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Feline AIDS

(7 Posts)
SherlockPotter Fri 02-Sep-16 17:00:12

Has anyone got any experience of owning a cat that has feline AIDS or FIV in medical terms, alongside a cat that is negative to having the disease? Like did the disease progress later in life or not at all!

We've taken in a stray and took him to the vets to get neutered, microchipped, have blood tests and vaccinations (obviously he can't have the one for FIV) and found out he has the disease, the vets gave us a few days to make the decision of whether to keep him or not (we are, we tried ringing sanctuaries up but they never answered) so we've gone to both sets of next door neighbours to warn them as they both have cats; one set of neighbours hasn't had them vaccinated since 2012 and their cats have eaten out of his dish (we've fed him outside for a while) but the other side are responsible and have had their cat vaccinated. Obviously the new cat won't be able to go outdoors anymore in case he infects any other cats (unlike as he's quite placid)

Thank you!

thecatneuterer Fri 02-Sep-16 17:36:23

Some info here for you

I have had and still have a very large number of FIV positive cats living along side negative ones. The FIV cats don't infect the others. There is no problem with living together, sharing food bowls, etc etc. There is really also no reason why they shouldn't go outside. Once they are neutered, unless naturally very aggressive, they are unlikely to get into the sort of fights that would result in transmission of the disease. And quite frankly, if an aggressive, unneutered neighbourhood tom were to pick a fight (probably the only type that would) they are likely to have it already anyway so no harm done from that point of view.

And all my FIV positive cats that have now died lived long, happy, healthy lives, totally unaffected by their condition, and ended up dying of the normal ailments of old age. And a still have a number of middle aged FIV positive cats that are going strong.

FIV really isn't like human HIV in that, even without any treatment (although keeping up to date with vaccinations is a good idea) most cats that have it will be completely unaffected and it will not limit their life.

thecatneuterer Fri 02-Sep-16 17:38:21

Oh and vaccination doesn't protect against FIV, but really the other cats are not at any risk at all and I don't think I would even mention it to your neighbours, they might worry unnecessarily and even be aggressive to your cat.

SherlockPotter Fri 02-Sep-16 22:40:25


Thank you for the advice; we actually got told by the vets that they do vaccine against the disease, same for informing our neighbours: hopefully it prompts her to get her cats vaccinated!

I mean we need to keep him inside for a few days (his neutering operation is tomorrow) so we'll see whether he wants to go out or not. Even whilst he's been not neutered, he's quite a laid back so he's not a fighter!

It is reassuring to know that it doesn't really affect their life (he's a young cat, no older than 3 years old).

Thank you again smile

thecatneuterer Sat 03-Sep-16 08:52:16

There is no vaccine in use in the UK against it as far as I am aware. Are you in the UK? One of the vets on here did once explain why we don't do it here. Something to do with not being very effective I think. If you are in the UK I would be very interested to hear exactly what vaccine your vet is talking about. Could you please find out? (I work in a rescue so it would be useful to know about!)

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 03-Sep-16 13:54:18

There is a vaccine in the USA it's effectiveness is too lotto get a licence in the UK ( which should tell you everything you need to know). As vets we have to advise you that there is a potential transmission risk.

sashh Sun 04-Sep-16 07:33:37

Agree cats in the UK not vacinated.

When I've fostered FIV cats the instructions were to keep them inside (do that with all foster cats anyway) and if they look a bit off colour get them to the vet ASAP whereas a non FIV cat you might wait a day to see if they are having an off day.

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