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Does anyone have a cat with FIV?

(14 Posts)
fuckmeblindiknowthatcat Sat 22-Nov-14 18:23:22

My boy was diagnosed with this condition in March; he's 8 years old and still healthy although needs occasional cortisone injections and antibiotics for gingivitis.

The vet seems to think he'll live a happy and healthy life as long as his health is monitored. I'm not in the UK so not sure how common this condition is and the prognosis?

thecatneuterer Sat 22-Nov-14 21:24:04

I wouldn't worry too much. It's a much less serious diagnosis in cats than HIV is in humans. I posted this in another thread recently:

I've had/have lots of cats with FIV. It can be useful to know if a cat has it, as it can help with diagnosis and treatment of any particular problems they might have, but I wouldn't be particularly worried if they test positive.

Cats can live with FIV with no symptoms or ill effects whatsoever. I have had many, many cats over the years that I've known to have it (and undoubtedly many more that had it but were never tested). Not one of them (of probably 10 or so) was ever affected by it in any way. All went on to live long lives and die natural deaths from something totally unrelated.

It is also sometimes recommended that you keep FIV positive cats inside so that they can't infect any other cats. Well, unless your cat is a big fighter then I think you're fine to ignore that advice. It's really only passed on through fighting. None of mine that had tested negative ever became positive after living for many years in the same house as a large number of positive cats (I had some tested out of curiosity).

LeaveMyVagAlone Sat 22-Nov-14 21:25:22

I have a FIV rescue cat. Aside from keeping him in, all I do is get him slightly better quality food, and keep on top of his dental appointments.
He's 15, and very healthy. The only issue I have is no cattery as he's not vaccinated...happy to answer anything else!

thecatneuterer Sat 22-Nov-14 21:29:59

You may also find this useful from our website:

Slowdownsally Sat 22-Nov-14 21:36:01

I have owned 2 FIV cats. I rescued them both as strays. The first was seven when I got him and lived til he was 13. He died if liver failure related to his FIV, but up until two days before he died he was happy and healthy.

I still have the second cat. He's now 14 ish and generally well. He had some problems with his teeth, which I believe is more common with FIV cats and he now has a bit of arthritis but is doing well.

Fluff cat poddles about in the garden under supervision but otherwise is content indoors.

Cats protection league have been amazing supporting me with my boy and cover some FIV related vet expenses which has been a big help.

I can and so take fluff cat to the cattery and they keep him in an isolation pen for the duration - exactly the same as the other cat pens, but apart from them. It doesn't cost anymore money either.

FullOfChoc Sat 22-Nov-14 21:42:24

My 16 yo has FIV, he was a rough and tough fighter in his younger years, assume that's where he got it from. He was diagnosed at 14 yo and I tried to keep him indoors but he felt the litter tray was undignified. He's way past fighting and is old so spends a lot of time indoors and asleep. He has Gingivitis too and just 5 teeth left after several dentals (vet says he's too old to have any more now). He's a bit fussy but generally eats loads (costs a bomb), he's maintaining his weight fine. We groom him as he's too stiff in his joints to do it properly. He's still a handsome cat. He is taking cat ibroprofen and visits the vet every 3 months. They recommended no vaccinations. He leads a very happy life and hopefully has a few years in him.

LeaveMyVagAlone Sat 22-Nov-14 23:08:31

I keep mine in mainly because he's a fighter, and it's not fair to spread it. Also, he's unvaccinated. And he steals fish from ponds.

He's got very few teeth left, but still eats everything and enjoys Da Birdetc.

Corygal Sun 23-Nov-14 21:02:29

Mr Cory, the fat tabby, is FIV and is in peak health. He is an indoor cat - was stray and very fierce London streetfighter for some years - and doesn't miss the urban jungle at all. His teeth are in good nick too, which is something you have to watch out for in FIV cats.

fuckmeblindiknowthatcat Tue 25-Nov-14 18:19:25

Thank you for all your replies, it's reassuring to hear of other cats that have lived for many years with the condition. I'm 99% sure he contracted it when he was viciously attacked by a feral tom last summer; I have two other female cats so obviously I have to be vigilant in case they develop any similar symptoms.

There's no way I could keep him inside now - I live in an apartment and he's an extremely fit and energetic cat who needs his freedom. Fortunately I live in a semi-rural area with no traffic (just the odd viper and fox here or there), ironic really that I chose my home with my cats' safety in mind angry

thecatneuterer, thanks for your advice and that link. My vet, although excellent has no bedside manner and painted the worst possible picture for my cat which led me to fear the worst (cortisone will damage his kidneys and he would need interferon etc). After his last course of treatment a month ago he's gained a whole lot of weight and his coat's shining again so fingers crossed he'll be ok for the next few months at least smile

Slowdownsally there's no CPL where I live but some good animal charities who can help when money's tight.

Thanks again everyone, I hope your kitties are all still big, strong and purry grin

Stillyummy Wed 26-Nov-14 06:19:47

You should get you two other cats tested even if they don't have symptoms and vaccinate them if they do not have it. Also try to make them eat and drink separately/ be ruthlessly efficient at cleaning water boles, as saliva spreads FIV.

Best of luck.


thecatneuterer Wed 26-Nov-14 11:24:30

stillyummy is wrong. Salvia into the blood is the transmission route. Not ingested salvia. FIV can't be passed on by sharing food bowls etc etc. Also there is no vaccination against FIV. And there really isn't any point testing your other cats unless they show symptoms for which it would be part of a general diagnostic route.

thecatneuterer Wed 26-Nov-14 11:25:43

salvia ffs - that's a plant. I meant saliva of course ..

Stillyummy Wed 26-Nov-14 20:03:49

Yes there is a vaccine
I asked my friend why she cleans her FIV water boles so often, it isn't for the FIV spreading so I stand corrected. But it is because the FIV cat gets tummy bugs easily and they can be serious with his lowered immune system.

fuckmeblindiknowthatcat Sat 29-Nov-14 17:25:00

Stillyummy thanks for your unsolicited input but I trust thecatneuterer's advice; she/he seems to know what they're talking about smile

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