Meet Colin: The FIV-Positive Cat Who Just Wants to Love and Be Loved
Colin is the biggest love. All he wants is to snuggle with you and get head scratches. He is so calm and easygoing and is ready to love you more that you have ever been loved before! He is about 5-6 years old and loves kids and dogs and every person he meets!
Colin came to Smiley's after a rough outdoor life, which is where he contracted FIV, most likely in a fight with another cat. FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), it sounds scary, but is a slow-movingx virus that will gradually affect a cat's immune system. It can NOT pass to humans, ever. It only passes to other cats via sex, penetrating (deep) bite wounds, and blood transfusions (ok, I just learned cats could get blood transfusions!). The play-fighting that cats often do with scratching and play bites does not transmit FIV.
Though FIV is present in the saliva of an infected cat, it is NOT spread to other cats via grooming, sharing food, water, or litter boxes. So it seems like it would be fine to keep an FIV-positive cat in the same house as other cats that don't have FIV? Well, that's sort of complicated.
The recommendation for a long time has been that FIV-positive cats should ONLY be in single-cat households or FIV-positive only households. But as we learn more and now have a vaccine for FIV this recommendation is no longer universal. Out of an abundance of caution, some veterinarians will still tell you that an FIV-positive cat should never be kept in the same house as a cat without FIV. However, the risk of an spayed/neutered FIV-positive cat infecting another cat in a normal household setting nearly zero. Click the .pdf below for some more FIV information from the Austin Pets Alive rescue.
Of course only you can decide what you are willing to risk if you are thinking of bringing an FIV-positive cat into a home where one or more cats already live. And of course Smiley's could never give you a 100% guarantee that Colin could never pass FIV onto another cat in your home. Speak with a trusted veterinarian before deciding to add an FIV-positive cat to a home with other cats. It is a conversation worth having though I think, FIV-positive cats spend a LOT longer in shelters than other cats because FIV sounds scary, but just like everything, once you learn more about it, is isn't as scary as you first thought it might be.
All that being said, Colin DOES seem to be perfectly content as a only cat! At Smiley's we often talk about how well cats do when adopted in pairs (especially as kittens): they have a playmate and companion for when people are not around. But we think Colin would be just fine as an only kitty in a home! He is very people-oriented!
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If you are interested in adopting Colin or anyone else at Smiley's, download and fill out the application linked below then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, Fix Your Fucking Pets.