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 subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
SeaWorld will not fight a court decision
that keeps its trainers from swimming with
killer whales during its shows.
We bet you think you know which
countries the Australian Shepherd,
Poodle and French Bulldog come from.
Dr. Tina Wismer describes mushrooms
that are toxic to pets, and how to tell if
your animal has ingested any.
Dr. Marty Becker dispels misconceptions
like "all cats in a shelter are sick" or that
Tinsel the adorable hedgehog will definitely make your day — and he only
needs the next 40 seconds to do it!
The hardy Icelandic Sheepdog has the
typical prick ears, curled tail and fondness
for barking of his Spitz relatives.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.