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What do you do when you have 3 cats, and one is FIV positive?

Has anyone had a similar situation? We took in this wonderful sweet stray tomcat (who has since had $500 worth of vetcare and been neutered) when he showed up at our door and demanded to come in. He was beat all to hell, poor baby, and had wounds from a collar that had grown into his skin. We kept him apart from our cats til tests could be run (it took them 2 weeks!) and after falling head over heels, found out he is FIV+.

The vet on base wants us to put him down. They told us we need to keep him strictly quarantined from our other cats, down to washing face and hands and changing clothes after handling him. However, two of the local shelters said that they can't take FIV+ cats, but that we'd be okay to keep him with our other cats as long as they don't fight. I hate the idea of putting this loving, healthy cat down, but am worried for my other cats. Is the vet overreacting or are the shelters understating the risk?


Asked by Cassidhes_Mom at 12:47 PM on Jun. 25, 2010 in Pets

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • OP, if your other cats were fully vaxed and if the cats all seem to get along, then I would strongly consider keeping him. From what I understand, FIV is transmitted primarily through bloody fighting, and if there's not much chance of that happening and the other cats are vaxed, then it sounds to me like the chances of the other kitties getting FIV are minimal. Perhaps you could try talking to another veterinarian for a 2nd opinion? And of course there's a wealth of information on the internet about this issue. I'm with you though--I would not want to put him down unless I had no other choice.

    Answer by vicesix at 1:23 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Are your other cats vaccinated against FIV?

    Answer by vicesix at 12:50 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • The FIV vaccine is kinda ify but it exist. The problem with it is once they are vaccinated they test positive for life...Talk to your vet and get his opinion on it.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:52 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • I would trust the vet in this situation in regards to your other cats' health. From what I understand FIV is highly contagious. Is it possible to get your other kitties vaccinated so they will be safe? Then you can love and care for your new kitty too.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:52 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • If being vaccinated makes a cat test positive for life, I'm curious as to if he's really positive. He had wounds from a collar, so he was obviously owned at one time--I wonder if he had been vaxed. He's about 3-4 years old they estimated. He's my Buddy Boy already. He loves his mama lol. Our other cats could care less about the humans in the house unless we're feeding them--he wants me to pet and brush and hold him all the time. It kills me to think about putting him down--and our other cats WERE fully vaxed for all diseases when we adopted them.

    Comment by Cassidhes_Mom (original poster) at 12:57 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • I have seven cats and two are FeLuk pos. Neither is shedding.

    Feluk IS contagious, and the vaccine is about the least effective available. But, i've had feluk pos cats before that didn't infect the others. One lived to age 17 ~ and she was in congestive failure for at least the last three years. The key thing is to make sure you feed them ALL a good diet (not store brand or whatever is cheapest). Feluk can sit around for years and do nothing, and than a simple cold can end it. Usually an infected kitten will die very early. As long as your pos cat looks good and eats good, it's entirely up to you (imo) whether you want to put them down or love them while they are with you. You SHOULD always let other pet owners know that you have a feluk pos cat though. If you're military, you'll also have issues with moving/quarantine if you go overseas. GL and hugs no matter what you decide ~ kudos for at least considering it!

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 4:59 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

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