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Does anyone here have (or had) an FIV+ cat? Tell me your experiences with that. When did you find out? How old is the cat, or how long did it live? How did the disease progress? Did/does this cat live among FIV- cats?

I have just one cat, she is not FIV+, however I am utterly obsessed with a cat from our local shelter who is FIV+, very friendly and pretty but overlooked because of this. It's a no-kill shelter and he's been there for 2 years, up there with the shelter's oldest feline residents.

I want to convince someone I know to adopt him, but most people I know who would want to adopt a cat already have cats and don't want to put them at risk of FIV, understandably. It's the reason I won't adopt him myself, although I constantly think about it and wonder whether or not it's really even a risk if they don't get into a fight.
 

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Hiya

I had a FIV cat for 4 years. I adopted him when he was 5. His name was Toby. He was born with the condition and did really well for the most part.

He had an eye infection that didnt go away when he was about 7 - which meant it had to be removed and he needed yearly teeth cleaning. Other than that, he was fine until this time last year when he was diagnosed with a rare form of oral cancer - i lost him last October.

The cancer may have been due to the virus. But his time was coming to an end anyway, as his bone marrow was beginning to fail due to the virus - he would have had an extra two/three years but would not survived to be a very old cat. But would have done well considering he had FIV.

He died aged 9.

By the way - you can certainly adopt FIV cats if you have other non-infected cats as the virus is very hard to transmit and is very fragile once it leaves the cats body.

FIV is only transmitted though Mum, very deep muscle bites or mating and even then the cat would have to be fairly unlucky. Toby certainly mixed with non-FIV cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, that sounds heartbreaking!

Did you have to administer any drugs on a regular basis? How expensive was it to care for him?
 

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Wow, that sounds heartbreaking!

Did you have to administer any drugs on a regular basis? How expensive was it to care for him?
No drugs initially at all - he had the dental cleaning once an year and then of course treatment for the cancer (he had a operation, then painkillers and antibiotics) - but before the cancer he was pretty healthy and was no more expensive really to look after than any other cat.

Piccie of my lovely lad for you:

 

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I currently have an FIV+ kitty. His name is Rounder, he's about 5 years old and I just adopted him a week-ish ago, so I'm still figuring things out.
He went to the vet on Friday, and he'll have to get a tooth pulled on his next visit.
He's also on interferon (I think that's how you spell it.). One week, he'll be on it and I put it in his food. The next week, he's off it. They mark how much to put in, so it's fairly easy. It costs about $40 and lasts 3 months.
As far as I know, he's definitely had FIV at least since he was found by the rescue, which was two years ago, so I can't tell you much about his lifespan.
And he's an only cat, although the rescue had him socializing with FIV- cats so I guess they didn't think he was a risk.
 

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No drugs initially at all - he had the dental cleaning once an year and then of course treatment for the cancer (he had a operation, then painkillers and antibiotics) - but before the cancer he was pretty healthy and was no more expensive really to look after than any other cat.

Piccie of my lovely lad for you:

Interestingly enough, he looks a bit like the FIV+ cat I am talking about, same colors in a similar pattern, but "my" cat has a bit longer hair. I am starting to seriously consider adopting him, but I need to know for sure that the potential financial burden is something I could handle. It seems like the dental problems they get could get expensive...

I currently have an FIV+ kitty. His name is Rounder, he's about 5 years old and I just adopted him a week-ish ago, so I'm still figuring things out.
He went to the vet on Friday, and he'll have to get a tooth pulled on his next visit.
He's also on interferon (I think that's how you spell it.). One week, he'll be on it and I put it in his food. The next week, he's off it. They mark how much to put in, so it's fairly easy. It costs about $40 and lasts 3 months.
As far as I know, he's definitely had FIV at least since he was found by the rescue, which was two years ago, so I can't tell you much about his lifespan.
And he's an only cat, although the rescue had him socializing with FIV- cats so I guess they didn't think he was a risk.
Wow... the FIV cat I am talking about is 6 years old, so about the same age, and has been at the shelter for 2 years as well! Please keep us posted about your experience.
 

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It seems like the dental work may be a financial stretch for me. I'm not sure though, since the vet he goes to sponsors the rescue and gave me a discount on his meds.
I'll keep you updated on how everything is!
I would recommend adopting the cat, simply because it breaks my heart the way people were afraid of my baby boy because of FIV, but I understand financial burdens, seeing as how I'm a student lol. yay university!
 

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It seems like the dental work may be a financial stretch for me. I'm not sure though, since the vet he goes to sponsors the rescue and gave me a discount on his meds.
I'll keep you updated on how everything is!
I would recommend adopting the cat, simply because it breaks my heart the way people were afraid of my baby boy because of FIV, but I understand financial burdens, seeing as how I'm a student lol. yay university!
I'm having a lot of doubts about adopting a second cat, mostly concerning how my current cat would react. I went to visit the FIV+ cat I am interested in at the shelter last weekend, but was told he is very dominant and might not get along with my cat. I don't want to stress her out.

The other problem is that my apartment is small, and we don't have a place to put a second litter box. And if the cats end up not getting along, there isn't much of a way to separate them in the long term. I will most likely be moving out later this year, hopefully to a bigger place, so I think when I do I will give the idea some more serious thought. I am also hoping I can volunteer at this shelter, and if I do I will get to know this cat (and others) better, and be able to give a better determination of whether my place will work out for them. It's just not an option for me to adopt a cat and then return it if it doesn't work out. So I need to be sure.
 

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Yeah the dominance factor is a big thing. My cat doesn't appear to be dominant, but then again, he's an only cat (for now) and we have a chihauhau that lives in the same part of the house and they ignore each other.

But yeah, you want to be sure, so you don't have to return him, and stress your other cat out. If you volunteer at this shelter, you could take the cat in question for like a play time, and observe him and such. I personally, have never even tried to live in a multicat home (I had a group of ferals that I fed, but they chose each other), so I can't really give advice.
 
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