Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is found in 2-3% of cats and acts much like Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). FIV+ cats are able to live a long, fulfilling life as long as accommodations are made for their condition. Black Cat Rescue is lucky to be able to help FIV+ cats, like Jack, and make sure they get happy, healthy homes where they can thrive.
What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
FIV is transmitted primarily through deep bite wounds or scratches; FIV is very rarely transmitted through casual contact like sharing facilities or social grooming. Most FIV-infected cats are male, since free-roaming, un-neutered male cats are most likely to engage in violent territory disputes. FIV does not just affect aggressive, fighting cats; it can also affect peaceful cats that are not used to the outdoors and end up in the wrong place at the wrong time without the ability to defend themselves. The most effective way of controlling the spread of FIV is by spaying and neutering free-roaming cat populations because it decreases instances of violence.
Once a cat has contracted FIV, he can often go for years without showing any symptoms. FIV is a slow-moving virus which weakens the feline immune system, much like HIV. The greatest danger to an infected cat is not the immunodeficiency virus, but all the other illnesses he is more susceptible to with his weak immune system. It is very important for the owner of an FIV+ cat to closely monitor the cat and immediately report any changes in health or behavior to their veterinarian.
Owners can keep their FIV+ cats healthy by taking a few simple steps that most cat owners take anyway. First, all FIV+ cats should be spayed or neutered to greatly reduce the risk of transmission to other cats. Keeping the cat indoors minimizes his contact with disease and also protects uninfected community cats. Finally, feeding a nutritious diet and regular wellness veterinary check-ups will keep things running smoothly and establish a foundation for future health.
Jack: An Adoptable Black Cat with FIV
Here at Black Cat Rescue, we believe cats with FIV can and should live full lives like any other cat! Jack is a perfect example of all the great cats living with FIV– and he’s adoptable! Jack used to be a stray cat living on the streets, where he picked up the virus. He’s a total lovebug and a peaceful dude; it’s most likely Jack wandered into a territorial dispute by accident and found himself the victim.
Despite a rough start, Jack has such a sweet and gentle soul and slipped right into his foster family’s home and heart. He’s playful and energetic, and you would never know he isn’t a perfectly healthy cat! With a tiny bit of extra consideration, Jack will surely stay healthy and enrich the lives of his future adopted family for years to come.
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