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Last summer I found two abandoned 3 week old kitten in my backyard. At three months old they were tested for FIV and it came up positive. Last week (at a year old), they were tested again, and one came back with a positive.

I have read just about every website about FIV. However, much of the information seems vague as far as care. I keep reading to feed them well, but what defines well? I know it quality food, high protein, but anything else? Life span seems to vague as also, some sites saying they can live a normal life, others saying that cats born with FIV do not live as long. Some websites say that the care is similar if not the same, while others say that they need a stress free, clean environment. What is clean? Do I change the litter every day, do I buy a water dish that circulates the water and filters it?

My two cats are fine together, so they will not be separated. My vet said that the FIV pos cat should not be vaccinated, but the other cat should be up to date on all shots to keep her from giving anything to the FIV cat. However, I have heard negatives about vaccinating cats, as their systems are too sensitive. I don't want to increase the risk of cancers, etc in my healthy cat. How likely is it that the healthy cat will pass something to the unhealthy cat. Is the risk from vaccinating worth it? Is there a risk? Is there risk from my coming in contact with other people's cats?

How to I keep my FIV pos cat as healthy as possible. Anyone with personal experience who could share their thoughts? This is all very new, and I need a lot of guidance.
 

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I don't know much of anything about FIV so I'll let the others chime in on that.

I would suggest you insist on using Merial PureVax vaccines for the negative cat. They're considered the safest vaccines by myself and many experts in the field. They are non-adjuvanted. PureVax Feline Rabies is the ONLY non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine available. They have FVRCP and FeLV as well. I do not think there is a PureVax FIV vaccine though. I don't know if you need to vaccinate the negative cat for FIV but I know if you do, it will test positive even if it doesn't have FIV.

I do rabies yearly and FVRCP every 3 years without any issues.
 

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When I adopted my 2yo kitty 8mths ago from the streets, I knew he was FIV+. Vet said he has to be the only cat at home, so just as well, since I only wanted 1 cat. FIV is spread through deep cat bites, so long as your kitties at home got along well, I believe there shouldn't be an issue mixing FIV+ with FIV-. Till now, my kitty seemed healthy and perfectly normal, but as he reaches the 3rd stage of FIV, his immunity will be compromised, that's what I read. So, their recovery from flu, gum diseases etc will be very very slow, that is why we need to keep them as healthy as possible, environment as clean as possible. Whenever I go feed the strays, before I enter my house, I will clean myself well, making sure I don't bring home anything nasty that may infect my kitty, especially if 1 of the strays have got flu, I have to wash my face too, change my clothes. I will not let my kitty get near me until I have a change of clothes. I may be paranoid, but I rather be safe than sorry.

I used to feed 1 FELV+ stray cat too. I made sure I don't touch that FELV+ kitty or let him brush my leg. Ya, I must admit, I am paranoid, but my friends did tell me to be careful when handling FELV+ kitties and not unwittingly spread to my already FIV+ kitty at home.

As for food, I will stay away from raw, so there is no chances of him getting salmonella problem.

Personally, I think FIV is not as bad as FELV. FELV can spread through mutual grooming, sharing of litter, water bowl, food, while FIV is spread mainly through cat fight, deep bite. But in both, their immunity is low.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there a general consensuses that raw food is ok? Someone suggest on another site to feed raw chicken necks for oral hygiene.
 

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As for food, I will stay away from raw, so there is no chances of him getting salmonella problem.

Are you sure it is the immune system that tackles salmonella? The acid in a cat's stomach kills it, according to people who only feed a raw diet. That is not the immune system, so FIV cannot ruin the process.

It also must be noted cooked cat food gets salmonella too, so whether it is cooked or raw is irrelevant.
Sorry, nothing against raw, its just that while googling about FIV, I read somewhere that says to stay out of raw for FIV+ kitties. So, to play safe, I followed. Given that I was a 1st time cat owner having to take care of a cat with a medical condition, with no help, no infor, I tend to get quite paranoid. I learned through trial and error and am still learning. Alot of what I know are through reading, then practice. Though not every infor on the web are true and correct, but given that I am still a new owner with little or zero knowledge and experience, I would rather give these infor the benefit of the doubt and they do helped me get by these 8mths.
 
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