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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I just feel awful.

A kitten showed up at my mother's house yesterday. She said it had been meowing outside the night before and if it didn't leave her property, she was going to call the humane society to come pick it up.

I absolutely could not leave this baby at my mom's where she'd call the humane society. There was quite a scandal a couple of years ago where it was discovered they were euthanizing healthy animals as soon as they were delivered. They have since been transferred to new management, but still..I'm terrified to take that chance in bringing a little baby there to be rehomed. I can't take the chance he'll be euthanized instead. What's worse, this is the only HS in the area. :-x

So I brought the baby home with me. Its defenseless - it can't spend one more minute outdoors, poor thing.

But as I have mentioned in previous posts, my current cats are FIV+. My primary vet has told me that I can not keep other cats until the ones I have now, "die out."

On the other hand, every single article I have read about FIV states that as long as everyone is fixed and gets along, there is no reason not to allow FIV+ kitties to live with FIV- ones, as the virus is transmitted through blood and deep, fighting bites. Not litter sharing, food, etc.

I know the nature of the internet leads us to read pretty much anything, but at the same time, I haven't read one thing that discourages letting them live together.

But I trust my vet's judgement and I just don't know where to go with this. The kitten is now being separated from the others, since they all haven't been properly introduced and the kitten's scent hasn't gotten all over the house yet. So obviously at the moment there is no harm in having the kitten in the house where the adults aren't around to infect him. (just in case I did try to rehome him myself - its safe for the meantime)

What do you guys think I should do? Should I keep the cat or try to find him a home myself?

I had an FIV+ kitty when I was a teenager. He had companions his whole life and never infected them - nor did any vet tell us we had to do anything about it. I don't recall if the vet even asked if there were other cats in the home and he definitely didn't tell us we couldn't get more.

My vet, on the other hand, is rather keen on euthanizing them. Not to make her sound cruel or anything, but she wanted to do my eldest when he was diagnosed. Instead, we tested the others who were positive as well - so she said it was okay for them to cohabitate. She's definitely not a fan of them living together with negative kitties.

(also, she wanted to "do" him when he had a cold. I refused and demanded treatment. He made a 100% recovery in a few days)

Furthermore, all of our cats were previously strays. They technically could have always had it rather than them going around infecting each other. My vet, however, is convinced that they all went around infecting each other. So do I want to take that risk?

But she's the only vet who ever told us not to let them live together. This conflicting information is killing me!

So I plan on taking the kitten for a wellness check anyway, and now I have to "sneak around" and go to another vet because I know mine will probably call the ASPCA on me!

I just feel so terrible because I don't know if I am putting this kitten in harm's way or not. The poor baby will have a wonderful life here rather than in a cage at some crummy humane society where he may or may not be adopted.

Besides, I know personally how FIV+ kitties live long, happy, relatively healthy lives. I just don't know if I have a very gung-ho vet and I'm letting her scare me, or if she's right.

I mean, if I were to keep this cat thinking it were safe and he did contract the virus along the way, I would be the cruel one, right? Because I knew.

I just don't know what to do and I want to cry.

(for the record, all of my cats are fixed and get along great. They have seen the kitten even though they're separated from each other, but they really didn't act one way or the other about it. They were just like, "Oh, a kitten? neat...where's the food, Mom?")
 

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I think your vet is crazy and cruel. Just because a kitty is FIV+ does not mean it does not deserve to lives as long and healthy of a life as it can. I think you should get a new vet for all of your kitties (I'd be wayyyy too pissed to go back to someone who wanted to kill my cat for pretty much no reason). You can always ask the second vet an opinion about them living together, but I feel like, even if the kitten does get FIV, it's better off with you than going to that humane society. You could always try to rehome it yourself, but I definitely would not take it to the shelter. At any rate, don't beat yourself up about this at all... at least you care enough to try to help the kitten!
 

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I'd get a new vet so fast you wouldn't see me for dust!

The shelter I support has FIV cats and doesn't have a policy of having them PTS.

I am glad to say that I have never had a cat with the problem but (please don't think I'm being insensitive) but several careers ago I taught a boy in High School with HIV. This was in the early days when people didn't really know what was going on and there was all kinds of mis-information that had to be sorted through. We were told certain precautions to take (info was also given to the parents of other kids and to the students at varying levels) but the bottom line was that everyday life was not a threat. He shared the toilet facilities, the school pool, etc. with everyone else. I can't help but suspect the same would be true of a cat with FIV.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow...you guys have seriously made me feel so much better. By that I mean, much less guilty.


I understand my vet's position - remove the threat of FIV, better for the unaffected kitties who can live freely without the risk. Even though the risk is low for FIV- kitties living with positive ones who are fixed and docile, the risk is still there. Once the kitten is infected, that's really it. No cure - he's got to live a lifetime with it. I totally "get" it.


But on the other hand - well, here's how I see it:


Kitten is now living with the possibility of contracting FIV in this environment. It is not a guarantee. The risk exists, but it is very low.


It is a guarantee that he will live a happy and comfortable life here. He will be happy and comfortable and may never contract the virus.


Even if he does, he is guaranteed to have a happy and comfortable life until the virus starts to affect his immune system several years in the future. The kitty I had when I was a teen never showed immune problems. He lived to be 16 and simply "up and died" one day. (his unaffected companion lived to be 10 - go figure, eh?)


So either way, Kitten will have a safe, happy, healthy and comfortable life here. FIV is no different than HIV...you don't just catch it and fall over dead. Its not easy to catch, it takes years - and those years could be spent with my family, an FIV-friendly environment!


Still, I'm just not sure if its ethical to expose the kitten to the risk - no matter how low.

But on the bright side, this kitty could have FIV anyway. The strays we accumulate always seem to come from an abandoned barn on a defunct farm. I have no doubt my babies are all related in some way. He could already have FIV for all I know and I am worrying about the ethics for nothing. I'll have him tested at the wellness check.


I really am going to switch vets, though. I see her side of the issue, and she's not some callous person with a needle waiting to euthanize every cat she comes across. When my eldest fell ill, she just wanted to put him out of his misery before he really started suffering. Still, if I hadn't pressed for treatment...


It really was only that this was the second time she suggested putting him to sleep as the first option rather than treating him and his FIV that got me rather sketchy of her. I think she means well, I just can't give up on my babies until they are at the point of no return. I simply will not put a cat to sleep simply because he has FIV. And yeah, that was the first thing she told me to do when she gave me the diagnosis.


I will never forget her words were, "It will be hard to justify taking him home after this..." So I had the other kitties tested, and that was that. I didn't have to "justify" taking him home that day. (did I mention I had three? I don't have a whole slew of cats here, the kitten makes the 4th)


One other thing...I've still taken what this vet has told me to heart. I really do want to do what's right for everybody. Its no secret among my friends and all that my kitties are FIV+ and I don't care who knows it.


But I'm afraid if people find out I took in another cat, they'll hate me. Like they think I am neglecting the kitten or something. I'm resisting the urge to post photos to my facebook, or call friends and tell them to come meet the new member of the fam. I'm just scared to death that people ignorant of the virus will think I am putting my own needs above his.


I know I shouldn't worry about what other people think and they do need to be educated about FIV. Still, like the vet, I can't deny the risk is here at the house.


I feel like I am doing something very wrong here. I feel like I need to sneak around and hide it. Getting a new kitty should be a happy experience!


BTW, I have a 3-year-old, and there are only two doors in the house where I can keep these kitties separated until they get to know each other. Last night, I didn't want to sleep in my bedroom with the kitten and close the door (just in case my daughter cried in the night) - so I gave Kitten my entire bedroom and I slept on the couch. (that's how dedicated I am to these furballs! ha!)


My husband came home around 11p.m. and immediately rushed into the bedroom knowing the kitten was in there. He played with him and they watched TV until about 3a.m., falling asleep together! (I slept through all this)


When hubs woke up around noon, it was the first time we'd really gotten to talk about the new kitten. I made sure he was OK with the new addition, did they get along well, etc. I asked him, "Do you like the cat so far?"


He replied, matter of factly, "Now why wouldn't I like a cat?" haha, isn't that awesome?
 

