate and sociable Selkirk Rex is a good traveler and excellent therapy cat.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.