- FIV (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus) is a slow virus that affects a cat's immune system over a period of years.
- FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.
- FIV cats most often live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.
- FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually - like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling and playing. It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens.
- The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds. (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats.)
- A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.
- Many vets are not educated about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.
- FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible. Keep them indoors and free from stress, feed them a high-quality diet, and treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.
FIV Facts courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society
As you probably guessed, each of the cats shown above is a cat waiting for a home. They've each been waiting a long time, because they tested positive for FIV. The crazy part is in some cases they may not even have FIV. If they were ever vaccinated against it, they will show as positive for the virus for the rest of their lives. And even if they do have FIV, they may go their entire life without ever showing symptoms. FIV positive cats can live long, healthy, happy lives. So please, if you're considering adopting a cat, consider one of these very worthy FIV cats.