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Rescue help: FIV-Positive Cat...What to do?

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  • Rescue help: FIV-Positive Cat...What to do?

    Someone abandoned an extremely friendly stray cat on the farm. Neutered male, about 2 years old, adorable dark grey tuxedo.

    I have been keeping him segregated from my cats, and am VERY glad I did -- took him to the vet today and he is FIV positive. He is otherwise extremely healthy, vet thinks he is a carrier and will be perfectly fine in a cat-free home where he cannot transmit it to another feline, or a home with another FIV-positive cat.

    How do you go about finding such a home? I have a few leads out but so far, nothing and don't really have a good idea of how to find a good home for a "special" kitty. He is so wonderful, great with kids, purrs up a storm and is a total lap cat and gentleman. I will put him down if I have to but the vet said it would be "hard" for her to do, he is so great and nothing wrong with him other than his positive test. He purred all during his exam and sprawled on the scale like he owned the place.

    I can't keep him, I have 3 cats and while he is fine on the screened-in porch in the summer, that is not practical or humane in winter. Poor fellow, really hoping I can find him a situation.

    Any catless people on the board who want an amazing cat -- and just one? He is up to date on everything now, just needs a home.

  • #2
    Bumping...sorry I have cats, otherwise I'd consider him.

    Someone has to know...a FIV positive kitty rescue. WHat about posting something on craigslist...but be careful and do a good screening including talking to their vet!
    Good luck to you.

    I thought there was information about keeping FIV cats with non FIV cats and that as long as they didn't do 'something' they could not transmit. Could be wrong.
    good luck.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld


    • #3

      some interesting info...I did not know that a cat vaccinated will test positive for fiv!
      I always have my cats vaccinated, and if I lost them, and someone found them, they'd think they were fiv positive.

      I'd look into it more. I just did a quick search, and thought I'd post this for you to read. theres lots more info out there...
      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


      • #4
        I would ask local vets in your area to spread the word. Someone might have a client with an FIV kitty who is looking for a second one.


        • #5
          Couldn't he live at the farm and have access to a warm room in the winter? Please don't put him down.


          • Original Poster

            I do not know if the "false positive" thing on wikipedia is right, fivehorses. I asked the vet about that and she said the chance for false positives was next to none for FIV, though high for feline leukemia. She said the test they used was extremely accurate for FIV. They even called the company to make sure before they came and told me he was positive. Even if it is right, there is no way to know whether he has it or not. Can't take the risk with my other kitties.

            He has to find a new situation. One of my kitties, who is indoor only, tries to escape and sometimes succeeds for a few hours as he can dart out the door between your legs when you come in before you ever see him -- he lies in wait for an opportunity to roam for an hour or two and come back home. They would almost certainly come into contact and I can't expose my 3 other wonderful cats to the FIV cat. It is really not fair to the healthy cats.

            I have no intention of putting him down immediately. I just spent more than $200 to get him up to date on all shots. I will do what I can do to find him a new home but I will not keep him and be forced to lock him in the basement by himself for 24 hours a day all winter. He would be miserable. See, e.g., the "I hate my boyfriend's cat" thread.

            The vet is spreading the word and I am trying local rescues as well. If any of you who are not too far can ask around, that would be helpful as well. Cat is near South Bend, IN. Here are pics of the sweet fellow:




            Last edited by fordtraktor; Aug. 30, 2011, 11:10 AM.


            • #7
              And FWIW, I don't know that I consider Wikipedia as anything more than incidental information. If I am looking for trusted information, I'd probably be looking at sites other than Wiki.
              You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something… S. Jobs


              • Original Poster

                Bumping. Any dog people not have time for a dog but want a pet? This cat is so friendly and personable he is like a dog in cat clothing. He would be a great "dog alternative" for a busy person who wants a play and snuggling companion. He is happy on his porch so I think he would be a good candidate for apartment or small house life.

                He is completely housebroken. He has been here a week and has a perfect record of litterbox use. Total sweetheart in every way. Will work with you on transport and of course will give prospective homes my vet's number so you can talk about the kitty with her directly.


                • #9
                  Where are you located?
                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                  • Original Poster

                    Near South Bend, IN.


                    • #11
                      I just adopted a cat last week, or I totally would have gone for this. He seems like a perfect sweetheart. Unfortunately now I cannot take him. I don't know of anyone who's looking for a cat, but if I hear something, I'll let them know there's a good one available in SB!


                      • #12
                        I wish you the best, and thanks for the info from your vet. There were more links, but I sent the wiki one on and thought you could look for more or of course check with the vet.

