What would you do if your brother, sister, daughter, son or other close family member told you one day that they had been diagnosed with HIV? Would you turn them away? Would you ask a doctor to kill them?
Because this is precisely what often happens to cats with the feline version of HIV, known as FIV. Very few people are prepared to take on the “burden”. They are so sure that such a pet could live for only a very short time. Some may even imagine that they might become infected with HIV through contact with an FIV positive cat.
Although there is not yet a cure for FIV, most cats with the virus can and do live happily and healthily for very many years. In fact, we’ve heard of one such feline who is over 20 years old and still absolutely fine. As long as prompt treatment of any health problems is sought, cats will have a long and successful life.
As for a cat with FIV infecting a human or any other species, this does not happen. There is nothing at all to fear.
FIV positive cats are the ideal companions for cat lovers living in a flat, on a busy road or difficult location, or for cat lovers who need to know where their cat is, safe and sound at home. These cats need to be kept indoors, away from other non-FIV cats (who may be vulnerable to infection or pass on infections to the FIV cat). No feeling guilty for having a “house cat” who is not allowed to go outside.
Over the years, AARU has taken in, cared for and homed a number of FIV positive cats. All are loving and affectionate and in coninued good health.
Please, we are counting on you – our members and volunteers – to spread the word that FIV is not something to be afraid of, that these cats deserve good, loving homes, that they shouldn’t be put to sleep through ignorance. Information is readily available, based on years’ of experience; Cat Chat has a particularly useful section.
If you would like to discuss adopting a FIV cat or a cat that would be suitable to live indoors, we would be pleased to hear from you.
This link leads you to the facts and the myths of FIV www.catchat.org/fiv