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Adopting a FIV cat? Risks to current Felv cat?

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  • Adopting a FIV cat? Risks to current Felv cat?

    Hello -

    Hopefully someone here has some more knowledge or insight on this situation?

    I currently have a 3 yo neutered male Felv cat. He is very healthy. I have had Felv cats before. One of the local rescues knows that I will take these guys in and they have a young, one male with Felv that I was all set to take in. I just found out that he also is FIV positive. I just spoke to my vet and was advised that my current cat would definitely then become FIV positive and it could quite possibly shorten his life. I certainly do not want to put my cat at risk, but I am afraid that this other guy really has no other options unless I take him.

    Is it worth the risk? How big a risk is it that cat #1 will have a shortened lifespan? My other two Felv cats, did die young due to complications from Felv.

    Any insight or advice would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

  • #2
    We have an "FIV/FeLV positive" kitty that my husband brought home from a dairy farm (with permission!).

    She was snotty for about a year after we got her, it has since cleared up and never come back. She's been around other cats and never passed it on to anyone else including her son (yeah, surprise! thanks for adopting me...).

    We even moved recently and all the stress didn't bring her snot back...
    Our vet did once say something about having something strange mass in her ear that might also have caused the snot then never gave us an answer about that.

    I have heard from other people this is not an uncommon occurrence in barn cats, some seems to just 'get over' it; they may be sick for awhile, then become perfectly healthy.

    I am not a vet, I'm not sure what is going on, I'm also not convinced this was FIV or FeLV. From my understanding most of these cats are put down as soon as they get into shelters.

    Perhaps get a second opinion from another vet?

    Edited to add: I thought it was FIV, but I looked it up and I think it was FeLV that she's supposed to have
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine


    • #3
      Thanks for asking this question - I have a similar thread going about the FIV thing, and responses are like the quote about horsemen - "two horsemen, three opinions". I'm getting the same thing on the FIV question. My vet thinks it's an automatic death sentence, others say they have positive and negative cats who have co-existed for years with no problem.

      There are multiple takes on how the FIV is transmitted, with some saying it requires a bite, others think it can be spread through food/water bowls. Some say cats can live together for years without spreading the virus.

      With Feluk, we have had non-fighting roomies NOT spread it, but then one got it from mutual grooming. The one who got it from her BFF at age 1 lived another 12 years. Then the kitten born with it that I adopted last year only lived a year.

      Both problems depress the immune system. This is not an easy decision for you, but you're right that nobody wants to take these poor guys.