                        He sounds so nice, and I hope someone with an FIV home is found. You are a good person for what you have done for him.
                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                        • #13
                          We "adopted" (as in he showed up Christmas Eve four years ago and we let him stay ) an orange male that was about 2 years old at the time. We had him neutered at a clinic, and he came back with a note saying that he tested FIV positive. I took him to my regular vet, and they mentioned the false positive possibility. We decided to keep him and just take care of him until he was no longer healthy, then would put him to sleep......... that will be five years this coming Christmas. He shows no signs of being ill, and has not passed it on to my 18 year old barn kitty. We are just careful if he gets a sniffle, or a cut, to make sure it doesn't get infected, because he does take longer time to heal than usual. He is a very nice kitty, and seems to be doing fine at the present. Glad we gave him the chance!
                          stained glass groupie


                          • #14
                            Oh, I hope you find a good home for him! I have 4 already so I can't help.
                            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


                            • #15
                              My vet has a cat who is FIV positive in his practice, and the cat is 14. FIV doesn't really bother me all that much. FIV isn't easily transmitted, as its most common route is deep bite wounds. As someone said, if you have cats giving each other deep bite wounds, you have a worse problem than FIV. There is an article in the October issue of Cat Fancy, quoting UC Davis Koret Shelter website as saying that the risk of transmission is low enough that animal groups will adopt them into homes with other cats. FELV is a different story, of course, but if I had an FIV cat who was good tempered, neutered, and non-combative and properly introduced, I would keep him.
                              Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                              • Original Poster

                                I would love to keep him. But I have 3 young cats already, and they love to run around the house and roughhouse. They do not exactly give each other deep bites, but sometimes they get carried away and one will yip when they play too hard. They are not the "IGNORE THE NEWCOMER" types that will accept the new guy without notice. They are too friendly. My vet agrees -- the existing herd is not one that can take an FIV cat without significant risk to themselves.

                                Have a few leads on placing him, fingers crossed. He is a real doll -- loves to flop beside me and PURRRRRRRRR.


                                • #17
                                  FWIW - I have a 'mixed' herd

                                  We have 'cough, cough' 8 cats currently. With the exception of a little siamese, all are neighborhood strays we've taken in. (The siamese was my mother-in-laws till she got to a point where she couldn't take care of him)

                                  Of the remaining seven, two are FIV positive, both males. Also among the seven, two others are females. We moved recently from a suberban area, to a rural area and all cats are indoor at this point. They were all city cats, and don't know a thing about the country and its dangers. All have been together for several to many years - no troubles.

                                  Its my understanding that cats transmit FIV through bite wounds or through passing it on to offspring. If they all get along, no reason they can't live together. One of our FIV cats was definately a fighter, one ear, broken teeth, a limp, drippy eye, permanent stratches on his face. He couldn't be more social or sweeter. The other we think was born with it, because he has no 'war wounds' and just isn't confrontational. He takes his job of holding down the couch very seriously. He's the biggest one we have at 22lbs!

                                  Anywho, I thought I would share my experience. I'll also add that we had another FIV positive cat that we placed with a family, he's doing great. We would've loved to keep him but he was more dominant and just really needed to be in an one cat household, regardless of the condition. He lives with two Lab Retrievers and they all do just fine.

                                  Please consider this before putting him down. Also, I'll add the farm where my horse is boarded is a feline sancuary for FIV/Felv positive cats. They can live long and healthy lives if given the chance.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TB Fan View Post
                                    Its my understanding that cats transmit FIV through bite wounds or through passing it on to offspring.
                                    I think it is wonderful you have given FIV positive cats a chance. I read an interesting write up from a woman who does a lot of work with cats, and thinks it unfortunate that the disease was discovered, as it isn't easily transmitted and cats can live long lives with the disease. Here is an excerpt from one of the informational papers available at the UC Davis shelter medicine site:

                                    Although transmission to kittens at or near the time of birth has been experimentally reported, in nature this appears to be extremely uncommon. Kittens born to FIV positive mothers are at low risk for infection, although they may initially test positive due to the presence of maternal antibodies.
                                    I have fostered several litters of kittens who initially tested positive because of the maternal antibodies. All of the kittens tested negative when retested a month later. However, had that not been the case I certainly would have kept them rather than have them euthanized, as they all got along with the resident cats, so I wasn't worried about transmission to others.
                                    Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                                    • Original Poster

                                      It is not that I don't want to give the cat a chance. I can't keep him, but I wasn't planning on keeping him before his positive test either. I had a home lined up for him (you can check my posts from last week!), but of course that fell through when he tested positive for FIV.

                                      I am working on it. Of course all the sanctuaries I've called give me the same hard time about how he's not all that likely to infect my other cats. But that's not the point -- he's a stray. It's not like my cat got infected and I want rid of it, someone dumped this cat on me and I'm trying to do my best by it and find it a good home. I'm not sure I'd give him to a sanctuary anyway, I don't think he would be all that happy with so many other cats. He needs a family to love him. I'm trying to find one.


                                      • #20
                                        hope you find a home for the poor guy! I wasn't too aware of what exactly FIV was either until one of my cats was recently diagnosed with it. Scared me at first, until my vet talked me down, lol.

                                        I think what you need to find is a senior who needs a single cat to love on!