Can A Cat Live With Fiv
Many people find out that a cat has FIV and automatically assume that it is going to die soon. This isnt always the case! Many cats with FIV can live symptom free for years.
Once the symptoms start, they can often be treated with various medications. Some cats may live for months while others can live for many years. On average, a cat with FIV will live for 5 years.
Cats with FIV can spread their disease to unaected cats. Therefore, it is important to consult vets when thinking about adopting an FIV positive cat.
FIV positive cats can thrive in clean and stress free environments. This means that providing plenty of scratching posts, beds, hideaways, and a clean litter box is an essential part of owning a cat with FIV.
Owning a cat with FIV also comes with a lot of visits to the vet. This means they can cost a lot of money. FIV positive cats are often kept on parasite medication regardless if they are indoor or outdoor, just to be extra cautions. Bloodwork also might need to be done regularly along with getting medications to control any symptoms that your cat might develop from having FIV. Your vet may also suggest a specific diet to help keep symptoms and outbreaks under control.
Why Is It Important To Understand Fiv And How It Is Tested
Consider this unfortunately common occurrence: A cat with no signs of health issues is brought to an animal shelter. Shelter staff conduct a routine FIV test, and the cat is found positive for FIV. As a result, the cat is killed. Though she showed no symptoms of FIV-related health problems, the test was still treated as a life-or-death matter.
This cat, and many others just like her, could have had a high quality of life in indoor homes with people or outdoors with their feline families. On top of that, the test may have been incorrect. FIV tests are not diagnoses and can be unreliable for multiple reasons.
Whether you have a cat who has tested positive for FIV, are trying to decide which tests to include for a Trap-Neuter-Return program, or are answering questions from others on FIV, the information below will help you save lives.
Why Was The Fiv Vaccine Discontinued
From 2002 until 2017, the FIV vaccination was available in the United States and Canada. It was generally considered safe, with rare and usually minor side effects.
But the vaccine has since been discontinued, and many pet parents want to know why it was taken off the market.
Here are the four main reasons why cats no longer get the FIV vaccine.
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How Serious Is It Do Fiv Cats Have To Be Put To Sleep
Recent studies have indicated that FIV may not reduce a cats lifespan, and cats may live for many years after being infected. However, it is unpredictable, as some cats develop severe and multiple infections. It is important to try and protect cats with FIV from catching other diseases, as they are more vulnerable than other cats. They should not be fed raw foods that might carry bacteria, such as raw eggs or meat, and it is better to keep them indoors. Hunting should be discouraged.
But If The Kitten Is Younger Than 6 Months The Vet Would Suggest The Screening Of Her Blood Tests Again When They Are Six Months Old
Fiv has incorrectly been referred to as cat aids. this comparison is just not accurate, says dr. But it’s a balancing act. Sounds like the little cat still has some time left. Cats with fiv also need to have time alone, so you should set up lots of hiding places for when they need a bit of peace and quiet. Fiv is a virus that causes aids in cats; A large proportion of these cats ultimately die of. It is not a reason for euthanasia if a cat is fairly healthy and having a good quality of life. Print out this form and take it to your veterinarian to go over and score each area. But here’s what youand every cat ownershould know about the disease. I would never have agreed to put him to sleep unless he was actually suffering or dying. Should a cat with feline leukemia be put down? Feral cat focus does not support the euthanasia of healthy cats that test positive for felv and fiv. Put out new toys, and spend time with your cat every day.
Feral cat focus does not support testing feral cats for fiv and felv: In general, if a cat is too weak and has a seriously diminished quality of life, euthanasia may be considered as a possibility. A large proportion of these cats ultimately die of. See below for the replies given by the fiv cat owners. Feline immunodeficiency virus, or fiv, is in the same family as the human immunodeficiency virus that causes aids, but it only appears in cats.
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What You Should Know When Adopting An Fiv Positive Cat
Are FIV cats unadoptable?
Historically, FIV- positive cats have often been considered un-adoptable, and are euthanized in many shelters. However, new research has shown that FIV-positive cats are in fact very adoptable, and can live the same lifespan as an FIV-negative cat. This research has also debunked the myth that FIV- positive cats cannot safely live with non- infected cats. That is why many veterinarians, including the feline medicine experts at the American Association of Feline Practitioners , suggest shelters and owners never opt for euthanasia based on a positive test alone.
According to Dr. Julie K. Levy, founder of Maddies Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, it is estimated that about 4% of all feral cats in the US are infected with FIV. The infection rate is even lower at 1.5% to 3% in healthy owned cats. She says, Looking at all cats, feral and otherwise, who are diagnosed with FIV, we find that about 25% are female and about 75% are male. The vast majority of FIV infections occur among outdoor, unneutered male cats that fight and bite. Levy also pointed out that the condition is rare among kittens, because they dont start in with their high-risk behavior until theyre older. So, although older cats are more vulnerable, age in itself is not a determining factor. Its a behavioral issue.
