This page: Responses from owners of FIV cats as to whether their experience matched what they were first told about FIV.

Have you been told FIV is 'bad news'?

Don't believe it!

Don't take our word for it, read what hundreds of owners of FIV cats say...

One question we ask on the FIV cats data project survey form is:

"Does your experience of owning an FIV cat match what you were told about FIV at the start?"

The answers are both reassuring and worrying!

They are reassuring in that they almost unanimously show that the owners' experience is that FIV is not a problem.

The worrying part is that a large number were given poor information by their vet; usually advising, quite wrongly, that the cat would suffer many problems, have a short life, and should be euthanased!

You will see that in most cases it was only when the owner did their own research that they learnt the vet's advice was wrong - one wonders how many FIV cats are unnecessarily put to sleep when the cat owner follows the poor advice from the vet!

See below for the replies given by the FIV cat owners.

Scan through them and stop anywhere and read half a dozen replies at random - then a few more further down - there are hundreds of them if you have the time! You will soon see the common points for yourself throughout all the answers.

If you want to see more details, follow the '1000 FIV cats project' link on the menu on the left.

Remember, these are all people who own or have owned an FIV cat, so have real experience. You will find they are very consistent as to FIV being a non-problem, the variations come in the accuracy of the advice they were given, which was predominantly poor.


"Does your experience of owning an FIV cat match what you were told about FIV at the start?"

003: NO! I was devastated when I got the news and was given the option to put him down. I recalled my rescue friend who always let her positives intermingle, and decided to change my attitude and not believe all the vets out there. After just 24 hours of research and conversation, I thought the fear was hogwash and became a crusader to change minds.

004: Absolutely not! It (the advice) was, and still is today, a death sentence for most cats with FIV. I would adopt another FIV positive cat if the opportunity presented itself as long as he/she got along with other cats as I have a multi-cat household.

005: I was fortunate to find an FIV group and learn how FIV cats can, and usually do, live pretty normal cat lives. Skippy sometimes seems a bit more fragile than a normal cat but I think it is because I baby him tremendously!

006: Yes- both of the vets I see on a regular basis have FIV cats amongst their non-FIV cats and had educated me on it.

008: In ways yes i.e. what the rescue told me and the vet was that she could lead a full life and lifespan may be the same as any other cat but when looking up online some sites give a grim outlook. Especially seeing as she got FIV as a kitten from the Mum her outlook was worse than an older cat and the general consensus was that she would live to only around the 5 year mark. Well she's 6 and a half now and exceptionally healthy. I hope to have her for many years to come.

009: I don't know that I had any specific expectations health-wise. I already knew that transmission to my other cats was unlikely but I kept her separated from the other cats (when I wasn't home) for a month or so then watched to see if there would be any bad reactions or interactions between them. Two of my females picked on her, one especially initiated little fights but Portia held her ground and eventually that behavior subsided and Portia was no longer confined, even when I was out. My male cats pretty much ignored her.

012: Through my work with shelters and rescue, I may have been a little better informed about FIV than many. However, my personal experience with Diamond has further increased my confidence in the latest research indicating that FIV is not a problem with casual contact in multi-cat households.

013: No, by researching the data, being a member of the FIV group in Yahoo.groups, we know that FIV+ cats can live normal, happy lives for 15 years or more. FIV is inconvenient, but with careful management, we are progressing well. Most importantly, Freddie has a chance at a good life and we benefit from him as much as he does from us.

016: I had imagined that I would have to quarantine her from the other cats when I took her home, and for the first few months I did. But as I learned more and gained more experience, I realized it was not as bad as all the vets were telling me. Now she hangs out with my other cats and I don't blink an eye.

017: This is still new to us. We were told to put him down by a vet, but we did some research and went to another vet.

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021: Yes, I was scared at first. However, I talked to other owners and owners of rescue organizations and they calmed me down. Since FIV is slow growing, I felt it was an acceptable risk to place him with my other 2 cats. They were eleven years old at the time. Almost 5 years later - they are still negative.

022: From the stories I've heard, I guess I was lucky to never have had a vet tell me to put him down or to forecast dreadful medical problems due to FIV. I do feel that the risk of transmission may have been overstated to me by at least one vet based on what I later learned.

023: no. according to my vet it was the end of world. not so

027: I was so scared when my first kitties got diagnosed and I was devastated! I cried, begged and pleaded the Lord that she make it through this and I begged that I would too. Knowledge is power and FIV IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE! MY MS KITTY PROVES IT!!

028: I remember my husband 'phoning me with the news. I felt physically sick and really considered it a death sentence. The lovely people at Cat Chat put me on to you. You were so helpful, I will be eternally grateful to you.
Our old vets would have pushed for euthanasia. Our new vets have been fabulous. Yet even they were impressed at the detail your book goes into.
I now believe if I keep him healthy, good food and regular check-ups, there is no reason he can't have a long, healthy life.

029: No it doesn't! When Harvey was diagnosed, the vet told me to have him put to sleep. He referred to the virus as 'aids'. Another vet that treated him for the tooth infection told me that all FIV cats should be put to sleep. They also told me that he would easily pass it on to my tortie via sharing of food bowls, litter trays, mutual grooming and sharing of toys. I was distraught. Only from doing my research and contacting experienced owners did I get reassurance that this wasn't true. Before long I never gave it a second thought. I have learnt that FIV is not a death sentence. I'm so relieved that I didn't act on what I was originally advised.

032: Not at all. I was so upset when I heard the news that Scholes was FIV+. I thought it was an immediate death sentence. However, I read as much as I could - including information provided by Catwork - and soon realised that Scholes could lead a happy and normal life. Like any cat, he just needs good care and lots of love. Scholes is a complete joy.

033: I intentionally adopted an FIV positive cat after doing my own research to give one a chance at a home. I have never looked back and will happily take on another positive cat in the future.

034: When I first heard that Peatoo was FIV positive, I read a number of scary things about it. I also had 2 very experienced rescue people show me how they had 'mixed' homes and their FIVs were living happy normal lives. Peatoo was not a fighter. Those encounters and conversations convinced me to have Peatoo join our house and introduce him to the rest of our feline family.
I recently saw a 4 year old FIV looking for a home. We're considering adopting him.

038: Yes - I found the awesome FIV yahoo groups before I adopted Jeremy and they gave me very good information. It turns out having an FIV cat isn't really a big deal - not scary at all, and I have zero worries about him being around my other cats.

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044: No I was frightened of it at first but your book gave me the confidence to adopt Larry. I would not hesitate to adopt FIV again.

046: I knew very little and was a little anxious. All the animal shelter said was that they may have shorter lives. Since then I have read and learnt a great deal more and so far the experience has only been positive

047: I did a lot of research before we adopted our first FIV cat (before Marmite) so feel I had a rounded view about what to expect. People are still shocked that we gave Marmite a home, because of his condition, but I think there is more to fear from a main road than there is FIV. We are overly cautious if he shows any signs of being ill, but apart from that he's just like any other cat.

049: As a vet nurse I did lots of research when my first cat Thug became FIV+. Since Thug I have had 2 more FIV cats. There were scare stories. I am glad I ignored them.

050: Absolutely, I read an excellent article on that gave me the push I needed to adopt my Jack and I'm so glad I did, Jack is such a great companion, an absolute sweety.

053: When diagnosed FIV at age of 11, the first thing out of my vets mouth was do you want to put him to sleep, as there is no treatment for FIV and my reaction was one they probably won't forget in a hurry as he had been my buddy of nearly 11 years by that point, and I brought him home and went online to research which is where I came across Bob and Barbara and their wonderful advice on the CatChat forum and their own website.

055: No. Alfie, the cat we had before Freddie was not FIV at all and still had health problems, so, just the same to us. Only negative experience is that because of Freddie's FIV virus, our pet insurance refuses to cover most of his health problems, always saying it might be due to him being FIV!

056: Pretty much - I was told that the virus was like HIV - could manifest tomorrow, a few years from now or never and that all i could do is monitor him. And that many cats live long and happy lives. And that is true - I have had him for 7 years now and he is living a long and happy life. I have had cats die from cancer and kidney issues so for me the FIV is a non-starter. 'normal' cats can have bad things happen to them, so the FIV just means keep a closer eye on him.

058: Definitely not. We knew nothing about FIV when Ollie was diagnosed, it was then called Feline AIDS, a word which struck fear into everybody's heart. We were told it was easily transmissible through fighting (which he didn't do), saliva sharing food bowls, litter trays etc. We were advised as we had other cats, it might be best to put him to sleep. At the time he was diagnosed, we had just lost another cat to diabetes and adopted two young cats so, from what little I knew, I was absolutely terrified it would be passed on to them, not to mention worrying if it could be transmitted to humans.
I did as much research as I could into this disease and found that most of our fears were unfounded. We chose to allow Ollie and the other cats to continue existing as they always had, the only change we made was not to allow Ollie outdoors.
I know now that the risk to other cats in a harmonious household is fairly low plus as it can take years for the virus to show actual symptoms, an FIV cat can lead a normal, healthy life for most of its life. In fact, Ollie lived a lot longer than some other cats I have had who died from other illnesses. After Ollie died, I had my other two tested for FIV and they were negative.

059: no, you think it's going to be terrible for the cat, but for Missy it isn't, not yet in any case. This survey is a great idea, to let others know it's not the life sentence you hear about. Maybe some cats have more symptoms than Missy, and yes she has some treatment or other every month or so, but none of it stops her being an incredibly happy little cat, she lives her life to the full. No regrets.

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061: No not at all. When I adopted him and got him vet care, vet said 9 months to live at max. That was almost 9 years ago!

062: Yes. I got introduced to fiv+ about 3 years ago by being a foster mom for rescue cats from a cat rescue association. I was told that they are normal cats but that I have to take care that they don't get stressed or hurt or get into nasty fights.

