If you’ve just recently found out that your cat has FIV, then you’re in the right place! I know this news is hard to hear. At first you’re shocked and then you’re deeply saddened. Then you begin to do your research to find out as much as you can as quickly as you can about FIV. When I began my own research (after my cat tested positive for FIV) I noticed how hard it was to find what I was looking for. I compiled all the information that you will need to know right here. This way you’re not having to scramble through a bunch of worthless information. There are a lot of misunderstandings about FIV and I would like to address them for you here and make things much clearer for you.
Before I get into any details I want to give you the main answer to what you’re looking for. Is my cat going to die? FIV is NOT a death sentence for your cat. Many cats that have been diagnosed with FIV go on to live happy, long, and full lives. My cat was diagnosed with FIV five years ago and besides a few episodes of bad UTI’s he has been perfectly happy, healthy, and playful. I also want to make it clear that FIV is NOT spread easily from one cat to another. This is especially true in established households because the cats are less likely to get into a violent fight. That being said, FIV is spread from one cat to another by a deep bite wound, which even that does not guarantee transmission of FIV since it is short lived outside of the body. I have six cats and only one of them is FIV positive. I have the other five cats tested and vaccinated once a year. Over five years of them all living together and playing together, the other five cats still remain FIV negative. FIV is not spread like feline leukemia is. This is another common misconception. Feline leukemia is highly contagious and can be spread simply by cats sharing the same water bowl. It is important to know that FIV is just not spread the same way or as easily as feline leukemia is.
I have read many stories of people putting their cats down simply because they were diagnosed with FIV. My vet also gave me this as an option. FIV is only currently getting the attention it deserves and many vets are still not up to date on all the facts of FIV and many treat it the same as Feline Leukemia, which is really sad. I strongly discourage putting your cat down simply because he/she is diagnosed with FIV.
Now lets look further into FIV and what it is. FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) affects the cat’s immune system and over time it will gradually weaken the immune system. This simply means that your FIV positive cat is more susceptible to illnesses compared to a FIV negative cat. Because your FIV cat may become sick much easier it is important to keep a close eye on your cat and if any signs of illness is present take your cat to the vet right away. Early treatment in FIV cats will make the duration of the illness much shorter as well as the treatment time shorter.
In closing I’d like to repeat that FIV is NOT a death sentence and your cat can still live a happy and long life. It is only spread through deep bite wounds making it very difficult to spread among other household cats. I would now like to direct you to a few websites that I have found to be most helpful. Petalive.com is a great place to get natural treatments for your FIV cat as well as natural immune boosters. When my FIV cat had his UTI last year nothing the vets gave me worked. After $2,000 of vet bills I tried treatments from petalive (UTI Free and Liveraid) and my cat was back to normal in less than a week. My vet was SPEECHLESS! I now give him a small dose of UTI free and Immunity Support once a day and since I’ve been using these products (9 months to date) he has not gotten sick once. Here is a list of other sites that I have found helpful along the way:
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine; http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fiv.html
Yahoo Groups: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIVCats/
Good luck and I give you the best of wishes for you and your FIV cat!