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I mean, FIV isn't nice, but its definitely not on the FeLV scale... and there's a vaccine (though the effectiveness is in question and may cause cancer, so tell that to the critics) If you didn't take the kitten, it'd end up at the shelter, and likely dead... even if it gets FIV you'll give it a wonderful life for as long as you can, which is preferable to life on the street as well. Yes, someone else might adopt it, but it doesn't happen more than it does. If people get on you about it, go right back at them... tell them that 3.5-4 million animals are euthanized every year in the U.S. for not having a home, and at least you're taking one in, saving it; what are they doing?
 

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Yes, FelV is more contagious, spread through sharing litter/water/food, mutual grooming. It will be unfair to all kitties if you ever take in FelV or have FelV kitties at home, cos it will 100% spread. As for FIV+, the chances is low unless they seriously do not like each other and start fighting. Whatever the case, have the new kitty check for FelV if you bring it to the vet. Anyway if everything is ok, I'm sure its better off living with you than getting euthanized or living in the streets even if there is a 50/50% chance of kitten getting FIV.

The vet I go to do not encourage euthanizing even if kitties have FelV. When ET was tested FIV+, he did say to keep to just 1 cat at home though. Anyway, I wouldn't take in another cos ET is extremely timid, I won't wanna stress him out, cos don't think he will get along well with other kitties. He didn't get along with most of the strays when he was a stray then, so I have no confidence in bringing another 1 in. So, you know best, how your FIV+ kitties will react towards the new kitten. Having said so, it will still be so pitiful to put kitten back into the streets though.
 

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Yes, FelV is more contagious, spread through sharing litter/water/food, mutual grooming. It will be unfair to all kitties if you ever take in FelV or have FelV kitties at home, cos it will 100% spread.
Have to call you out a bit here and wonder what your source is on this? There's a lot of misinformation out there. It is worse when a cat gets it compared to FIV, but it isn't a sure thing your cat is going to get it nor that it will die in a few years due to it, either.

At the cat sanctuary I volunteer at I'm in the main FIV and FeLV room (there's three of them). I wander around between it and the rest of facility, where regular cats are. Sure, I wash my hands... but am I 100% FeLV free all over, my shoes and clothes, or even my hands? I surely think not. Most of the cats in the area I'm in have FeLV, a few have FIV, and have had for ~10+ years living with FeLV cats all around them.

Moreover, every once in a while, a cat will come down with FeLV in other areas; there's silent carriers around there I suppose. The FeLV cats and regular cats are likely living together in order for the occasional popping up of an FeLV cat in the regular area. Despite me and countless others trudging between the rooms and silent carriers about there's maybe 30-50 FeLV and FIV cats (many coming to the sanctuary with FeLV already) out of 700+ cats. Doesn't sound like anywhere near a 100% likelihood to me.

As far as the main question here goes, I would probably keep the cat myself, as long as the cats get along and aren't giving deep bites to the kitten.
 

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Umm...I'm trying to find the link, but don't remember where. My infor is all from googling. Sorry if I remember the infor wrongly but even if it is not 100%, the chances is high, am I right to say that? anyway, there are some infor I got from here Policy Statement 2: Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

Its really good to hear from people who have 1st hand dealings or contact with FelV and FIV kitties, rather than reading from don't know if they are reliable source. I was paranoid then cos I was feeding a FelV stray and I do not want to infect my FIV+ ET at home. I would seriously like to hear more about FIV too. What I know are all from googling and some website say FIV+ kitties can live more than 10yrs w/o any symptoms at all, but some mentioned about the severity of the 3rd stage of FIV, that sure got me paranoid. Anyway, ET seemed healthy for now though, I was kinda relieved, will just have to make sure I give him healthy food.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The problem with my shelter (apart from its shady past), is that its located in a small town and the people here prefer dogs. Cat lovers are the minority and I just know the poor baby will have a small chance of being adopted anyway, but the few people living in this small town who are looking to adopt, want dogs. The chance he has to be adopted is pretty much slim to none. If I recall correctly, our shelter no longer euthanizes the same day the animal is dropped off...they wait a week now.

I'm sorry, but a week isn't long enough. Everyone in my house would have to have ebola before I took an animal to our shelter!

No doubt FIV is a horrible thing. But my cats have been sick once (picked up a bug at the vet). They are all indoor kitties, and the kitten will be too. Not only is the risk for contraction in my house low to begin with, but I also don't expose my babies to anything that I can't "help." Nowadays if anyone goes to the vet, I run around the house like a madwoman spraying Lysol to kill any oogie-boogies they may have picked up along the way.