063: Yes. I was told about FIV by the cat rescue association in advance.

066: I read a lot about FIV cats and I see that is true that they are the same than other healthy cats and can live a happily and long life.

067: Information online regarding FIV was mixed. Some fairly negative, some mildly optimistic. It seems to be improving, and is somewhat more accurate now. Unfortunately some shelters still hesitate to allow adopters to mix FIV and non-FIV cats in the same household.

073: No, my experience does not match. I was led to believe a death sentence.
Obviously, 12 yrs later it's not and I have a 2nd FIV+ cat now.

074: When I adopted this cat I was warned that he may be more prone to illness and need more medical attention than a healthy cat, but so far we have been lucky and this hasn't been the case. It is really not much different from owning an FIV- cat, except that I have to be more careful about keeping windows and doors closed and probably worry a bit too much if he shows any signs of being unwell. In general it has been a lot easier than expected, and his FIV really isn't any problem at all.

077: No, I thought he would be getting sick often, maybe generally tired and sickly, and that isn't the case at all. He is incredibly energetic for his age!

078: I'd recommend an fiv cat to anyone looking to home a cat. They need not be overlooked.

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081: The former shelter vet believed cats who tested positive on the snap test should be euthanized immediately--but since Arthur was returned to the shelter his cage had to be in quarantine and bleached--and we had to wear gloves to even touch the cage. I used YOUR WEBSITE primarily for info and took it to my own vet...together we discussed options--particularly about living freely with other cats. I took Arthur (because prospective adopters were warned that he needed to be the only cat and about the horrible life he would face)and I've never looked fact, over the next few years I took 3 more FIV+ cats--all that the shelter's had in 3 years. I'd do it again in a minute!

082: Since he was my 4th FIV+ cat I had no expectations that he would be different from any other cat...he surely was a funny boy, and I wish I'd had him for years and years!

083: She was my second FIV+ cat--after having another for a year--so I wasn't concerned about bringing her into the household. She is a normal cat!

084: Katja was my 3rd FIV+ cat...we were a lot more worried about her eye surgery than anything else...

086: At the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society ( where I work we are a careless shelter with FIV and non-FIV's on the floor together. So having FIV isn't really much of an issue all for me.

091: No. I didn't know much about FIV before I had Declan and only took him on because no one wanted him and he was living in a small cage at the rescue centre and I felt sorry for him. At the time I did not expect him to live more than a few years (he lived another ten years).
I would have no hesitation in having another FIV cat and now believe it to be a much more benign condition than most people (including many vets) think.
I find it very sad that so many FIV cats are PTS without even being given a chance. Declan was one of the lucky few.

092: No. We thought it was a death sentence, but the shelter manager provided us with more up to date information.

095: We found a variety of good material online that helped to dispelled the pessimism of the vet's office.

096: My very first vet, was the one who made the Dx, she told me it wasn't a death sentence and he would do well if I kept him well. She helped to educate me. I know that if he had been tested at the ASPCA and found pos, they would have euthanized him. Im glad they did not test him. I miss him terribly (lived to age 14) and would not hesitate to adopt another FIV+ cat.

098: No, I thought FIV was a death sentence and luckily I had a knowledgeable vet that helped me make an educated decision on the adoption of both Livvy and Romeo. Both were feral cats that would not have had an alternative to euthanasia.

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102: Not at all so far as I'm concerned its totally blown out of all proportion and these cats are exactly like other cats, I'd have another again and it wouldn't bother me.

104: I knew about the virus long before we had Mungo, I'd fostered a couple of cats with FIV before. It wasn't until Mungo appeared that I got to grips with learning about it properly.
Mungo is just like any cat who doesn't have FIV
The only negatives about having a cat with FIV are the attitudes of the misguided and misinformed.

105: Definitely not, at first we thought we would have to keep Rory in total isolation from our other cats, and feared he would have an abundance of illnesses, and always be a sickly cat. None of our fears have materialised. We are also fortunate in having an informed and sensible vet who we trust with Rory's care, and wonderful neighbours who take care of him when we are away. We would have no hesitation in adopting another FIV positive cat from our experience with Rory.

106: I don't think that Cassie has been any different from my FIV- cat.

107: I would not hesitate to take on another FIV cat. Based on our experience with Nicki I don't think they have more health problems than any other cat, provided the cats health is closely monitored and treatment adhered to.

110: I think I was very lucky to have an excellent FIV savvy veterinarian diagnose him. His reassurance that FIV cats can live a long happy life if looked after well certainly reduced the initial fear. Educating myself did lead to a few heart thumping moments and yes I think I am a slightly more anxious mother than with a non FIV cat, but I wouldn't change a thing! He is the feline love of my life :)

111: We were told that they may not live as long or be as healthy as other cats. On one occasion, our vet called FIV a life-limiting condition; with our cats, I don't believe that has been the case. They have had long and relatively healthy lives, and I hope they have been happy.

113: HELL NO! GHOSTIE would be DEAD had I listened to that first vet!!!!!!!!

115: No they can happily live with non FIV cats introduce them gradually so they not likely to fight and no problem, after all they a just cats with a health problem and even non FIV cats can have them. I would have no problem taking on another one in the future

116: No, I was told that FIV+ cats are very sick, highly contagious and should be immediately destroyed. I wish I never listen to my vet.

117: I would not hesitate to adopt another FIV in the future, if they're anything like Winston then you couldn't ask for more.
FIV is given a very bad press unnecessarily, and if I didn't know my cat had the virus I can honestly say I'd never even suspect he had it.

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123: No, the vet made it sound like a death sentence and was absolutely wrong. So glad I didn't listen!

124: I've read that some FIV+ cats can be sickly. however, I haven't had that experience with my two FIV+ cats.

127: luckily I had a vet who took the time to talk to me and explain that really it's just a little hiccup and with monitoring she could live a normal life.

129: She's just like any other cat - wouldn't know she was FIV positive.

130: When my cat was first diagnosed, the vet suggesting putting him down immediately. I changed vets. Levy lived for years after his diagnosis and had a very good quality of life. I would suggest that people seek treatment for their FIV cats rather than putting them down or giving them up.

132: She's been a really happy cat and loves being home. The vet had been pretty adamant about putting her down but I refused. She's not overly aggressive toward the other cats. I had been afraid she would infect the others but after researching FIV I learned that it takes a pretty deep bite to transfer the virus. Peanut doesn't bite so I wasn't worried about it.

135: Yes, I'd done lots of reading, research. My decision was the cats would share the same bowls, water bowls, sleeping spaces.
I would have an FIV cat again

136: Not at all! I thought we would be taking a cat with a multitude of health problems (the rescue we adopted from offered to cover vet bills), but that ended up not being the case.
Aside from the cancer, he was just... well... a normal cat.

139: I expected a sickly, dying cat. But she is neither of those things.

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140: We have never regretted adopting him. He is the light of our family. The only downside to having an FIV positive cat has been other people who aren't informed about the disease making judgements about him. He has never been anything but perfect.

142: No. According to our vet we needed to put her to sleep so she wouldn't infect our other cats. I said that was not an option and after some research discovered that she could live together with our other cats

143: Yes--but only because I was working at a rescue that promotes FIV awareness. I knew about the disease long before I met my FIV+ boys and did not hesitate to bring them into my home. As I mentioned, I have a FIV- female and have no doubt she always will be.

149: No. It was a death sentence in the early years. They can live a long healthy life with regular check ups and good care. She is a happy healthy cat.

150: I adopted Buster because I was kinda poor at the time and the FIV cats at the shelter were reduced adoption rate. The shelter staff told me that FIV is not difficult to care for and generally only requires good quality food, an indoor lifestyle, and regular vet visits. My experience has been consistent with this.

155: No. We fell in love with Kipper at the shelter but were prepared to make special measures for a sickly cat with a shortened lifespan, because this is how it was portrayed to us by various media.
In reality we got a lively, energetic, fun-loving, affectionate, bright little cat with more energy and enthusiasm than any of the 10 cats we had owned before him. In his presence you cannot tell he is ill in any way, he is on no medication for his FIV and is a picture of health now that he gets lots of love and attention.
In short, we always forget he has FIV! We are aware that one day it could cause him problems, but we choose to follow his example and live for the moment, not worrying about uncertainties in the future!

158: I thought it would be a lifetime of expensive vet bills and she was in fact, healthier than a couple of my other cats who weren't FIV+. I think good nutrition and keeping them active and happy is a big part of what gave her a great life.

159: The reality is very far removed from what I had always heard. With love and care, these cats can and should be welcomed in any household. Education is very much needed and you must be attentive and slow to introduce them to a family that already has other pets. However, this is true of introducing any new pet. Rescue and love an FIV cat today!

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164: No. I was told that he would be sick and cost me a lot of money. Hasn't happened.

166: yes, because I learned about it from a compassionate rescuer who believes in no kill, and who also has always had FIV+ and FIV- cats living together with no problems or transfers of the disease.

167: When she was diagnosed, some vets and a lot of stuff online showed that it was a death sentence. That's not the case at all.

168: My first thought with FIV was that it was a death sentence- especially if the cat got sick. But Boots is going strong. The cold he had originally is gone and his eye infection is clearing up nicely

173: I have never regretted the decision to keep her and I couldn't imagine my life without her.

175:I had never heard of FIV until I became involved in animal rescue a few years ago. I was lucky enough to be immediately informed that the myths were just that; I did my own research and observed fiv cats firsthand. it is not a big deal!

179: Oh not at all! When I first got into rescue, people were euthanizing FIV cats all the time. I still see it at our local shelter. Animal control tried to get on my case for having negative cats in with positive ones, despite me insisting that if they were aggressive I wouldn't allow them to free roam. It's frustrating, having to teach authority figures and vets who should know better.

