Getting to zero for cat AIDS, (FIV) not so easy


BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

2 Responses

  1. BJ, yes, let’s end the discrimination! And let’s dispel that myth that FIV cats should be kept separate OR as an alone kitty! Yes, it’s a “safe” recommendation for vets to make, and the only responsible one that can be made publicly by any vet-related agency. But any FIV-literate vet will tell you privately, yes, there may be risks BUT… FIV is a slow acting virus that survives outside the body for a few seconds. In fact, it really is very much like HIV. HIV is transmitted by sex and needle-sharing. It is the same for FIV – only in cats, the equivalent of needle-sharing would be DEEP bite wounds. Our sterilized cats are not having sex, and our indoor cats are not fighting like ferals over territory (or over females in heat). Our indoor house cats simply do not fight like this, especially if we make proper introductions when we bring a new kitty into our homes. ♥

    You can live with an HIV positive room-mate without risk – use the same toilet, eat off the same plate, and share the same waterglass. It is the same for our cats. They can share the same space, share the litter box, share a food dish – and romp and play together. Minor bites in the course of play or scratches is not going to transmit FIV. We have an FIV+ kitty and have never separated him – other than for initial introductions. ♥ Our vets support our decision. He grooms one of our other kitties, often for hours a day. And none of our other kitties has been infected with FIV. We have a kitty that underwent chemotherapy – nothing more compromising to the immune system than that. He did not succumb to becoming infected with FIV. So let’s dispel the myth that FIV is contagious under normal inside-only house cat conditions!

    • BJ says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I would tend to agree, but felt I should share the advice of the vet community. I know people who have kept their FIV cats in separate rooms from their other cats. One shelter in southern Maine does this, and they are absolutely beautiful kitties. They find people confuse FIV with feline leukemia.
      The FIV deserve loving homes, and if we can spread the word, people do not need to be afraid of them – they just need a little extra TLC. Afterall, none of us, have a time frame on when we’re going to get ill, or how long we have on this planet.

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