But Minikin just gave me an idea...if anyone gives me any lip about taking in this kitten, I can always ask, "You wanna take him, then?" haha! I don't think I could bear to part with him now...I'm already attached to him and its been only about 36 hours!

I still haven't introduced everyone but I want to wait until the kitten can be checked out first. Not only are my cats a possible threat to him, but he is a threat too since my cats' immune systems are weakened. He might have oogie-boogies all over, who knows? I just keep spraying that Lysol around until a vet opens tomorrow.

One more thing, not related to FIV...and I've already taken care of it but just in case! The kitten had some sort of parasite on its skin. I want to say they were fleas, but they didn't really look like fleas. Nor did they look like ticks, gnats, mites, or really anything I've seen before - and I thought I'd seen everything!

They are perfectly circular, black "dots." They are about the same size and shape as a period printed in a book. Very tiny, but compared to the kitten's body, they look large for him. (I consider fleas a bit more "elongated." Ticks are sort of ovalish and I can see their little legs) Whatever this is, you can't see anything except the black dot. They didn't appear to be doing anything - they don't jump, they weren't burrowing, a few were tangled in his fur, but for the most part they were just kind of "hanging out." They move so slowly, they don't even look alive.

I treated the kitten as if he had fleas, though. Gave him a nice gentle shampoo with kitten soap just so I could see better - probably half of these bugs fell off into the water and went down the drain. For the rest, I went to the pet shop and got some kitten flea spray. Unfortunately I have no idea how old this kitten is - and he's so light, his weight doesn't register on my scale at home when I try to subtract our weights. It reads the same whether I'm holding the kitten or not...and I used two scales!!!

If I had an inkling that he's 12 weeks already I'd give him a flea collar. If I knew he were over 2.5 pounds, I'd give him that "stuff" you squirt on their necks. I have a one pound handweight at home and let me tell ya, the handweight feels heavier than the kitten. I just don't know.

Not that it matters, just in case anyone were wondering why I didn't use traditional flea control. I just asked the pet shop guy to "give me something for a baby kitten that I have no clue how old he is!"

Whatever this bug is on the cat, I don't think the flea spray necessarily killed them. What it did do, was make them leave his body. Maybe they jumped ship to die, I don't know. It was really easy, though. He had been sleeping in a cat bed and when I picked him up to observe, I found one or two stragglers on the outside of his fur. The rest had just sort of "fallen off" onto the bed. I sprayed them again just to make sure I got them all and took the bed away to clean it.

But just in case a few made it out alive, I want to treat it properly. Are these things fleas or something else entirely? I just want to make sure I use the right product. And sometimes it doesn't matter, I know. You can kill a wasp with fly spray, you know?

But they're not on the kitten anymore so that's good. I just don't want an infestation in the house just in case a few made it out alive!
 

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The only thing I can think of is ear mites, I may be wrong, but check this out Google Image Result for http://www.paws-and-effect.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ear_mites.jpg

ET had something like that falling from his ear, I got vet to check his ear when I brought him in for his 1st vaccination. Anyway, vet says his ear is ok, but prescribed ear drop for ear infection just in case, which I only managed to use twice, the 3rd time round, ET run off and hide, simply impossible to give him ear drop, so I stopped. But ET allowed me to clean his ear with cotton ball, so I have been cleaning his ear moistened with apple cider vinegar. I only cleaned with ACV a couple of times, then I stopped, cos not too sure if it can be too drying. Anyway, its been months, haven't had the problem again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would seriously like to hear more about FIV too. What I know are all from googling and some website say FIV+ kitties can live more than 10yrs w/o any symptoms at all, but some mentioned about the severity of the 3rd stage of FIV, that sure got me paranoid. Anyway, ET seemed healthy for now though, I was kinda relieved, will just have to make sure I give him healthy food.
You're absolutely right. My first cat (teenage one) lived to be 16 and never showed one darn symptom of illness the entire time. I remember my mom and I discussing it and wondering if maybe the test were a false-positive! This cat went outdoors and everything! He simply never got sick and like I said earlier, when he died, he just pretty much fell over dead. Like some force said, "Okay, kitty, 16 years is enough...time to meet the kitties before you!" haha!