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181: yes. I researched fiv and found it would not be an issue

184: We were initially told that Ben would survive a year (even with interfuron treatment) and he beat those odds by a ton!

185: Not at all. I had always been told that FiV+ cats were sickly, expensive to care for, needed constant medication and frequent vet care. I've found just the opposite to be true.

197: I heard a lot of negative things Initially, but because I am an active volunteer at the shelter where he was, I learned a lot more about FIV and that it's not an automatic death sentence or wasting or always dangerous to mix him in with my regular cats. He gets all the regular vaccinations the others do, and I would - and just did - adopt another with FIV. No problem.

198: it's absolutely not the horror story that makes the rounds. If he were to get sick, like any of the other cats, he'd go to the vets. I am prepared for him to take longer to heal up, but that's ok. While I don't anticipate either of my FIV+ cats dying sooner than the other non FIV cats, if it happened, I'd still count myself and them lucky for having had good times together. Whoever really knows how long any animal -or person- has?

199: Yes, actually. Our vet told us it's not that big a deal and so far he has been super healthy.

200: The clinic at which he was diagnosed suggested euthanasia. I did not know much about FIV, but I wasn't going to give up on him before he even had a chance at a happy life. I'm so glad that I did my own research.

202: No. So many made it seem like it was so bad and a death sentence. It's hard to adopt FIV cats out being a rescue. FIV is really not a huge issue with cats- if people only educated themselves it would be more well known that this is nothing to fear. I did it, anyone can!

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204: I found the initial reports of what FIV+ meant to be a bit overblown. I consider FIV+ barely on my radar of 'special needs' - we have had blind cats, abused cats and diabetic cats.
FIV+ isn't even an issue.

205: no. I was told that I should put him down immediately (especially because he was feral) and that he would be sick and diseased and cause problems in my house with the other cats. I was told he wouldn't live very long. But he was healthy when I found him so I wanted to give him a chance. I am very glad I did. I loved that cat, and I know he loved me.

206: no. When Mr Brown was at the vet being neutered, I got a call from the vet tech saying 'This cat is FIV Positive. What do you want us to do?' 'Neuter him,' I replied. The tech berated me for endangering my other cats, etc. I admit I struggled with the decision, wondering whether she might be right. But he was a healthy and symptom-free cat so I opted to ignore her histrionics and I am so glad I did. I have since convinced other people to keep their FIV cats and give them a chance, explaining that FIV might never even show symptoms--much like HIV in humans. Maybe not a perfect analogy, but it saves those cats. I had eleven wonderful perfect years with my Mr Brown. I would not hesitate to adopt another FIV kitty.

208: Absolutely not. Everyone who hears about FIV automatically equates it to HIV and eventually AIDS, and it's just not like that. She's not always unhealthy and sick, and there is no threat in spreading it to others.

209: The original vet who tested Henry at age one wanted to euthanize him right away. I refused. He lived 9+ years and was happy and never got anyone else sick.

212: My experience of FIV does not match what I was led to believe about the virus. I was told that you can't have FIV positive and negative cats living together because they are highly contagious to other cats. I was also told that it would be better for them to be the only cat or be euthanized because they couldn't have a happy, healthy life. None on this is true. Once I changed vets and got the truth and took Lucy in, I realized FIV positive cats can live long happy, healthy lives. They are rarely contagious to other cats and can live in households with FIV negative cats as long as none of them are aggressive.

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214: no. She's just a normal kitty.

222: I had no idea that it was so not a big deal for a cat to have fiv. It is unfortunately lumped in with feline leukemia which can most definitely be serious. I definitely stressed when the vet told me he was fiv positive but with a lot of research I decided to give it a shot. I was nervous about unintentionally causing harm to come to my current babies but luckily my fears were unfounded and he's a wonderful cat!

226: No, I thought is was an immediate death sentence, but he lived another 5 years.

227: We were given a leaflet by Cats Protection and had a long chat with a vet and the charity before we decided to adopt her. She is basically a normal cat, we just have to keep a slightly closer eye on her general well being.

228: No! The vets said he had to be isolated from other cats or be euthanized. I expected that he would be fighting with my other cats and be a mean cat. The rescue groups I volunteer for told me they all mix fiv and non-fiv cats with no issues. So I decided to try to integrate Jake and it has worked well. He is a very sweet cat.

229: Not at all. My vet scared the pants of me when he diagnosed her, saying she was going to become sick, and that she would become cranky and lash out at the other cats and would have to be kept separate.
It's been roughly three years and she hasn't changed at all, except a sudden weight gain about a year ago. She's slowing down with age, as she is almost 14, but she's the same cat she has always been.

230: I first heard about it years ago when I worked in a shelter. Back then the diagnosis struck fear into everyones heart. I believe that there was not a lot of distinction between FIV and FeLV. When we took Ned to his initial vet appointment after he finally decided to come out of the woods, it was scary to initially get the news. But I had since been better educated and knew that it wasn't a death sentence for either him or my other cats. Our vet was fabulous and didn't even suggest that we should do anything other than give him a loving home. Again, we are still VERY aware of his health and are probably a little more watchful of his health than the other cats. I have no problem advocating a mixed household of cats given all the right circumstances.

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231: No we were lead that FIV was a death sentence. When the vet told me I cried for him and feared for the safety of our other cats. Our other cats including his 14 year old mother have all tested negative and despite a brief illness it hasn't impacted on his life.
Too many FIV+ cats are PTS due to uninformed owners and/or vets and/or rescues my Tigger is an example of how it doesn't have to be the worst news.

232: Fortunately, I'm connected with several rescue groups, so I had already been told by others in the groups that FIV is not a panic situation by any means. I have found this to be true.

235: At first, I thought it was the end when a cat had FIV but after doing research and talking to my vet and others who were familiar with this, everything they told me was correct. I would like to tell others, it's not a death sentence. They deserve a chance just like any other cat/animal does. If you came into my home, you couldn't tell which one was FIV+.

238: No. I had always thought that once they had the disease, it was only a matter of time before they died, and that they could not heal from sickness. Gunnar has proved this wrong!

239: the first time I heard of it, I was told its a death sentence. He's my second FIV cat. FIV has never been passed to another cat in my house. Education is so important for these sweet babies!!!

240: When I was first told Reese was FIV positive I almost had her put down that same day. She was so sick and the information that I received from my vet made it seem like I was just hurting her to keep her alive. Fortunately a nurse there convinced me to keep her alive for awhile, if nothing else at least to give me time to say goodbye properly. By the time we got home that day Reese was already incredibly improved. I can not stress enough that FIV is not necessarily a death sentence. It has been 3 years since her diagnosis and it breaks my heart to think that some people may be cheated out of extra time with their precious baby just because they are misinformed about this disease. Do FIV cats need a little extra tlc? Yes, they do. Is it worth every second of it? Absolutely.

241: No. The vet suggested that Rocky might be better off if I euthanized him. I couldn't bear to do that and decided to give Rocky the best life I could. He's been healthy so far and hasn't fought with my other cats. He's a joy.

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242: My vet presented a gloomier picture so I had more apprehension about keeping him than I should have.

244: Probably not when I very first heard of it which would have been years ago. Years ago, I was told that cats had to be euthanized. When I adopted Nigel I spoke to the vet about the possibility of shots and supplements but found that he was never in need of them. So, caring for him was far easier than expected.

245: No - I thought it was more like FeLV, and was worried about my other cats. My other cats never got it. Salem is no different than other cats I have had.

255: not by a long shot. She's just fine

256: Initially, the vet we had spoken to said that FIV cats should not live with not FIV cats due to spreading of the disease. He also said that FIV cats would be sickly and have lots of medical problems. So, NO, our experience with Marbles did NOT match. I had done a lot of research online and also spoke with other vets who told me the truth of FIV and therefore, we were more than willing to open our home to an FIV+ cat.

258: NOOOOO - when I first heard about the virus I thought it was a death sentence and easily transmitted to others. Since then, we've learned that FIV+ cats can lead long, healthy lives and can only transmit through blood. The truth is, we no longer think of Bugs as FIV+ - he's just Little Man's little brother and we couldn't imagine our lives without him.

259: The vet explained everything in great detail. I am fortunate that Orange Kitty is living healthy and asymptomatic.

264: Yes. I was told that it might shorten his lifespan, but otherwise wouldn't be a big deal if I kept him inside. That has been 100% accurate so far, and I think Mack's probably ~12 now. Our vets say he's extremely healthy for his age, not even considering the FIV.

265: I did my own research. I knew there was nothing to worry about if the cats did not bite deep on other cats. My vet was part of a research study with FIV and was fully informed about the disease. I would NOT hesitate to adopt another FIV+ cat, it is not a death sentence unless you get a vet who is not keeping up to date with the research (and who recommends automatic euthenization).

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267: We adopted two stray brothers 15 years ago who had been sleeping on our porch. They were 2 at the time. Before we brought them indoors, we had them tested. One had FIV. I had not heard of this before, and I've always had cats. The vet told us FIV was contagious and told us we should put the FIV cat down. Now days, our vets are saying as long as the FIV cats are not fighting or biting, they are safe to be with the other cats in the house. We haven't had any problems with our FIV cat and love him to death.

268: My cats doctor was correct when he told me that July could live a long healthy and happy life. He did just that. 17 years is an incredibly long time for a cat to live.

269: Our vet wanted us to put him down the day he was diagnosed, but we decided not to do it. She said he might live another year, but I know someone who had an FIV+ cat who died at 15 of thyroid cancer, and I've seen other kitties on Facebook who've lived for many years. It seems vets need to learn more about living with FIV!

270: It does. I have worked in the animal field for a number of years, and have had experience with other FIV positive cats, so know that they can live happy, long, healthy lives even with the virus. Also, that as long as the FIV positive cat and the other cats he shares space with are not overly aggressive towards each other, the uninfected cats will remain so.

