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He was found with a terrible leg wound and was still affectionate and loving. Unfortunately he was tested and found positive for FIV. He is the most sweetest loving cat there can be. Grateful for anything.
What is FIV? FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is a widely misunderstood condition. Many people think that it’s easily spread, makes cats very sick, and that they have a lower life expectancy, so they are not often adopted. This is far from the truth! When a cat tests positive for FIV, it means they either carry the virus or have been vaccinated for it at some point (which causes them to test positive for the disease, which is why this vaccination isn’t recommended, among other reasons). FIV is not spread through casual contact such as shared food/water/litter, mutual grooming, or playing. It is most commonly spread through deep, vicious bite wounds typically inflicted by intact toms fighting on the streets over food, females, or territory. If a cat has been spayed or neutered, they are unlikely to fight in this manner, and if the population is stable (no serious fighting), FIV+ cats can live with non-infected cats. FIV+ cats can live as long and healthy a life as non-infected cats. This doesn’t mean they will never become ill; they are, after all immune-compromised, so illnesses can be easier to catch and harder to fight off. They have the same needs as any other cat: high quality nutrition, a clean, stress-free, strictly indoor environment, regular veterinary visits (two times per year), and lots of love. If they should become ill, they are generally treated earlier, longer, and more aggressively than non-immune-compromised cats (meaning they need to see the vet at the very first sign of illness and may be on a stronger medication or on medication for a longer period of time). It is kind of like someone with a transplant. Twenty years ago before it was well known many vets thought euthanasia was the answer. Today with more research and better education they see that with proper care non aggressive cats that will not bite or are not bitten by an aggressive cat are just as adoptable as any other cat. Many times people will adopt two FIV cats to give both a home. And that is a miracle called rescue!
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