FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)
This is Penny and she has tested positive for FIV, or feline immunodeficiency virus. While she still needs final testing at around 6 months of age to determine whether or not she has contracted FIV, the possibility that she may have this disorder means that she needs a very special forever home.
FIV is a disease similar to HIV in humans. It can be transmitted to other cats, typically through a bite wound. Sharing food dishes and normal association with other cats is okay, but any fighting behavior would put other cats in the household at risk for contracting FIV if Penny continues to test positive. Therefore, Penny’s forever home should either be a home where she is the only feline member, or it should be a stable household where the feline members are going to get along, and new cats should not be introduced into the home in case fighting occurs. This disease cannot be transmitted to humans, and it cannot be transmitted to other pet species such as dogs, hamsters, or birds.
If Penny continues to be FIV positive after 6 months of age, then she needs to be an indoor-only cat. She should never be allowed outdoors, both for her own safety and to prevent transmission to other cats. FIV positive cats are more susceptible to infections since the virus affects the immune system. While some FIV positive cats can succumb to this disease early on in life, many more go on to live very full lives with the right care and precautions taken. FIV positive cats should have exams every 6 months to ensure that they remain healthy, and that any possible health problems are caught early.
If you have a cat that is FIV positive or would like to know more about FIV, please give us a call. You can also follow the link below to more detailed information.