274: not what I heard 10 years ago no... better educated now :)

282: Not at all! The vet we initially took him to offered to put him down for us when the test came back FIV+ - as if! He did make me very scared for my other cat (only one more at the time) and I was sick thinking I may have exposed her to something deadly. The more research I did though, the less I worried and the more annoyed I was with that vet! Floyd is the sweetest, most loving cat and I can't imagine our lives without him.

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283: Goldie was my first FIV positive kitty. When she and babies tested positive, I was told to euthanize......well....that wasn't going to happen!. I read everything A could find about FIV, including the fact that kittens quite often have the antibody, then shed it sometimes weeks or months later. All of her babies and Goldie were all retested and babies were negative, but Goldie remained positive. I must say that I was shocked and clueless at first but, today, I see a happy, healthy and lovable kitty who will be cared for by me to the end. She does fine with all my kitties except two spunky males who like to hassle her, so she goes down for visits when I put the boys away. I am having my porch and garage enclosed, so that she and her daughter can come down and spend time getting a different perspective......the rooms will be for my kitties!

284: Yes. It really was never a factor in Monty's health. His heart defect is what ultimately led to his passing.

285: Yes the information we had matched. Two other cats have lived with him for years without catching the virus.

286: I had an FIV cat before and did a lot of reading about it. What I found is that many FIV cats live perfectly normal lives. My last cat lived to age 15 and I have no doubt Tuukka's going to have a long life too.

287: FIV is no longer a death sentence with most of the vets who I have spoken with about this condition. I am happy that the stigma attached to this condition is finally being challenged and, in my case, I would adopt another FIV positive cat in the future.

292: No surprises - I have a friend who has had FIV+ cats for over 20 years.

294: I didn't know much about FIV when my vet made the diagnosis although I had heard a lot of rescues put FIV positive cats to sleep. Luckily I have a very good cat vet who has made it his business to update his knowledge base and he knows a lot about the disease and has taught me a lot. He doesn't understand why people insist in recommending PTS for positive cats.

299: No, it was so scary at first. The internet was full of doom and gloom and many vets knew little of the disease. I remember reading information when he was just a tiny kit, him sitting on my lap, and I would just cry thinking he was going to die soon, really soon. It was very negative. Leo was infected in-utero, it is believed, and at first it was scary and not at all encouraging. However, I was bound and determined to give him the best life possible, and I did. He was so handsome and loved (lived to nearly 10).

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300: When I first started in rescue people were misinformed about FIV but I have done lots of reading on it and have had rescue friends with positive cats and I don't feel it's a huge deal or different from owning a negative cat.

303:At first I thought it would be hard to own a cat with this disease, but after seeing his personality I wouldn't have ever given him away and I don't do anything different. Most of the time I don't even remember he has a disease. He's soooo healthy! It makes me sad that so many people are deterred from getting a cat just because it has FIV. People should be educated on the disease and know that its not a death sentence and you could be missing out on a great companion!

304: I was prepared for higher vet bills, but not for what I went through in 2012. Snookie is amazing and worth everything, but I needed strong nerves and deep pockets to cope in 2012. Her blood virus is very rare. If she just had FIV, it would have probably been a different story.
Also, she came from a cats' home in Spain, where, despite the best efforts of the carers, it is hard to give the cats the medical attention they need. Maybe had she had a better start in life, things might have been different. I am just hoping this period of good health will continue.

305: He is a special cat and to this point, the FIV has not been a significant issue. I am very glad to have him in our family and very happy that I adopted him 4 years ago!

306: As a volunteer with a cat rescue and lifelong cat owner he is just as I expected. However he would surprise the average person who has inaccurate information about FIV. I hope this survey results in educating people as to the true nature of FIV.

307: When I first started volunteering at an animal shelter in 1997, FIV was a death sentence. In Chicago where I used to live (and where I acquired Jackson), FIV has became almost a non-issue. When I moved to San Diego this year and began working at the SD Humane Society, I was surprised that they only put one or two FIV+ cats out for adoption at a time because people are so reluctant to adopt them. I suggested that they do a public education promo re FIV+ cats to destigmatize the virus, and I provided them information from Chicago shelters. Hoping they follow up on my suggestion. All the FIV+ cats I have met there have been as friendly and affectionate as my Jackson. The virus is most often spread through deep bite wounds, but in my experience, these are the least likely cats to bite!

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309: I didn't know a lot before. I initially thought Bruno had limited time, that he was going to have to be put to sleep soon. It turned out that he's otherwise now very healthy. I was surprised to find out that FIV+ can live long healthy lives.

310: No, I was led to believe it was a death sentence for a cat and he would have health problems. Neither is true. I have 15 cats and none are tested for FIV, it would not change how I treat my cats. If one became ill I would blood test to eliminate FIV just as I would liver. kidneys etc. but I just can't see the problem with it. Marcel taught me cats with FIV can live long healthy lives and are no different to any other cat. Don't panic with FIV the cat will be just fine, and can be treated as a normal cat.

311: No! I was heartbroken when I heard the news and thought the cat was going to die very soon or have to be put to sleep! Luckily the vet explained his condition to me in a very positive way.

312: Not what the dx'ing vet tried to tell me (keep them in quarantine or you'll lose them all, if you can't keep them separate then you should euthanize...) but I have a background in veterinary medicine as a tech and so I had the benefit of other information and opinions.

315: No. The first vet told me he should be put to sleep as he would infect my other cats and it would be an expensive time with an FIV+ cat. It wasn't and even if it had been, the love and gratitude that Lemmy gave me was more than worth it! He loved to play fight with Chippy and sometimes with his sisters. He had an amazing personality that could never be reproduced and he gave me so much in return! I would say to anyone thinking about having an FIV+ cat to go for it! They do not cost more than any other cat would and just keep an eye out on their health, if they look under the weather then get them to a vet to make sure that they are ok. This way you know that they are in the best health at all times!

317: Not at all. I didn't hear about it much before getting an fiv cat but I assumed that it was an awful deadly contagious disease, mostly because I didn't know and didn't have a reason to look into it. I had no idea that fiv cats were so normal!

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318: I had no knowledge that FIV even existed when I found my cat. In fact, I never owned a cat and had no knowledge whatsoever about them. I have since become very educated. My vet at the time said of his diagnosis said, 'FIV is not a death sentence,' and that has been my motto ever since.

330: Both of the rescue organisations I have worked for routinely euthanase cats that test positive for FIV. Whilst I understand why they feel the need to do so, I was always determined that if any of mine tested positive I would not be following their lead. I was, however, expecting a lot more health problems than has been the case.
Talisker's FIV has never been a major problem for him, and I often forget he has it (especially now he has CKD which is much more of a worry). He just seems to be a typical senior cat.

332: Don't let FIV hold you back. My cat lived to be 18. When he was diagnosed I thought there would be a ton of health problems and he had very few.

334: I learned so much about FIV and the myths about it from watching how healthy my cats were and are. Many of their illnesses come from age and years on the streets.

336: The shelter gave me great information. My vet did not and didn't understand why I would subject my other cats to him. I thought it was a death sentence when I for heard about it. I thought I will give him the best life I could for as long as he lived. I'm so glad I adopted him. He really is my buddy and I couldn't imagine life without him. He knows I saved him that day and I know I will never have an other cat who is that grateful.

338: FIV positive cats' health is similar to non-FIV cats in that each cat is different.

341: No I was asked did I want to put him down right there, I was told he may have 2-8 years and we had him 9 years.

342: Absolutely not. She has had nine years and she had a good life with minimal illnesses.

346: Not initially, but I've heard quite a few stories now like Mustachio's. (healthy for over 10 years)

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348: Not at all. I was led to believe that Blackjack's life would be short, miserable, and no quality. what he had to give was love, love, and more love.

349: I learned about FIV many years ago & the information available now is naturally better than it was years ago. FIV just means a cat might get sick a little easier than one that doesn't have it. MIGHT.

350: No. Our vet was very encouraging and assured me that he could live a pretty long and healthy life. However, I had joined an online group and while it was very informative, it was largely people whose cats were having complications. I found it very discouraging and eventually decided to leave the group. It's nice to know that it is there if I ever need it, but I think it led me to believe most FIV cats have problems and that has not been my experience.

357: Not even remotely. Simon seems to be extremely healthy. I have no idea when he first contracted FIV, but so far, it doesn't seem to have compromised his immune system.

358: No, not at all, she never infected any of our other cats, the vet did not think she was a risk to them and she lived to 17 which I believe she could have gone longer if we had been able to get her treatment for what we now think was possibly thyroid condition based on another cat we have that has thyroid issues. We don't know. Sheba was a very happy cat until the end and is greatly missed by us and our other cats.

359: Absolutely. The rescue group I volunteer for, does a great job educating our community about FIV+ cats. Of course, being a first time pet parent of an FIV+ cat, I was a little nervous at first, but after reading several documents and receiving input from the fantastic volunteers within the rescue, my worries subsided very quickly. Evy is a wonderful addition to our household. She started out as a foster, and we quickly fell on love with her, and we just knew we couldn't let her go!

360: Was a veterinary student in my final year at time of diagnosis. One vet said she had to be put down, another said no worries. So she continued her life as usual. The virus infection did not have any effect on her life. if I remember it rightly she had a liver problem in the end, which might not even have been caused by the virus.

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362: No. I was lead to believe she would always be sick and suffering. NOT TRUE. She was fine after the initial infection was cleared up.

364: I did a lot of reading when I first heard about the disease as I am a RN and was curious whether it was similar to the HIV in humans. It is really sad to think that so many great cats need homes just because they were abandoned and were in a fight where they got the virus or born of a mother who was positive.
I do hope this information helps others make an informed decision about adopting or keeping a cat who may have this virus.

