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I'd like to hear from anyone on this, but specifically I'd like to know what Dr. Jean thinks...

OK, so I've heard many different things about FIV. I've heard that it's absolutely no big deal. Then I've heard that it's a huge deal, and the cat will die in a few years. At the place where I volunteer, they say that they've never lost a cat who had FIV, and that the cat can live a normal lifespan, just be a bit more prone to URI's and things later in life if exposed to other cats. So, what's the truth? Internet searches provide conflicting information... I just want to know what FIV *really* does to the cat.

Just yesterday a super sweet FIV kitty named Maggie was adopted out, and the adopters were fine with her having FIV. It's so nice when that happens, because at the county shelters FIV means immediate euthanasia.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Difference of opinion

I don't want to cause any strife, but I have to tell of my experience with FIV cats. Unless an FIV cat is agressive or very affectionate to FIV negative cats, I don't see a problem. I have had 2 FIV cats in my home for the past 13 years. One passed away when he was 9, the other when he was 12. Never were my other cats at risk for the disease because they didn't hang out with the FIV cats. FIV is not as contagious as Feluk. I've never had a FIV cat pass the disease on in my home, but on the contrary have had Feluk passed on to cats who were actually vaccinated against it. This is just my experience. You do what you are comfortable with.
 

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I've always looked at it as being at least somewhat similar to HIV. I have several friends who've been HIV+ for 10-15 years; most of them are quite healthy overall (many are healthier than I am, actually). And I've had other friends who sickened and died within a year of HIV infection. I think that lifespan is in large part determined by the strength and support of the immune system and general body health; once the opportunistic infections start, it gets harder and harder to maintain a healthy immune system and health begins to decline.

After Assumpta, I will probably only take in FIV+ cats because they're so hard to place.
 
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