The kitties I have at home have been sick once. The 5-year-old sneezed once or twice and was fine. She was never taken to the vet. The 9-year-old sneezed for a few days, went to the vet, but didn't receive treatment as he wasn't bad off at all. The something-year-old (probably more than 10, we just don't know. He was already an adult when he came to live with us) fell very ill. He wouldn't move, he wouldn't eat, breathed through his mouth, the works. This was the one the vet wanted to PTS. He had been ill for about 4 or 5 days but I demanded treatment as I wanted to give him at least a week to make sure he wasn't going to improve. Three days worth of fluids, antibiotic shots and a dose of valium had him back on his feet and normal as ever!

If that one ever gets sick again, he may have to be PTS eventually. But goodness gracious, he's got to be over 10 years old anyway!

I'm definitely not an FIV expert, but I am more familiar with it than I'd like to be. I've seen it and dealt with it 4 times now...and "10" seems to be the magic number - the time when you start looking for any problems. And still, they respond to treatment for a while before the immune system really konks out. My kitties are going to be so old when that happens, it will likely be time to "go" anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm familiar with ear mites. This doesn't appear to be the case - the kitten's ears look (to me, at least) to be in cherry condition.

Whatever this was, liked to hang out like in his "armpit" area, around the folds of his thighs, a couple on his belly. They were mostly concentrated where the legs meet the body.

Oh well, whatever. I took care of it. I'll check around today and see if I can find one in his room. I'll just take it to the vet with me. No biggie!
 

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Hope the vet can find out exactly what that is, do keep us posted, really curious to know what that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am sure that professionals know better than me - they've seen countless more cases of FIV than my four. I have no doubt that there are some poor kitties out there who don't live very long at all.

I have a friend who is sympathetic to FIV cats as well, and she takes them in. She has talked about her younger ones having recurrent ear infections (or maybe it was colds?). That would definitely suggest they can show immune deficiency at any age, but this simply hasn't been my experience at all. But four cats in my lifetime isn't really that many. That reminds me to ask her if any of her cats are negative! She would probably know better than anyone else what its like when they cohabitate!
 

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According to Cornell University Feline Health Center

FeLV:

Is highly contagious
Unlike other viral infections, instead of destroying cells, it mutates them. Because of this mutation it makes disease transmission and prognosis difficult to predict.

"Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Virus is shed in very high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but also in urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. FeLV doesn't survive long outside a cat's body—probably less than a few hours under normal household conditions. "

Cats that have prolonged exposure to FeLV such as living with, outdoors with, or born to infected cats have a higher chance of becoming infected.

The first stage of infection includes the blood only and cats with strong immune systems eliminate the virus from the blood (vaccinated cats/ live viral vaccines).

The second stage of infection includes the bone marrow and other tissue. At this stage cats will be infected for the rest of their life.


FIV:

Is contagious
Unlike other viral infections, instead of destroying infected cells, it mutates them. This mutation occurs because these retroviruses insert their genetic material into healthy cells. When the healthy cells go through mitosis the genetic material is increased by two and so on.


"The primary mode of transmission is through bite wounds. Casual, non-aggressive contact does not appear to be an efficient route of spreading FIV; as a result, cats in households with stable social structures where housemates do not fight are at little risk for acquiring FIV infections. On rare occasions infection is transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens, usually during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk. Sexual contact is not a major means of spreading FIV."

Kittens born to an infected mother may test positive for the first months even though they do not have FIV.

Because few, if any cats are able to eliminate FIV from their systems, false positives can occur while testing, which is why it is recommended to test using different antigen testing.

Because it takes eight to 12 weeks for the FIV antigens to build up enough to show a positive test result, false negatives are also high possibilities.