365: NO. This isn't a new disease, just newly discovered. The information that is out there scares people. Even my vet was initially very much against us keeping him. Now he's a believer and has admitted if he hadn't done the testing himself, he would never believe Ernie was positive.

370: Yes and No. My experience is nothing like I though FIV was. BUT, I was told by the facts by the people at the rescue who put my fears to rest. I would definitely adopt another FIV cat.

371: No, I thought it meant a death sentence like my Sebastian. I was happy to be wrong and adore my vet for explaining the disease

375: No, but I did my own research and spoke to other owners of FIV + cats and made my own informed decision to allow Icey a carefree life and not PTS him.

376: We didn't really know what to expect, but we've ended up with the sweetest cat you could dream of, and one with LOTS of personality!

377: No. When the Vet first told me about Cheeto, he said, 'I got good news and bad news for you,' 'He is 9 months old and FIV positive.' When I first starting reading about FIV I was scared. Worried what had I gotten myself in for. but Cheeto was such a loving easy going cat that I never regretted giving him a home - (lived to nearly 11yrs). After this experience I would now consider adopting 2 FIV positive cats.

378: Not completely. We expected that he'd suffer from lots of infections but he really hasn't had any. He's been in good health, vigorous until recently and in all ways a normal cat. I was disturbed by the view that he should be put down as a threat to other cats. That seemed extreme to me and my husband. He is a good boy and I'm glad we've been able to offer him a good, healthy and happy life since his owner died.

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380: We had never heard about this virus until Patches was diagnosed. Our older cat, Dixie, is now 15, healthy and has no signs of the disease, after living 8 years with an FIV cat. They swatted each other all the time, but never fought. Dixie obviously misses her and so do we.

385: Yes,I knew nothing about the virus until the vet told me she was sick. He told me right from the start that it wasn't a death sentence and that there is no need to kill the cat. He was right, she had a long life, she was loved and happy to be around us despite all her problems.

386: NO absolutely not. Years ago, when we first had FIV cats there was a LOT of misinformation. Unfortunately that misinformation still is prevalent in the vet community and some rescues (whose vets make them very afraid of FIV+ cats).

387:No. First vet recommended putting her to sleep, other vets complained about her living with non fiv cats. She had lived far longer than I expected and was told to expect. She has always been healthier than I was told to expect.

389: Not at all. It is not problem having her and I do not expect to have any issues and hope she lives a long and happy life. If she does get sick, we will take care of her until she dies, just like all of my other cats.

391: No. The vet warned us to keep Marmalade isolated, or with another FIV, but that was out of the question since it was the other FIV cat that gave him this, so we let him continue to mingle with his new companions for his emotional health. He slept on my bed every night with the others who were there, too. He continued with mutual groomings and play time and shared the community food tray every morning with the group that ate in the kitchen. No one else has become infected.

393: No, he does not seem sick.

396: I did a lot of research before adopting Nora so wasn't too worried about having an FIV cat. You do need to make sure you have the time to look after them properly, feed them a good quality diet and take them to the vet at the first sign of a problem but they are essentially the same as any other cat. The time I spend with her has paid dividends as she is one of the most affectionate and loving cats I have ever had. I have no regrets whatsoever!

397: When I first heard the name of the virus I was very worried, but I read up on it immediately and felt reassured. Had we not tested him, we wouldn't know, and I am sure there are cats out there who are FIV positive, without anyone knowing. I think good cat care is the answer to managing FIV - doing the same thing that one would do for any cat, e.g Good diet (dry and wet food), indoor living, treating infections quickly, good flea and mite control etc.

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400: No. I was told they could pass it along by cleaning each other & by sharing a water bowl & via a cat bite. I also didn't know they could live to be 15-18 yrs old.

402: I thought she would not have very long with us and just wanted her to have the best quality of life as possible for the time she had. But almost 10 years later she is still going strong. We also expected health issues along the way and were prepared to cope with whatever she needed but other than her regular shots and developing g hyperthyroidism (which is common for many cars as they get older) she has been way healthier than we expected

403: No, I thought she was going to always be sick and die soon, since she was born with FIV. The mom is around 10 years old and very healthy also. I was also told to send them to an FIV shelter, but didn't want them to live in cages the rest of their lives. We have FIV cats in our rescue and have them up for adoption. We tell people it isn't a death sentence. Nutmeg is the best cat ever and I am so glad I kept her.

405: Not at all. When the vet told us that Bobby has FIV he said 'It's bad news, you'll have to decide what you want to do with him', and obviously expected us to have Bobs put down. We said that as far as we could see this was a happy healthy cat and we were going to keep him alive for as long as possible. So far Bobby has been as healthy as our other cats. He has had a few teeth out (they were probably damaged during fights in his stray days), and has recovered very quickly. We kept him in for the first year, but now I let him out when the weather is good and he potters around the garden and then comes back in with no ill effects.

409: We'd researched FIV in 2004 when we fostered our first FIV+ cat, so knew that it was nothing scary. All the FIV cats we've had in our lives so far have just re-inforced our view that they are just regular cats, with the same health risks as any other cat.

410: I fully expect her to live a long and happy life with us.

411: Yes. The cats I've had with FIV+ have pretty much all had dental issues in mid-life, but other than that, they have led otherwise full and healthy lives.

414: No! When I first heard about FIV status in cats, I always thought that they would die young, that it was highly contagious, and that cats with FIV couldn't live with cats that did not have it, due to the fear of transmission of the virus. That is not the case. Please, consider adopting one of these cats

415: Yes, we've been extremely lucky with Romeo. He's been very healthy and has not required much medical treatment other than his regular check ups.

417: So far everything has been positive. Our concern was what if he fought with the other cats? Well he doesn't. They all get along with Remy. Fiv+ and Fiv- cats CAN coexist!! These cats all co-exist even with a chihuahua. In a home with a lot of love and care it can work out well.
Please adopt cats with FIV. With the proper love, care, and checking up they can live long, happy, healthy lives.

418: No. When the vet diagnosed him the vet suggested euthanasia. Troy was such a happy boy, purring chirping loving the attention from the vet and from me that I was horrified that option was even put on the table. The vet didn't seem to know very much about it

420: We were pleasantly surprised that our kitty lived a normal, happy life with no ongoing problems until his final year.

421: No, I would say having an FIV cat is a very easy and natural thing, when we first got him, I had heard all sorts of off putting stories and wasn't convinced it was the right move for me personally. But I have seen none of this in real life. Having a FIV house cat is much easier then I expected.

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422: Not in the least! This mystical 'cat AIDS' that was killing him slowly and painfully doesn't seem to be the case at all. He is an older cat who needs to be kept warm and well-fed - but then aren't they all?

423: I was worried when I first took him on but I already loved him after meeting him in his cage at cats protection I just knew I had to have him home with me and I just wanted him to have a happy life. He's given me so much love and happiness in return and to see him curled up asleep in front of the fire content just fills my heart with joy. He's no different to any other car, in fact him having FIV just makes him more special to me. Don't hesitate if you want the cat then fiv shouldn't stop you.

424: No, not at all. When he was first diagnosed with FIV I thought it was a death sentence, but after doing some research I realized that there are many other worse health issues out there. Yes, he 'may' have a shortened life span (or, he may not), but that doesn't change how much he means to me, nor does it make me want to give him anything less than the great life and care he deserves.

425: I'd never heard of FIV before so had no expectations. It wouldn't stop me adopting another FIV cat. If I hadn't been told I wouldn't know he had it.
He's me gorgeous big lion and I love him!

428: was expecting more health issues, touch wood Monty is healthier than our previous FIV negative cats!

432: I was working with a no-kill cat rescue when first learning of FIV, so I never felt that FIV-positive animals should be euthanized, or that they could not be good pets.

433: Yes, it did worry me at first but I soon got used to the idea. More information is always needed about this condition and I would not hesitate in having a FIV cat again.

434: I thought it would be more work to own an FIV cat but it is easy and the same as owning any other pet. I have had healthy cats for 25 years and dogs as well and Nicolai is no different to them.

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435: Since I already had a first experience of FIV with my former cat, Zouzou, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about it. I knew that FIV cats can remain healthy and asymptomatic for years, especially if they can eat regularly and lead a peaceful life. So I hope it will be the case with Mikky.

436: No I was advised she was going to suffer and if she mixed with other cats they would become infected so it would be best to put her down immediately. Real story yes she had a few health problems in her first year with me but once sorted and ensuring she has her yearly check up with my new vet (one who has fully investigated FIV and understands that there is no reason to have a FIV cat put down) life is great and she is loved and worship by all in my street because she is so beautiful and loving.

437: No - we were advised by our vet to separate him and our female cat, that was 8 years ago and she is still FIV free. We were also told we'd be lucky if he lived to 8, and he's now 10!

442: I first heard about FIV when I looked into whether any sanctuaries/charities would rehome a cat to a flat without a garden. My local sanctuary (Rhodes Minnis) have a FIV enclosure and will only rehome the cats to indoor homes so I immediately started looking into FIV. Thanks to all the great information I found on the internet, and the '80 cats' book I felt reassured that a FIV cat was right for me. I went looking for one FIV cat and came home with two so got double the experience and their health has been no different from non-FIV cats, in fact I've seen much less of my local vet than I had expected. So glad I went ahead with looking particularly for FIV cats as otherwise I wouldn't have come home with two wonderful kitties.

452: I had been led to believe that FIV was a death sentence and that these cats had no quality of life. My experience couldn't have been more different, Barney had the best quality of life and was very healthy up to the end.

453: No! I used to think FIV was a contagious virus that caused AIDS in cats and an early death. Now I know that it's not so and this is why I was willing to adopt Sweetie and bring him into my family of 6 cats, all advanced in age.