Is your family at risk if you adopt an FIV-positive cat?
How is FIV transmitted?
How is FIV diagnosed?
A Needless Loss Of A Life
The kitten in the two photos above was being fostered for adoption.
He and his sister were the two shyest, and they had been brought out of their shells and were all ready for adoption when the tragedy of a positive FIV test struck.
I and several others are fighting for a change in the policy of rescue groups nationwide, as well as that of many veterinarians, to stop this unnecessary killing of beautiful, young kittens.
The little fellow pictured above was just a little over two-months-old.
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Communication Between Owner And Vet Is Vital
Two acronyms that can be confusing to cat owners are FeLV and FIV. FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus, and FIV is feline immunodeficiency virus. Although caused by distinct viruses, these diseases have similarities: both are contagious and incurable; both are more likely to be acquired by a cat that is allowed outside. Neither virus can be passed to people or species other than cats.
Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, a veterinarian who is board certified in small animal internal medicine, has treated many patients with these viruses at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana. She wants owners to know that their infected cats can live normal lives.
Further Information & Advice
Catwork Sanctuary – Introduction to FIV: www.fivcats.com/FIV/fiv_introduction.htmlCelia Hammond Animal Trust – FIV+ Cats: www.celiahammond.orgChat to other FIV owners on the Cat Chat Forum:;Catwork Sanctuary – Should FIVs be ‘indoor-only’?:;fivcats.com/FIV/fiv_indoor_only’80 FIV Cats’ – Catwork Sanctuary’s booklet about FIV:;fivcats.com/FIV/80_fiv_cats_bookletCould you Adopt an FIV+ cat?; Ask at your local Rehoming Centre:;
Help Prevent the Spread of FIV – Please Neuter Your Cat!
1,000 FIV CATS PROJECT: an ongoing project by Catwork Sanctuary. If you, or someone you know, owns or has owned, an FIV cat, you can contribute to this project, and help to give more FIV cats the chance of a happy life:Due to the misconceptions about this virus, FIV positive cats in shelters find it harder to find new homes, even though in all other respects they are just normal cats. Many rescue centres will pay for any future FIV related veterinary treatment even after rehoming. If you think you might be able to give a home to an FIV cat, ask at your local rescue centre here:
Thanks to: Maureen Hutchison BSc, BVMS, MRCVS Diane Addie Ph.D of the Council of Cats Protection Celia Hammond Animal Trust Catwork Sanctuary, Somerset, for advice and information when compiling this page.Cats Protection produce leaflets on many feline medical conditions: see their website » www.cats.org.uk
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Indoor Cats Werent Usually At Risk
The FIV vaccine for cats was considered a noncore vaccine, which means it was administered on a case-by-case basisdepending on an individual cats risk of infection.
FIV is transmitted through saliva; therefore, cats that are in close contact with each other have the highest risk of getting infected. The most at-risk cats include outdoor or stray cats, especially intact adult males, who are more likely to roam and fight for territory and food.
Indoor cats generally have a very low risk of getting FIV and rarely received the FIV vaccine. So even when it was available, not many cats actually received the vaccine.
What Happens When A Cat Is Exposed To Fiv
FIV can compromise the immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to a variety of opportunistic diseases.
Cats continue to shed the FIV virus throughout their lives, which means it is always present in their salivabut remember, it is very difficult for a cat to spread FIV to another cat other than through bite wounds.
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The Cat Can Live A Normal Happy Life
FIV-positive cats can, and do, live long and otherwise healthy, happy lives. Putting them down is the ultimate tragedy. It is so uncalled for.
From what we have learned so far, we see that the virus acts slowly, so that kitties testing positive will, in the vast majority of cases, live long enough to die from old age, and complications of aging well before the virus has a chance to do them in.
The false positive problem is so prevalent that it makes the entire testing program essentially bogus. Not to mention, such an event causes great stress to the people fostering kittens, or the owners of a cat that tests positive.
FIV-POSITIVE CATS SHOULD NEVER, EVER,
BE VACCINATED AGAINST ANYTHING. EVER.
My Cat Tested Positive Now What Should I Do
The first thing to do is actually a thing not to do, and that is panic. Panic won’t help, and it is not warranted. You should know these things before you rush to a decision you may well deeply regret:
- The current tests used are subject to false positives in over 20% of caseseven higher with kittens.
- The test does not detect the actual virus; only the antibodies against it.
