FIV in cats can get a bad rap. It is a virus that essentially weakens a cat's immune system. Rescuers tend to refer to it as the "tomcat" disease and it tends to be most commonly spread through deep bite wounds - which tends to happen when unneutered males tomcats are fighting over girl cats and/or territory. That being said, it can also be transmitted from mom cats to their kittens. However, kittens can "throw" the disease - meaning their systems fight it off - and can and should be retested to make sure their tests don't change.
Our rescue, Colony Cats does take in FIV+ cats (FeLV cats too) and tries to find them homes. Due to public misconceptions, these cats tend to be harder to get adopted than they should be. Studies have shown that so long as the cats in a home get along peacefully, FIV+ cats can live in homes with other cats and there are no transmission issues.
In an effort to get more of these cats adopted, a decision was made to turn part of the intake portion of the storefront that the rescue rents into a small room for FIV cats.
Wait....we know what you are thinking....if they can live with other cats, why have their own room?? Well, due to having immunity issues from the FIV, the rescue decided to have them in a separate space to limit their exposure to kitty colds or whatever that tend to appear in general shelter cat populations. The separate room isn't to protect the other cats from FIV, it is to protect the FIV cats from common diseases that can take longer for them to recover.
Catster article by JaneA Kelley
Best Friends information sheet
That is a great idea and we sure hope it helps those cats find homes. And maybe if they are together, some will adopt two together.ReplyDelete
Wow that looks as though it's going to be a great place for the cats to be while they are waiting to find their forever homes.ReplyDelete
Yes, cats get adopted faster when humans can see them with their own eyes! Love the room; here's hoping it helps more cats get good homes.ReplyDelete
Wonderful, wonderful initiative! Yep! Cats do get adopted faster when people can see them. Pssst: Add #BtC4A to your heading so it will be seen when tweeted ;)ReplyDelete
The no kill shelter I volunteer for has a separate building for the FIV kitties. They are indeed hard to find adopters for :(ReplyDelete
What an awesome project! Fighting the myths about FIV+ cats and getting more of them adopted is so important.ReplyDelete
What a smart idea ! That's a wonderful project for the FIV kitties ! PurrsReplyDelete
Awesome idea! And an interesting post! We didn't know much about FIV!ReplyDelete
Paws up! We think that the oversimplification of explaining that FIV is "cat AIDS" has made it that much harder to get people to hear how FIV isn't so bad after all. It sounds like this is a great way for the FIV+ cats at the rescue to spend some time with the humans who will fall in love with them and hopefully adopt them!ReplyDelete
Our shelter has FIV and FeLV in the same room as the other cats. They're in separate cages but in the same room. And in the short 2 months that the mom has been volunteering at the shelter, she's amazed at how many of the FIV...even a couple FeLV kitties...that have been adopted.ReplyDelete
Great post! We didn't know much about FIV when we started posting, and we have learned so much since then! Thanks for helping to fix the misconception.ReplyDelete
it stinks that these cats get such a bad rap. Hopefully this makes a huge difference in getting them adopted fasterReplyDelete
Kudos to the construction crew for helping with the room for FIV kitties!!ReplyDelete
Mindy & Mike
This is so wonderful! As "mom" to an FIV+ cat, I love hearing stories like this. I hate that Sassy has to be kept separate from the other kitties because I'm always afraid when I tell people that that I am reinforcing the stigma that FIV+ cats can't live with "normal" cats. I always have to qualify the situation by saying that she is kept separate not because she is FIV+, but because she genuinely does not like other cats and it stresses her out, and she fights with them. Anyway, thank you for helping to spread the word and end the negative stigma surrounding FIV. I hope this new FIV room is a big success and helps to get FIV kitties adopted!ReplyDelete
Also, thank you for your kind words of love and support on Milton's memorial post. We appreciate it more than you know. We know that as a foster mom and cat rescuer, you understand and relate to what we are feeling right now.
Thank you for bringing attention to FIV kitties! One of the rescues I featured is very pro-FIV in the sense that they can live harmoniously with non-FIV cats in the right situation.ReplyDelete