454: I had no preconceptions about FIV at all. The vet did wonder if he should be euthanised. The shelter owner thought I would want to return him once I heard about the illness. We adopted him outright instead! I love Corky and take the good times with the bad, and I'm always with him to help him. He is who is he, and FIV is just a title for what his condition is, which doesn't seem to bother him at all! Whilst he's happy, then so am I, and our new vets think he still has a long life to lead! I hope I have him for many years to come and I always want to rehome FIV+ cats now. He's an amazing experience and I'm sure all FIV+ cats are as lovely as he is.

455: No I thought it was a very serious illness and he would be constantly ill as most FIV cats get put to sleep- he is completely normal.

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461: I was told that he might get ill and that he probably wouldn't live very long. He was poorly a few times but mostly a healthy cat. He had led a rough life and that had marked him of course. However I would not hesitate to adopt an FIV cat again.

463: No, the vets make it out to be a real killer and a big danger to other cats. When pumpkin came into our care as cats protection and was diagnosed Fiv we took him into our emergency pen and then I really researched Fiv as best I could and assessed the risks to our other cats and decided as they did not fight so no blood was likely to be drawn he was okay to live with them and so it has proved.

464: I was very frightened of FIV when I first found out about it. But the sanctuary manager, our usual vet and information I found on the internet helped to quash those fears. Brian lived 5.5 years after diagnosis but could have had the virus for many years before that. I'm lucky I had people to talk to and didn't just rely on that one vet because we would have had our precious boy put to sleep then and we would have missed all those years with him. I would not hesitate about adopting another FIV cat in the future

466: At first I was a bit wary of the enormity of it all, as I wasn't aware of the facts. I did assume that he would probably succumb to more illness than a 'normal' cat. Then I heard about your work and got your '80 FIV cats' boooklet. And I never looked back. I got great comfort from it and it's true - my cat hasn't been 'sickly'. He suffers from ear infections, but they clear up with drops. I don't feed him anything special, I don't give him supplements. The current hyperthyroid condition may be a bit of a challenge, but I have a very good vet.

470: I'd say my experience has been better than expected. He's been healthier than our non-FIV cats.

477: Absolutely not. We left the vet clinic thinking he was going to be sickly and infect the other cats. Nothing could be further from it. He has brought joy and happiness to our lives. FIV cats can and do live long happy and even healthy lives given the proper care. They can also exist in households with non-FIV cats.

481: No at all. Before we had cats and got involved in cat rescue, we thought FIV was a death sentence and there was no way FIV cats could live together with healthy cats. Now we know this is totally not true. We also realized that even a lot of vets still do not know how FIV is spread and give wrong advice.

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482: No, I was told about all the horrors and problems.
To be honest, he is a normal cat who gets ill once in a while, going to the vets 2-3 times a year, which I consider to be normal.
FIV cats are not different to healthy cats, just another label I think to give some people a reason not to adopt or put it down.
My boy is FIV positive and black and I have never been happier or felt luckier than I am now! Black cats bring luck and joy in my opinion, I would not change Beggy for the world!

484: Absolutely not, Although I am aware that he may be more susceptible to infection and one must be prepared for costly vets bill's this has simply not happened with George. We are delighted to own him and would always rescue an FIV cat in the future.

486: No, although I'm not sure anyone led me to believe anything, it was just the thought of something like human AIDS, and all those pictures of skeletal humans we were shown during the campaigns of the 1980s. William does not appear to be suffering - in fact he's full of life - and it would seem an unimaginable waste if he had been put to sleep just because of some virus he didn't ask to catch and is not even aware of having.

487: No, at first I thought he'd be sickly, costly, and dead by now. So very very wrong.

493: Absolutely not. I thought we would have endless problems with her healthwise but thankfully to date she has been as healthy and energetic as any other cat we ever had - in fact much healthier than an expensive pure bred kitten that we had many years ago.

495: Not at all.....NO WAY, there is just so much ignorance. It is so sad. Even some vet technicians are ignorant as well as the general public. If all five of my cats were FIV I wouldn't mind at kids are really 'loving'

498: The RSPCA where I adopted Oliver are pretty enlightened about FIV and said it would have a very minor impact. The main restriction was that he was to be a house cat principally to avoid the risk of infection to others. Because of his other conditions they thought he may only have a year, but two years later he's in better health than ever.

499: When I was first told Faffy had FIV the vet attempted to insist I destroyed him immediately. I fought for him and now only take him to a vet who I know is FIV sympathetic. In my experience FIV cats can go on to live happy healthy lives. Mine certainly is.

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500: No, I was led to believe they were very sickly and had a drastically reduced lifespan. However after some careful research we discovered this was not the case and decided we wanted to adopt an FIV+ cat.

501: No. I thought it was a death sentence. My vets advised me not to home him with my FIV negative cats and to keep him indoors full time.

502: Absolutely not. When Tom was first diagnosed with FIV the vet kept saying 'I'm so sorry to give you this news' giving the impression that Tom's health would decline imminently because of the FIV. She kept apologising and saying 'this is a very ill cat'. She advised that he needed to be kept indoors away from other cats to stop the FIV from spreading. She said it was likely that Tom's brother Jerry would also have FIV as they live together. However Jerry was tested in 2014 and was clear of FIV. We believe Tom has had FIV since 2005 as we lived in a town where there were lots of unneutered cats in close quarters which meant lots of cat fights! Tom and Jerry have always shared food and water bowls up until the time when Tom was diagnosed. Despite what the vet told us to expect i.e. that Tom would become very ill very quickly, Tom has remained a happy and healthy cat who continues to live an active, outdoor lifestyle, although he enjoys a few more siestas throughout the day now that he is getting older!

503: No. Several years ago, FIV concerned me. I have no problems or issues with having an FIV positive cat.

505: I thought Mister would be an expensive, sickly cat. He has actually cost me less money than any other healthy cat I've owned! And to this date, none of my other cats have tested FIV positive!

506: Not at all, he had a really good life, I lost two previous cats when they were 10yrs old, just like Bibble, but they did not have FIV, one had kidney disease and the other had a problem with his bladder.

507: No not at all, the thought sounded horrendous and so much trouble to look after them, but Brandy I believe loved us more because we had to care for him that little bit more. FIV I think comes out in many ways but it is not something which should put people off getting a cat solely because of it.

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508: Not exactly. I did cat rescue for years before Fergus came into my life. I never had dealings with an FIV cat; they'd all been negative and healthy. I had done some reading about FIV, but it was very little. I understood that they could be very sick, need a lot of care, and could pass the virus to other cats.
Fergus needed me and I was driven to help him. I did a lot more research and made a lot of calls to other rescue people. The situation wasn't as extreme as I thought. Bringing Fergus home and dealing with his FIV was a lot easier once I was fully educated. He was like any other cat I had fostered or owned. I would own another FIV cat in a house full of negative cats and not worry. We took the correct steps to prevent the spread of FIV. Education is the key. He was so worth every moment!!!

512: No, it does not match! I assumed it was a relative quick death sentence! I assumed the risk to my resident cat was immense! The information about the testing and the vaccine was an eye opener!
I'm so glad I have been given the opportunity to learn about this and to help other people understand.

513: No. Not at all. I was told it is cruel to keep them alive and that all FIV+ cats should be PTS immediately for their sake and for the sake of all other cats. I was told it's so infectious that it will infect every cat who comes in contact with it - in eight years we have not had one case spread to another cat though.

516: Yes. FIV+ diagnosis isn't a death sentence.

520: Not at all. It isn't the horror story or lost cause that you are led to believe. It is a very rewarding feeling knowing that you are helping a poor soul that is in this situation through no fault of their own.

521: Not at all. I didn't know much about it but was always made to think it was more horrendous than it is. Yes there is more responsibility and cost involved but the rewards are so much more worth it. I would happily take on another FIV cat after this

522: He's just like any other cat, our first vet advised we put him to sleep..made us feel like he had a deadly plague and told us all our other cats would have FIV and to get them all tested. so we moved vets who were much more helpful with advise.

523: No they are generally fit, healthy and no bother at all.

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525: When I first heard about FIV, I imagined all cats with the virus to be sickly. Now I understand that being stray or not having the care they need seems to be a more important factor in their condition rather than the condition itself.
If I didn't live in a flat and if I thought Humphrey wouldn't mind, I'd get another one but as it stands he seems very content and I don't want to ruin that for him after such a horrible start to his life.

528: as a vet I expect she will get ill in the future however if you didn't know about the test there would be no reason to test.

530: I first heard about FIV when I was investigating whether any organisations would rehome cats to someone living in a flat, rather than somewhere with a garden. I was already looking for an older cat or one who might have been overlooked for a while or need a quiet household without children. When I heard about the FIV cats at my local sanctuary I went online and read everything I could about FIV including the very helpful '80 cats' book. Most of this information set my mind at rest, especially the book as all cats are at risk of health problems (much like people) and having FIV just meant being a bit more vigilant and having to learn how to brush a cat's teeth without serious injury to me! So far my experience has been much as expected, with Granny any health problems were just as likely to be related to her age as FIV and she had no obvious FIV-related problems and only one vet visit during her time with me. I am so glad I went ahead with adopting FIV cats and so grateful to those who have written some much helpful information and research online which gave me the confidence to look at FIV cats in the first place.

531: Newly diagnosed so have been finding out about the potential impact on other cats in household. Feeling more positive than when initially diagnosed.

534: Not at all! I have cared for 2 FIV cats full time and 1 part time and I really see no difference between them and FIV- cats. I had Gandalf for 10 years and Cecil for 14 years and both came to me FIV+.

535: No. I had a picture of the virus gradually destroying her immune system, and a cat getting sicker and sicker. I am still expecting this inevitable and sad decline (10 years later!). But she has stayed joyful much of the time.