- Kittens may show false positives because of antibodies gained from the mother cat through nursing
This last point is double the tragedy, because so many healthy kittens have been put down just because they showed a positive test. Yes, they may have had the virus, but it’s far more likely that they were tested too young, and were still showing mom’s antibodies.
For this reason, kittens should not be tested for FIV prior to about 6-8 months of age. Waiting gives their systems time to shed the inherited antibodies.
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Frequent Boosters Increased The Risk Of Sarcoma
In addition to offering limited protection, the vaccine also needed to be readministered on a yearly basis. But the FIV vaccine was an adjuvanted vaccine, which means that it contained additives that stimulate the immune system.
This raised concerns of vaccine-site sarcoma, a type of cancer that can develop at the injection site when a vaccine contains adjuvant.
Best Practices For Veterinarians And Animal Shelters
A cat who tests positive for FIV at a veterinary clinic or shelter should not be euthanized unless she is already ill or suffering beyond what can be treated. FIV testing should be done with a plan to help the cat if she tests positive, not to end her life.
No veterinary hospital or shelter should prohibit a cat who tests positive for FIV from leaving with her owner or caregiver. People should be allowed to take their cat regardless of test result. If a healthy community cat is brought into a veterinary clinic for spay and neuter as part of Trap-Neuter-Return , she should not be tested for FIV at all.
Alley Cat Allies recommends that adoptable cats in shelters be tested for FIV in-house only if they will be placed for adoption regardless of the result rather than euthanized. Shelters can also simply advise adopters to have their new cat tested for FIV at a veterinary clinic and not test in their facilities at all.
All shelters should implement programs that help find homes for adoptable cats who test positive for FIV. Many shelters already have model programs that can be used as blueprints.
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Treatment For Cats With Fiv
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for an FIV infection. Although a significant amount of research is being devoted to developing effective treatment options for FIV, few extensive long-term controlled studies in naturally infected cats have shown long-lasting benefits of using antiviral drugs. These medications are limited and tend to show lower efficacy in feline patients compared with human patients. Due to the lack of proven effectiveness, and their toxicity, antiviral drugs are indicated only in exceptional cases of FIV infection.
FIV-infected cats need special care and management, as described above. If they receive this management and care, they can live for many years in good health.
Question About Final Stages Of Fiv Thecatsit
As the title said today just to put down my 7 month kitty. His name was Sam and he was the sweetest cat I could have ask for. He was so cuddly and calm. He never scratch me even when playing. Never done his business outside of his place. And he would always come and sleep on my chest when it was time to go to bed. He was unfortunately weak I have a Fiv positive cat. She showed up to the day of when I had to have another indoor cat put down from a stroke. Took her to the vet and they said FIV put her down. I couldn’t after just having put the other down. She was healthy at the time. Researched on the internet. We also are rural without close cat neighbors There are a lot of vets re-thinking FIV. Whereas before many vets routinely suggested putting down cats with FIV, they are now realizing that many cats with FIV can live long, happy lives. Our rescue has one FIV cat, and the vet always advises us to treat anything that develops very aggressively at the onset since FIV weakens the immune system Infection with a virus, such as feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus , or a parasite ; Blood loss from severe flea infestations Immune-mediated disease and four other indoor cats. Is it possible to vaccinate our other 4 against FIV- with 100% guarantee- and then mix them? Thank you, Adrienne39453.9587172801
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Common Clinical Signs Of Fiv In Cats
If an FIV-infected cat develops functional immunodeficiency , it often occurs years after they are infected;by another cat. Common symptoms may include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Behavior changes
- Slow but progressive weight loss
If your cat shows any of the symptoms above, it is essential to have them tested for FIV by their veterinarian.
Owning A Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Cat
Place the cat in a small room with doors and windows closed, use a cool-mist humidifier twice a day. Humidity helps to break up mucus and soothe inflamed nasal passageways loosen up congestion within the nasal passages. If you don’t have a humidifier, place the cat in a warm bathroom with the shower running for 10-15 minutes An FIV-positive cat may not even have the virus If a cat has been vaccinated against FIV at any time in his life, the snap test performed at vets’ offices and shelters will come back positive Should a cat with feline leukemia be put down? Cats with FeLV can live normal, happy, healthy lives, though they may have a shorter life expectancy than FeLV negative cats. Historically, cats with this disease have been euthanized as soon as they are diagnosed. Can a cat with feline leukemia live with other cats
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Making Your Cat Feel Safe
As your cat no longer has the option to move away from situations he may find stressful you will have to provide additional resting and hiding places for him. Cardboard boxes with a towel over the front or high shelves with comfortable bedding can both provide places he can go to feel safe and secure.
Providing these hiding places can be particularly important if you have more than one cat or a dog in the home. Since they can no longer choose to spend time apart their relationship may become strained and they may become less tolerant of one another.