There is a lot of misinformation and needless fear bandied about for FIV+ (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) cats. Some people / shelters even go so far as euthanizing a cat solely because it tests FIV+.
Opinions are slowly changing as more and more information becomes available and people take a second look at what FIV+ really means.
One of the reasons why people & some shelters react so adversely to FIV+ cats is the fear that they will transmit the Virus to other cats. While this can happen through deep-bite wounds, with cats that have been spayed/neutered (and thus less aggressive) this is rare. The great folks over at Felines & Canines did a study last year where they tested over 100 cats that had been living together for over a year - many FIV+ and the rest FIV-. Their results were very telling; not a single cat that had come into the shelter FIV- had contracted the Virus from the FIV+ cats it had been living with - not a single one. If you want to read the story about this study, click here.
Of course with an FIV+ cat, you must take extra care and be vigilant for any signs of health issues. As their immune system has been weakened, they can be more susceptible to other health issues. But with good care, they make wonderful, wonderful pets.
I write all of this as a backdrop to a story of a couple of FIV+ cats which were recently adopted by a very forward-thinking caretaker. One of these cats, Morton, was adopted from Feral Fixers. The caretaker sends us this information about Morton:
"You will be pleased to know that Morton and Lola are in fine fettle, which is more than can be said for the furniture (despite all the scratching pads)! Here are a few more photos to cheer you up. Morton does play a bit but Lola races around a lot more and seems to put him off his stride. For all his bulk and fierce looks he is quite a sensitive chap and needs lots of encouragement. Both of them purr a lot, which is good."
Feral Fixers Board member Sue (who is charge of all Feral Fixers adoptions) adds this:
Morton (larger brown tabby with small white dot on chest) was adopted from us in Aug 2013 as an adult (2-3 yrs old). He is FIV+. This couple subsequently adopted Lola (small gray tabby with white chest) who is also FIV+ from another rescue as his companion. After working through some initial stool issues with Morton, he has been extremely healthy every since, and obviously eating well. He is a bengal mix. Lola has also been very healthy. They are a wonderful loving pair.
So, if you have been thinking of adopting a cat, please know that a cat that is FIV+ can make a wonderful pet. In addition to Felines & Canines and ourselves, the wonderful people at ADOPT also have FIV+ cats looking for their forever homes.
Several organizations have information about FIV+ cats on the web - here is one example from the ASPCA.
All of the picture thumbnails except the bottom two are of Morton and Lola. The bottom two are Dominick (on the left, in the sink) and Deuce. Both of these FIV+ cats are currently available for Adoption from Feral Fixers. Click here to see all of our Adoptable cats. Click on any of the picture thumbnails to see a larger version of the picture.