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536: No! The vet that tested her for FIV wanted to put her down immediately. After I started crying in front of him he told me to take her home and think about it over the weekend. He knew how hard I work to take care of all the stray animals. Well, we NEVER went back to that vet again! I found another vet that didn't think FIV was a death sentence. He started her on antibiotic for her stomatitis and anytime she had a flare up we would go back to see him. He was the one that referred us to a specialist for her mouth after the antibiotic stopped working.
The crazy thing is that my FIV negative cats have more health issues than an FIV positive cat. I would take in another FIV positive cat in a heart beat! They are special!

538: Absolutely not. Im disgusted at how vets scare people into thinking that once a cat tests positive for fiv its a reason to put them down. I'm horrified at how uneducated vets are and feel sick if I hear a death sentence is recommended. I was terrified when cj tested positive. My vets nurse told me I had a decision to make and I looked at cj and thought to myself theres no way I could agree to have him killed, he only had a minor eye infection. Then I was advised if i didn't go through with killing him that I had to keep him on his own away from other cats which was cruel as he was a street cat so I might as well have had him put down. I decided that he would live his life as he wanted. Any domestic cat could have the virus as theres no sure vaccine to stop it from spreading. Thousands of cats who visit the vet could have it and the owner would never know. Vets would be out of business if they started to offer routine tests and put down every cat that tested positive as I believe many domestic cats have it if they go outside and owners have no idea. I was told it was a life limiting illness? I was told it was highly contagious and could be caught through sharing food and water and litter. I was lead to believe having my cat put down was the kindest thing to do to end his suffering. Well I'm telling vets and anyone else that thinks this that they have no idea what they are talking about and to stop killing healthy cats, stop scaring owners like me. Too many owners have had to lose a much loved pet due to your ignorance. Cj is here with me as I write but had I listened to the hype he would be dead now. My cat is in great health and fiv is not a reason to take a y cats life

539: Because he remained healthy for so long after the diagnosis, I wanted to believe he wasn't FIV+.

542: When I was first told I was devastated. I thought it was the end and he wouldn't be around for long. I had visions of us just watching him getting weaker day by day. How wrong was I, I researched everything I could and the poor vet was getting endless questions, but the veterinary practice was wonderful and if they didn't have the answer they rang around until they found out what I needed to know. That was 18 months ago and now the shock has worn off and now he is just Ginger my big soppy sweet boy. We are a little more careful with him if he has a bit of a cold or seems to not be himself but that's all.

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543: No! I was worried about him being sickly, infecting my other cats, and not living very long because of FIV. Thankfully, none of that was true!

544: We took on board that the cat's lives may potentially be a little shorter and that vet insurance may try to wriggle out of paying for treatment, but had no concerns about FIV at all, so nothing has changed. A few visitors have looked nervous when it was mentioned, as if it was something they thought they could catch from him, but we soon set them straight.

545: When I researched it, Best Friends said it was okay as long as the cat didn't fight the negative cats. And that has proven to be true. No one else has caught it.

547: We had heard that FIV+ cats may not live long and that any infection could kill them. So far neither are true.

548: No, The vet who diagnosed him, wanted to put him down. She kept telling me he's a stray, I've only had him for 2 days, FIV didn't have a cure, she recommended a death sentence to prevent the spread of the virus to my other cats. I wasn't on board for that. I knew nothing of FIV or what it would entail but at that moment, I wasn't going to make a quick decision without facts. So I picked him up neutered and vaccinated, brought him home and began researching.

549: Yes because the rescue centre we got him from was great and gave us a lot of information and advice.

550: No : at first I was quite anxious and not aware that FIV was very less aggressive for cats than HIV is for humans.
After getting a lot of informations I am not anxious any more about fiv and I just give Biskit supplements and monitor a bit more his health by bringing him twice a year at the vet instead of once per year.

551: I honestly expected his health to be worse - like a person with AIDS - always fighting something. But it wasn't. He went a good 9 or 10 years with no issues at all other than maybe an unexplained fever once every few years. In fact, I would often forget that he had FIV, and would worry about what was wrong with him when he got those fevers, panicking that something terrible was wrong. But he always bounced back his normal happy, playful self the next day. Leon absolutely adored other kitties, and I never worried about him fighting with his 'brother'. They bathed each other, played together, shared food and water bowls and a litter box for 12 years, and to this day, his 'brother' still tests negative for FIV. I definitely feel that the risk of spreading it is a lot higher in outdoor, intact male cats who are prone to fighting. In indoor cats who get along fine, there is almost no risk of transmission. I would not hesitate to adopt another FIV kitty!

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552: We were very unsure to start with when we first went to see him at the rescue centre. But the centre staff and the the vet reassured us that FIV is a condition not an Illness and as long as we keep an eye on him and if there is any sign of a problem to take him to the vet straight away to get checked out he should live a completely normal and hopefully long life.

554: No. I first heard about the virus from a vet when I took a stray in to be neutered and was told after a blood test showed he was FIV+ that I had to have him pts because he would infect neighbours cats, he wouldn't live long anyway etc. I was made to feel very guilty and irresponsible for not going through with it. My experience of FIV with Oscar and other FIVs I have and have had is that they can live long and normal lives, certainly in the first 8-10 years have no more health problems than non fiv cats.

555: No. It is not to be taken lightly, wounds are slower to heal for example, but it is not the doom and gloom death sentence vets lead you to believe. This FIV positive cat and my previous one have lived longer lives than many of my FIV negative cats - cancer has been the biggest killer of my cats, sometimes when only young or middle-aged, taking them far too soon.

556: No. We had no clue he had it. He has always been very healthy. We were told to separate him from other cats by out vet, however, the specialist treating my other cat has done a lot of research on FIV and said we didn't need to.

557: No, I thought it would be hard to deal with and he would need to be kept indoors all the time. My experience with my boy was the complete opposite, yes, we made sure we protected him as best we could and were always vigilant for the slightest changes in him, but generally you wouldn't have known he was FIV.

558: Absolutely not! We were told he needed to be euthanized or kept separately from his siblings and other cats. If we didn't we were told RJ would infect the other cats. RJ eats and drinks alongside the other cats out of the same bowls. They all sleep together and groom each other. All the cats were retested for FIV after two years and RJ was still the only cat testing positive.

559: Honestly, I've lived with more anxiety about it than I probably should. I worry about what could trigger his illness to get worse and try to avoid stressing him in any way. I don't want him to get sick and die. When I first heard about it I tried to remain calm but that has not necessarily worked too well. It took a lot for me to realize that he's pretty calm and easy going and that he was not likely to get sick and die from any outside stressers.

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560: We were offered Fat Rave by cpl as we were the best fit, and he had been rejected and moved over and over from place to place as no one would take him and he was going stir crazy. Before we took him we read up on FIV, what other owners said, and as he needed us we took him. He has been a total joy since.

561: I would say yes because I'd done so much research I knew the good outweighed the bad

562: Never had FIV spread to an FIV- cat over many years with FIV+ cats mixed into the household. Had first heard that FIV+ cats had to be kept separate. Did some research and found that wasn't accurate. Joined some groups who shared info on having FIV+ cats in mixed households. Finally convinced my vets that the FIV wasn't going to spread between neutered cats who were friendly with one another.

563: My chief of staff talked to me about her diagnosis and I feel she educated me well. I was told cats can live a long time with no issues while FIV is dormant and that the thing to do is relax, bring her in for full check ups, teeth cleaning, and have her on a good diet. I am hoping she can continue to be healthy for a long time.

565: I was only 13 when we brought him in. I was not really sure about the disease only that I loved this cat. As I got older and got into veterinary medicine and learned more, I was so happy to have encountered a vet that knew he didn't need to be euthanized just for FIV!

567: No. We had to see a different vet when we first took him in to be examined. This particular vet seemed all too eager to euthanize him. We took him to a different vet who explained that she had an FIV positive kitty who lived to be 18-years-old.

568: Of course not! Unfortunately the first vets I took her to see were very adamant that she be separated from my other cats at all times. But I did my research on FIV and decided she would be happier living with the rest of us. I have also found a new vet that has had a lot of FIV experience. I have learned first hand that not all vets are up to date on FIV.

569: No. I thought I would have a sickly cat and frequent trips to the vet. I just take her in yearly for immunity shots and give her flea prevention and feed her kitten chow (cereal to her) and wet food (aka deliciousness). She is full of purrs and silliness and kitty kisses for me.

570: No. I thought it was a death sentence because that was all I'd ever heard. I learned differently when I started volunteering at a no-kill shelter three years ago. I have cared for a number of FIV-positive cats in these last 3 years, and I can't distinguish them from their FIV-negative cohorts. I had no qualms about bringing Baxter into my household. I'm a bit more vigilant about his health than if he were FIV-negative. When I talk to visitors to the shelter, I tell them that that's the only way a cat's FIV status affects daily life.

571: Not as much. I worked a kill shelter and we euthanized FIV positive felines. I did more research and realized they might have a compromised immune system but there were many that lived up to 22 years.

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672: yes and no, my mothers cat was our first cat with FIV and the vet said they could live a full healthy life. But the vet was inexperienced with cats with FIV and was not very reassuring. But with a better vet that is more informed, like i have now, I feel more confident in a full and healthy life for my cat.

575: No. Baby Jesus just like any other cat. No difference. You just have to make sure to watch for signs of a cold or a little something here and there. If you treat all the little problems at the start like any cat they stay healthy. He is the strongest Jedi and hunter of all our cats.

578: No, I thought it would be much more difficult to care for a FIV+ kitty

579: no, not at all. I was devastated by the diagnosis, but I don't even worry about it now. This cat is a freak of nature because he seems to be about 8-12 years of age now, but is in actuality 21 years old (and he really was 12 when I got him). Once I got him cleaned up, he has just kept going and going. I see no reason why he won't make 25 unless he gets something like cancer.

580: I thought FIV was a death sentence, and contagious. I did enough research online to discover that all the kitties can live together happily as long as there's no sex or violent fighting.

581: No. The vet was extremely helpful and resourceful in educating us about FIV, expectations, special care, etc. The shelter did offer to replace our cat with another adoptee as it was their mistake in the first place, but we refused and actually felt a bit insulted, as Milan was a family member by then. Looking forward to many healthy years!

582: The first time I heard of FIV was about 20 years ago when a vet informed me my new kitten would have to be euthanized if he tested positive for it. Thankfully, that kitten tested negative, but if he hadn't I hate to think what might have happened, as I had no knowledge not to trust the word of this expert. Being involved in rescue gave me the first real knowledge of what FIV is really like. I've fostered four cats with FIV so far, one of whom was adopted by a family member, and 6 kittens who initially tested positive but later tested negative, and have experienced no negative results from it at all.

584: I have known about FIV for years and have had FIV cats. I have friends who have FIV cats. It is not an issue if the cats are neutered.

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585: I was told, that FIV is not that serious and it seems to be true.

587: Monty's issues in the end were due to his cardiac issues and had nothing to do with him having FIV. He lived to be 12-14 years old depending on what age estimate you use. I wish he would have made it to 18, and if having FIV was his only issue, he probably would have. I'm glad I gave it time to see if his wounds healed. He deserved the 9+ years he had with me.

588: I thought FIV was much scarier than it has turned out to be. Since Mufasa is not aggressive we have no problem having him in a home full of FIV negative cats and kittens. He shares his home with cats ranging in age from 3 days to 3 years and has had no problem thus far!

589: No. We initially thought that FIV+ cats could not be mixed with non-FIV cats. We were then told that as long as the FIV+ cat is not aggressive and neutered it would be OK to have them with non-FIV cats. Our FIV+ cat Baxter is one of the gentlest cats we have ever had!

590: Not at all! The vet was very negative when she told us. Since then we've educated ourselves and we know that our cat can live a healthy normal, life.

592: I think Zack is especially healthy for a cat with FIV since he was exposed to so much in the shelter. I think it's been easier than what I thought it would be. I was prepared to have him get sick shortly after I adopted him. But he is still chugging along.

594: Not at all. They live normal healthy lives. The key is a stress free environment.

595: No much easier than I thought.

596: The people at the shelter were quite knowledgable so his status was never an issue.

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602: Not at all. My experience over the last month has opened my eyes to this disease. I would be open to adopting FIV+ cats in the future.

606: No! The vet at the time suggested we take him back due to the risk to my other cat. We have had no problems thus far. I did make sure the disease was non-transferable to my children. After hearing it wasn't there was no question in my mind I was keeping him.

607: Not at all! Our vet recommended having him put down. I found the FIV page on FB. And immediately decided to keep him! NO REGRETS!

609: Thankfully I am involved with several rescues and shelters that know FIV+ does not have to be a death sentence. My vet knows my other cats personalities and agreed there would be a minimal fight risk.

612: Before I started researching FIV cats I had the same view as I imagine the majority of the population have - sickly cats who have a short lifespan. Leonard could not be further from this stereotype he is happy and active. He has a very healthy appetite and we are really really glad that we were able to rehome him.

613: NO! Most of the vets in our area want all FIV or FELV positive cats killed. They really don't care about their health or condition. They just want them killed.

614: I was 'advised' by a lot of people to get him put to sleep & get a healthy cat - good job I'm not that heartless! He's fine at the moment, is just like any other (slighty derpy) cat, & we're just like any other family. He's happy, so I'm happy. Am glad to have the opportunity to get to know him, hope it lasts a long time

615: After 'Beauty' was pts I did some research and found that it is not a death sentence, they can live with other cats in your household, some may never be ill and last into old age. Also lots of recent research highlights this, my vets gave me a print out of info on this, dated 12 years ago not taking into account of all the research that has been done or word of mouth, what chance do these cats have if these vet practices and charities don't want to listen to the facts as they stand now! I have learnt all this too late to save my beautiful boy 'Beauty' I just hope you and others can make people listen and be aware that it is not a contagious deadly disease. It is an interesting thought that there will be so... many cats who have owners that will be FIV positive and have never been tested.

616: Before that vet visit, we had never heard about FIV. The vet made it sound like Tater's life was in immediate danger, with no help possible. After doing some reading we've realized that cats can potentially live long, healthy lives even with FIV. While Tater might not get over his sniffles, we hope that as long as he's kept indoors and cared for, he'll be fine.

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617: Having believed for years that FIV cats should be euthanized, I had no expectations. Omar is so far healthy and happy.

620: No. Definitely not. I was first told about FIV when I took a stray cat to the vets for checking/vaccination/neutering and was told that he was FIV+ and that I should pts as 'he was ill and would not live long, would be a risk to other cats in the neighbourhood, would put my other cats at risk' (Barney is now 16!)

621: No not at all, I was told the disease would spread rapidly and the only option was to put any FIV cats to sleep.
When I first got Boris he was in a terrible state with the ulcer on his neck, the very fact he survived this would lead me to believe he had a strong immunity to survive.
To quote Diane Addie who is a specialist in Glasgow, FIV cats are more at risk from being put to sleep by vets and rescues than dying of FIV.

622: Apart for the bills, yes because the vet told us about what could happen to him and that he might not live very long with kidney failure. I think it's very good that you rehome FIV cats, they don't know that they are sick and wish to live as all other cats.

624: No! The vets and nurses spoke to us about it as though it was a death sentence and yet as said above. I'm so glad we didn't listen to the vets but instead found you and your guide because that gave us so much more hope and real information. I realise julie does have FIV and that may or may not be more of an issue as he gets older however at this point in his life, he is happy and well and needs the vet no more or less than our other none FIV cat.

625: Absolutely not. When first diagnosed the vet suggested it might be better to have him PTS. I decided to research the condition before deciding and thankfully it appeared that most cats with FIV can lead very full and happy lives and it should not be a death sentence.

626: I saw no difference between FIV and non FIV.

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628: Not at all. When I first heard of FIV about ten years ago from a vet it was described to me as 'Cat AIDS' which is a totally inflammatory and inaccurate description. Only upon seeing the appeal to find a home for Salvo did I research the condition properly and discovered it's a condition that can be managed and is not a death sentence.

630: The vets I met knew nothing about FIV+ there was no help, no advice available
I had to seek information by myself and I just regret I could take care of Gransyeux earlier

632: I expected to notice some medical things but there has been nothing at all out of the ordinary. Our vet and that of rescue centre assured us that he may live a full and normal life, but we need to be a responsive and watchful as possible with him. He settled in quickly and we love him. One of the reasons we chose him is not just because he is beautiful and affectionate but because we were heart-broken that he had been in the Rescue Centre for over 2 years and not being chosen because of FIV. We are so happy we did and had completed our family!

633: No, there is scaremongering.

634: No my experience does not match up to what I was told. I will be taking him back in to the vet to be rechecked for the virus in a month. I was under the understanding he needed to be quarantined until then so he did not spread the virus. After looking information up and contacting the pound and another vet I found out I was mislead. He can be around my other cat, they can share food, and I am not going to have to decide between the two. I was never aware of this disease until yesterday and I am beyond mad that there is still a misunderstanding in this disease.

635: FIV does not scare me, I find it devastating that so many people are still so uneducated or unwilling to give these cats a chance.

636: It's rubbish, he is fit and healthy lost his leg and had no issues, hasn't given to the other cats, I don't even think he has it apart from the vet saying yes. He has a lovely life and is so clever.

637: I was led to believe that FIV was a killer virus when in reality it just means that the immune system is not up to scratch, thus far I have an FIV positive cat that is 6.5 KG happy healthy gentle and loving not nasty aggressive or Ferrell .... The biggest killer of FIV cats is euthanasia ... Fact!!

639: I cried my eyes out when I first found out. the way my mom presented it to me, it sounded like really bad. I took it onto myself to research this disease and now I feel much better then I initially have since I found out earlier today. I have hope that if I am in full control of his living conditions and give him extra attention and care that he can live a longer life then if I had not done this research.

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640: No. I was told he would infect the others, he didn't.

641: When I took Will to the vet to be neutered it was after a year of encouraging him, feeding him and building confidences. I had fed him, lying on the ground, stroking him under the car in snow and ice at times, for 8 months. The vets told me he was fiv and should be euthanased. I was devastated and didn't know what to do. I sat in the chair distraught and undecided. I took him home and sought advice and looked into fiv. I am so glad he is with us. He is one of those memorable animals you have.

642: It makes no difference to being FIV I would have another cat even if he was FIV. His affection was the same as our other cat who was not FIV if fact he was even more affectionate. No having an FIV cat is no different to having any other cat.

645: Tub Tub is our second FIV cat. Winston, our first cat, was adopted from a shelter because he was least likely to survive. Those are the ones we take. He was FIV +, black and had a cold. 3 strikes. He lived a wonderful 9 years with us and was a love. We got a call from the same shelter about Tub Tub (formerly known as Capt. Cuddles, false advertising) where they stuck him in my car while I was on the phone with hubby. They knew it was his only hope and I applaud them. We love him to pieces.

646: when he was first diagnosed the town shelter wanted to euthanize him, but i didn't bring him to the spay clinic to kill him. they told me he would have as much as 5-6 good years, which was completely true.

647: No. Many charities/vets say FIV is a death sentence.
I work as a veterinary nurse and am still actively trying to educate anyone who will listen!

649: No! Firstly we were told he wouldn't live past 15 but he's now 17 and still going strong!


You can read the full responses to all the questions on the data project - see the results here

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