Tuesday, November 28, 2023
HomeAnimal NewsOptimistic Doesn’t Must Be Detrimental: Adopting and Residing With an FIV-Optimistic Cat

Optimistic Doesn’t Must Be Detrimental: Adopting and Residing With an FIV-Optimistic Cat

Visitor weblog By Dr. Linda Jacobson, President, Ontario Shelter Medication Affiliation 

FIV stands for “feline immunodeficiency virus.” This can be a virus in the identical group as HIV, however it’s particular to the cat household and may’t cross over into individuals or different animals.  

There are lots of misconceptions about FIV, probably the most excessive one being that each cat with FIV is sick and/or extremely contagious and needs to be euthanized. This isn’t supported by the details, and luckily this type of pondering isn’t encountered as of late. 

Let’s begin with what an preliminary constructive FIV take a look at means, as a result of this could trigger a variety of confusion. The commonest take a look at is a point-of-care fast take a look at, conceptually just like the COVID fast antigen take a look at. In contrast to the COVID antigen take a look at, although, it detects antibody, a footprint of the immune response to the virus, and never traces of the virus itself. That is essential as a result of, in a kitten underneath 6 months of age, a constructive antibody take a look at implies that the kitten nearly definitely obtained these antibodies by consuming milk from its (FIV-positive) mom. These kittens are practically at all times actually FIV-negative, as a result of it’s nearly extraordinary for this explicit virus to move immediately from the mother to the kitten.  

If a cat has a constructive antibody take a look at after 6 months of age, usually they actually do have FIV an infection. FIV is often unfold by means of deep chew wounds, and is overwhelmingly a illness of grownup cats, particularly sexually energetic males. 

One of many first questions adopters ask is, will this cat give FIV to my different cat(s)? The reply is not any. FIV can’t unfold simply. The virus dies in a short time exterior the cat’s physique, often inside minutes. Simply dwelling with one other cat with FIV, in a traditional house surroundings, doesn’t end in unfold.1 Even when cats don’t like one another, it’s extraordinarily unlikely that their dislike will consequence within the type of deep chew wounds that FIV requires to contaminate one other cat. (That is, after all, assuming that the cats are spayed or neutered. If they’re intact and breeding, that’s one other matter altogether.) 

One other query that’s often requested is, what does this analysis imply for me and my cat? Does having FIV imply my cat is sick, or will certainly get sick in some unspecified time in the future?  

There’s excellent news right here, too, however first the dangerous information. Cats with FIV do have the potential to develop immune deficiency, and this could result in continual or uncommon infections. The excellent news is that many cats with FIV won’t ever develop scientific immune deficiency.2 In my expertise with shelter cats in Toronto, when cats with FIV do have scientific indicators of an infection, it’s usually a gentle intermittent chilly, or typically an an infection after a “soiled” surgical procedure like dental extractions. We have now simply not seen the identical type of illness development that do typically see with feline leukemia virus (a very completely different virus with some related options). And when our FIV-positive cats do get sick with common cat illnesses, they reply effectively to straightforward remedies.  

Do FIV-positive cats make good companions? Effectively, they’re all completely different, so there’s nobody reply. That stated, there definitely is a “sort” that we within the sheltering world all know and love. The “typical” FIV-positive cat is a giant tom, with huge cheeks, a can-do perspective, and a set of scars from his life open air. Those that are snug round persons are prone to be cats who have been socialized when younger, and have been later misplaced or deserted. They’ve huge hearts and large personalities and make fantastic and loving relations. 

Ought to cats with FIV be managed in another way from different cats? Not likely. What we wish for all cats is common veterinary visits, to be updated on vaccinations and deworming, and to obtain a high-quality, balanced food regimen. Good major well being care is especially essential for cats which may have immune deficiency. We additionally advocate that these cats shouldn’t have entry to the outside, to restrict their publicity to infectious ailments. Nonetheless, the AAFP (American Affiliation of Feline Practitioners) pointers level out that, for cats that will probably be extremely pressured with an indoor-only way of life, being allowed open air, together with a working cat placement, will be thought-about. This doesn’t pose a threat to different cats they might encounter – once more assuming they’re first spayed or neutered to stop high-risk behaviours. 

Adopters might fear {that a} FIV-positive cat will quickly get sick and die. That is unlikely, as these cats usually have a traditional lifespan. In the event that they do develop indicators of FIV immune suppression, it’s as much as every household to resolve how they wish to proceed. There are a couple of drugs which may assist suppress the virus, however the advantages for cats haven’t been confirmed as they’ve been in individuals. We counsel adopters to concentrate on sustaining high quality of life for his or her FIV-positive cats, and that heroics usually are not required, although some households would possibly select to pursue intensive and costly remedies. There needs to be no guilt concerned in saying goodbye after you have got given an animal an exquisite second probability – high quality of life in a loving house. 




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments