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"Real-life" FIV - 1000 FIV cats data project
a record of FIV+ cats living 'normal' lives
           

Shown below are some basic statistics from the project and some comments arising.

STATISTICS - NOTES - OBSERVATIONS - COMMENT


Statistics

The table below shows some basic statistics taken from the FIV cats listed -


Number

Percent



Number

Percent


FIV cats listed - Total

829

100.0%


FIV total

829



Male

637

76.8%


Health issues




Female

192

23.2%


Allergies

32

3.9%






Anaemia

30

3.6%


Country




Arthritis

22

2.7%


USA

494

59.6%


Asthma

19

2.3%


UK

200

24.1%


Bartonella

8

1.0%


Europe

47

5.7%


Cancer

65

7.8%


Canada

28

3.4%


Cystitis

8

1.0%


Ireland

25

3.0%


Dental

167

20.1%


Australia

14

1.7%


Diabetes

20

2.4%


New Zealand

6

0.7%


Digestive

65

7.8%


South Africa

4

0.5%


Ear

49

5.9%


Singapore / Malaysia

4

0.5%


Eye

118

14.2%


Brazil

3

0.4%


Gingivitis

70

8.4%


Japan

2

0.2%


Heart

39

4.7%


Asia

1

0.1%


Herpes

11

1.3%


China

1

0.1%


Kidney

57

6.9%


Household




Liver

15

1.8%


Indoor only, single cat

130

15.7%


Pancreatitis

14

1.7%


Indoor only, multi-cat

464

56.0%


Respiratory

168

20.3%


Indoor/outdoor, single cat

37

4.5%


Ringworm

9

1.1%


Indoor/outdoor, multi-cat

147

17.7%


Seizure

12

1.4%


Mixed FIV pos/neg household

512

61.8%


Skin

57

6.9%


Feeding




Stomatitis

45

5.4%


Wet food

86

10.4%


Thrombosis

2

0.2%


Dry food

122

14.7%


Thyroid

21

2.5%


Combination

604

72.9%


Urinary

52

6.3%


Raw (mainly)

17

2.1%









USA / UK comparisons


USA

UK

Total cats in project (so far)

494

200




Indoor only_single cat

54

72

% of total cats

10.9%

36.0%




Indoor only_multicat

374

50

% of total cats

75.7%

25.0%




Outdoor single cat

9

17

% of total cats

1.8%

8.5%




Outdoor multicat

57

61

% of total cats

11.5%

30.5%







Pos/Neg household - all cats

346

92

% of total cats

70.0%

46.0%




Pos/Neg h'hold - indoor cats

295

37

% of indoor multicat

78.9%

74.0%





NOTES about the project

Prior health issues
Health problems reported prior to when cats were taken on have largely been ignored - this is because we felt they were not relevant to keeping an FIV cat - many FIV cats came from being a stray or poor care before being homed, so any previous health issues would more likely be due to previous circumstances than FIV.

You will see from the health charts that, if a cat had health problems when homed, it will show on the health chart, but usually these issues are resolved in a short time after being homed and receiving good care.

Health issues mentioned by the owners as having occurred after taking them on, have been listed, and show in the statistics.

Indoor-only / indoor-outdoor
When we classify a cat as indoor only, it includes cats who have access to an outdoor pen or enclosure - this is because we feel that, to be classed as having outdoor access, the cat should have full freedom outside, not just in a protected area.

Health issues
Many of the health issues allocated to an individual may well be fairly insignificant, but they were mentioned by their owner, so warrant being listed as an issue for that cat. You will need to read the full details of an individual cat to judge the severity of any health issue - use the health issue selection facility on the results page to find those with specific issues.

This is not a scientific study and vet notes are not required to specify particular health issues - this is because we want the results to reflect what owners experience as issues and not every veterinary blip - if the owner doesn't remember it, or feel it worth mentioning, that is the reality of owning the cat, which is what we are aiming to portray.

Observations / comment
With over 800 cats now in the project collection, we are seeing a few points of interest.

USA / UK differences
There seems to be a marked difference between the way FIV cats are kept in the UK when compared to those in the USA.
In the USA, indoor single-cat households come in at below 10% of the total, whereas in the UK, indoor single-cat households form nearer 40% of the total.

This almost certainly reflects the common policy of the major national rescue charities in the UK, only to home FIV cats as single indoor-only cats. This is preventing many possible owners from taking an FIV cat into their multi cat household.

In the USA, there seems a much more balanced view. With around 75% of the project FIV cats in the USA living in mixed positive/negative households, and with no reports of transmission from those in the project, it would seem that the UK is missing a large potential for good homes for FIV cats!

Maybe in time, the results of this project might help persuade UK homing centres to widen their options for FIV cats.

However, it is encouraging to see that, for indoor-only FIV cats, around 80% are living in mixed positive/negative households - both in the States and the UK - that shows the 'casual transmission' myth is being overcome on both sides of the Atlantic, which is really good news!

FIV symptoms
Whereas most 'authority' information about FIV warns of common symptoms for FIV cats being the likes of stomatitis, digestive, and other complaints; the results of this project so far show that no health issue features in more than around 20% of the cats, so hardly the 'common' expectation or symptom.
It will be interesting to see if those percentages change much as we get more cats on the project.