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What is FIV?

My name is Amy and I am one of the staff members at Park Road Veterinary Clinic. I currently have the privilege to own and care for 3 of the greatest kitties around. Their names are Trinidad Charlie, Hemmingway and Tennessee Whiskey. They are the sweetest most amazing cats but they do come with some trouble of sorts. You see they were all strays and when they were brought in to be checked over we found out that they have FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).

FIV is a virus that can cause the cat to become immunosuppressed, much like how HIV affects people. It is a virus that is only transmitted to other cats through blood. Which is why FIV can sometimes be referred to FIV as the “fighter cat virus”. For the longest time it was thought that an FIV positive cat should not be living in a home with other “healthy” cats. However when introduced properly the cats can usually coexist well together. I myself have my FIV cats integrated with my “healthy” cats. All seem to get along quite well. I have since tested them and the “healthy” cats remain negative for the FIV virus.

Trinidad Charlie, Hemmingway and Tennessee Whiskey are otherwise healthy cats. You could walk into a room with them and not know that they have this virus. Which leads to the point that a cat with the FIV virus is not doomed to a poor quality life, in fact they can live full and normal lives. Yes it is true that something as simple as an upper respiratory infection can cause a whole world of stress on their immune system but if treated promptly then there should be no real troubles.

All in all FIV should not be a “death sentence” for all positives. It however will require the perfect home to live out the rest of their years. I can tell you that my three boys are quite happy and content with their lives with me and I am overjoyed to be able to call myself their owner.

Written by: Park Road Veterinary Clinic

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