Understanding FIV

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN INDOOR FELINE COMPANION?
Why not consider adopting an FIV+ cat? Sadly due to the many misconceptions about this virus the FIV+ cats in  adoption centres find it hard to find new homes.

WHAT IS FIV?
FIV stands for feline immunodeficiency virus. The virus depletes the number of white blood cells which eventually makes the cat less able to fight infection. However, it is such a slow acting virus many FIV+ cats enjoy a normal life span with no apparent health problems resulting from the virus.

HOW DOES A CAT CATCH THE VIRUS?
The virus is present in the blood, saliva and other body fluids of the infected cat. It cannot survive for long outside the body. The main route for infection is through biting when the virus in the saliva is passed directly into the blood stream of the cat it bites. Once the cat has been infected with the virus it will have it for life. Find out more about Toby and his remarkable story 

CAN HUMANS CAT FIV?
No FIV can only be transmitted to other cats, no other species.

WHY ARE FIV CATS HOMED AS "INDOOR ONLY" CATS?
Cats protection recommends that FIV+ cats are kept indoors and only allowed outside in a impenetrable garden or safe run. This not only stops the spread of the virus but protects the FIV+ cat from secondary infections. They should not be allowed direct contact with FIV negative cats.

CAN MY FIV+ CAT GO INTO A CATTERY?
Boarding catteries should have no problems in accepting and FIV cat as the virus is easily killed by disinfectant and cannot be passed to other cats via feed bowls etc. You should, however, make the cattery aware of your cats condition.

Good care and lots of love can help your FIV+ cat enjoy a long life. Give your cat a good diet, keep vaccinations up to date and treat regularly against fleas and worms. Any sign of illness take your cat to the vet, as early treatment can prevent problems. All things we advise for any cat. So come on, why not adopt an FIV+ cat as your new indoor feline companion.


"It was almost a year ago that we found Blixa (previously known as Bruiser, perhaps an apt name as he likes to give a lot of head rubs!). There he was at a the Derby Cats Protection and it was an immediate connection as soon as he was in our arms. 

For those that don't know, Blixa is FIV+ and was therefore overlooked by visitors at the centre, because so many people are misinformed about the infection, one that does not shorten his lifespan, but just means that we need to be careful (hence why he is a house cat). This dude means so much to us.

So if you're inclined, visit this pet rescue centre, adopt an animal, especially those that are overlooked, cos believe me, they have a lot of love to give and can certainly teach us a thing or two"

Andy Wallis - September 2016


We currently have one FIV+ cats looking for a home: Batman

For more information on FIV please download our information leaflet.