2001-Mon Feb 27 15:58:54 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
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!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.