"

  • FIV-infected cats should be confined indoors to prevent spread of FIV infection to other cats in the neighborhood and to reduce their exposure to infectious agents carried by other animals.
  • FIV-infected cats should be spayed or neutered.
  • They should be fed nutritionally complete and balanced diets.
  • Uncooked food, such as raw meat and eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products should not be fed to FIV-infected cats because the risk of food-borne bacterial and parasitic infections is much higher in immunosuppressed cats.
  • Wellness visits for FIV-infected cats should be scheduled with your veterinarian at least every six months. Although a detailed physical examination of all body systems will be performed, your veterinarian will pay special attention to the health of the gums, eyes, skin, and lymph nodes. Your cat's weight will be measured accurately and recorded, because weight loss is often the first sign of deterioration. A complete blood count, serum biochemical analysis, and a urine analysis should be performed annually.
  • Vigilance and close monitoring of the health and behavior of FIV-infected cats is even more important than it is for uninfected cats. Alert your veterinarian to any changes in your cat's health as soon as possible.
  • There is no evidence from controlled scientific studies to show that immunomodulator, alternative, or antiviral medications have any positive benefits on the health or longevity of healthy FIV-infected cats. However, some antiviral therapies have been shown to benefit some FIV-infected cats with seizures or stomatitis."
FIV does not survive outside of the cat for more than a few hours. However, due to the nature of the illness, FIV infected cats often have secondary infections that need to be addressed before introducing new cats to the environment. Especially when introducing FIV or FeLV cats.


Cats can live for years with FIV if given the proper care and environment maintenance.



Feline Health Center
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll be sure to let you guys know what this bug is. I slept on the couch again last night (its actually more comfy than I thought it would be!) My daughter has a bit of a stuffy nose and is a little uncomfortable at night. I'm not risking sleeping in the bedroom with the door shut just in case she needs me!

But my hubs has the bed to himself - plus the kitten. He sort of complained about the bugs to me this morning. He said they were "all over him" [the cat]. But I know that he didn't have any on him when I went to sleep myself! I inspected the kitten this morning (still nothing) and only one little rebel was in the bed beside him. I inspected the rest of the bed, nothing was there. The floor, cat bed, litter box, food - nothing! I think he may have been exaggerating. If he wasn't exaggerating, then he did a really good job of getting rid of them!

Side note (funny) - I asked my daughter what she wanted to name the kitten. Her first response was "Clown Kitty!" ha! I told her to try again...later she came up with, "Funny Kitty." I told her to try again...

This morning she decided on "Nee Nee." (I guess I would spell it Nini?) I asked her where that came from, she said "school." Problem is, she doesn't go to school! ha!

I might be able to do with Nini all right if she wants to stick with it. I keep calling the kitten a "he," which I think he is, but I'm not sure. He's just too tiny to tell. If it turns out "he" is a "she," Nini will still work!
 

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Mites of another type might still be a possibility.

This may or may not be relevant, but testing for FIV isn't common here until there are some signs that it might be there. I have no idea why that is the case. To the best of my knowledge, I have never had a cat with FIV but I have also never had it tested for nor have I ever had a vet suggested it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you so much for that info, Thai!

All of my cats are fixed, when the kitten is old enough, he will be too. Two of my adults are 9 years old and up - they don't even play fight. Our 5-y.o. is as lazy as the others!

That is not to say that with a playful kitten in the house, the older ones may start to play fight back. But like the article said, this usually does not transmit the virus. My cats definitely don't go around violently attacking each other!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Mites of another type might still be a possibility.

This may or may not be relevant, but testing for FIV isn't common here until there are some signs that it might be there. I have no idea why that is the case. To the best of my knowledge, I have never had a cat with FIV but I have also never had it tested for nor have I ever had a vet suggested it.

Yep! My kitties weren't tested at all until they all fell down with that stupid cold.

Its probably a good idea to do a stray just to be in-the-know if the cat does have the virus. However, if your regular 'ol housecat, even one who frequently goes outside, hasn't been in any obvious fights there's just no reason to test for it. Otherwise you'd be testing them every couple of months and getting negative results every time - what would be the point? My vet charges $40 for an FIV test...its just not cost-effective anyway when you know the result will be negative.

I will have my kitten tested just to know for sure. If he's positive then I have no worries about the ethics of him living with the others. I don't have to worry about the off-chance he'll fight with the adults, or them fight with him. They'll just live peacefully as BFFs!

But if this were the only cat I had, I wouldn't test him for it. This is going to sound funny coming from me, where I've had so much experience with this, but I forget it even exists. When my vet told me the news, my knee-jerk reaction was to think, "Oh yeah...I had forgotten all about it."

I did curse myself for not checking them sooner - but what difference would it have made to know now, 6 months ago, or 5 years ago? Nobody was sick for all that time! I would have just known about it. It wouldn't have made one lick of difference.
 
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