We started this project in Dec 2014 and, within a couple of months,
received information of several hundred FIV cats. Now, two years on,
we are contacting those early joiners asking for an update for the
last two years. As these are received, we add the info to their
profiles and amend the health graphs and statistics, so we are
continually adding extra years of FIV experience to the data.
We are slowly working our way through from the earliest joiners, but
if you have an FIV cat on the project, please feel free, at any
time, to email us with updated information as to how your cat has
been and we will add it to the data.
Building the project both with new cats as well as extra information
from existing cats, all helps this project have more value.
Add a cat to project
To add your FIV cat to the project, please use this
To add a photo of your cat to his/her profile, please email it to
Don't worry about size or cropping, we can deal with what you can
send - max file size 8Mb please, or we may not receive it!
To update information for your cat's profile, please email us with
the information and we will add it to the profile.
- We are Bob and Barbara Hunt, of Catwork, a
sanctuary in the UK for cats with special needs including FIV and
FeLV positive cats.
- A little
background about us may be of interest - we have run a sanctuary in
the UK for 20 years now, for cats with special needs. Most of these
cats have been either FIV or FeLV positive - I would add that we
don't actually consider FIV cats as special needs, but when we
started they were in mortal danger once tested positive for the
virus, so we took them in - that is how the sanctuary became what it
Why this project?
- In 2011
we produced a booklet about what we have learnt about FIV from the
cats who had been in the sanctuary, and as part of that we produced
a chart of the health history of the more than 80 FIV cats we had
cared for at that time. Although quite basic in its format, this has
proved to be of great interest, particularly to some vets, who have
been surprised to see how little illness they have encountered over
It is really that chart that has been the catalyst for what we are
doing now on a much more detailed and larger scale with this
The health implications of a cat having the FIV virus is a subject
that generates many viewpoints and opinions. Most research came from
the early days, soon after the virus was recognised (1986) and much
of that was from studies using artificially infected cats, and
before they had a chance to live out a natural lifespan (so not, in
our view, truly representative of naturally infected cats).
Now that the virus has been known about for 30 years, and more and
more FIV cats have been allowed to live their natural lifespan, we
think it is time that we gathered as much 'real life' experience of
FIV cats as possible.
Our aim is to build a database of naturally infected FIV+ cats
living normal lives (anywhere in the world) so we can see what the
health implications of the virus really are.
There are hundreds of people who have one or more FIV cats in their
home, often living alongside other cats who don't have the virus.
FIV Forums and groups have postings from many with differing
experiences, but those who post are usually those experiencing a
problem for which they are seeking advice and guidance. Those with
FIV cats who are healthy will rarely post, as they have no need to.
This can lead to an impression that there are proportionally more
problems encountered by FIV cats than is actually the case.
Our objective is to build a health history of hundreds of FIV cats,
whether healthy or not.
We want to get the balance as accurate as possible by building a
picture of FIV cats' health in general. We aim to gather information
from as many people as possible who have now, or have had in the
past, cared for one or more FIV cats. We are asking as many people
as are willing, to answer some simple questions and tell us as much
as they can about the health or otherwise of each FIV cat they have
By gathering detailed information about hundreds of FIV cats, both
their background and their health history, we should be able to
provide a far more accurate impression of what others might expect
from an FIV cat.
Real life information is far more important and relevant in our
opinion than most detailed scientific studies which, by their very
nature, have limited relationship to real life situations.
We are asking anyone who has an interest in FIV cats with a request
for their stories. We provide all the resulting information in as
useful a way as we can, so anyone can refer to this website and see
just what having an FIV cat may involve - learning from the real
life experience of all those who have the experience of FIV cats.
We aim to keep adding to the information over future years so the
picture will continue to grow and become even clearer over time.
This is a 'living' project about
FIV cats' lives!
you want to know what FIV cats are really
this is the place to find out