FIV and FeLV

Cat Tales finds it extremely important to promote the adoption of our FIV+ and FeLV+ cats. We have some wonderful cats available for adoption that deserve loving homes.

This page is to educate the public on these diseases and raise awareness that every cat deserves the chance of a loving home!

What is FIV?

FIV is “feline immunodeficiency virus”. Humans and other animals cannot be infected with FIV, it is a “cats-only” infection.

The following information is taken from the article FIV: Catching a Bad Case of Rumors by Kristi Littrell. 

FIV Facts

  1. Despite what many people think, cats with this condition can live perfectly long, happy, healthy lives.
  2. The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat’s immune system over a period of years.
  3. FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.
  4. FIV cats most often live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.
  5. FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually – like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling and playing. It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens.
  6. The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds. (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats.)
  7. A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.
  8. Many vets are not educated about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.
  9. FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible. Keep them indoors and free from stress, feed them a high-quality diet, keep and treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.

What is FeLV?

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease in cats that can cause anemia and lymphoma, among other serious diseases. The virus can also suppress the cat’s immune system, affecting his/her ability to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi that contribute to other serious illnesses.

The good news is that FeLV-positive cats may live many years in a healthy state. There is not set life expectancy for FelV+ cats; much depends on the cat’s immune system and ability to fight the virus.

Daily Care – If you have a FelV+ cat you should develop a close relationship with a veterinarian whom you trust and schedule wellness visits twice a year, or as recommended by your vet. You should also closely watch the health and behavior of the cat for weight loss, appetite changes, or any abnormal appearance to the cat’s gum, eyes, skin or lymph nodes. Immediately alert your vet if you see any changes in your cat’s health.

Feed the cat a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Avoid uncooked food, such as raw meat and eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products because the risk of food-borne bacterial and parasitic infections is much higher in immune-suppressed cats.

FeLV+ cats should remain indoors, not only to reduce their exposure to other infectious conditions in the environment, but also to prevent the spread of infection to other cats in the neighborhood.
It is important to spay or neuter all cats.

Click here to see the entire article on FeLV.