FIV+ cats might be considered by some to be “special needs” cats because, while they are healthy and live quite normal lives, they have tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FIV+ cats have long lived under a cloud of confusion and misunderstanding. Now, fortunately, that is much less the case as the medical community has become more and more aware of what the presence of FIV really means. This virus was only noticed and given a name within the last few decades (1986), so there has been much to learn about it. For many years after discovery, cats that tested positive were either euthanized or sequestered; separated from other cats. Not a good outcome or a happy life. We now know that FIV is basically a virus whose presence has the potential to cause some weakening of a cats’ immune system. It does not seem to have much impact on lifespan, as FIV+ cats can and do live quite normal lives – in quality – in duration – and in happiness. We now know that this is a cat-only virus and cannot be passed to humans or to other species of animals. We have also learned that FIV does not pass to other cats through casual friendly contact. Experience, studies and the medical research community have, for numerous years now, watched positive cats live peacefully together with non-positive cats without transference. It takes a seriously deep bite wound or blood transfusion from an FIV+ cat to infect another so a typical household where cats live in harmony can blend FIV+ and FIV- cats without worry.
It is more difficult for FIV+ cats to find their forever homes though, because of the previous stigmas associated with the presence of FIV. The pet stores we participate with limit FIV+ cats from their adoption locations. The special cats you see here are being well cared for in loving foster homes, but that is just temporary; these great cats deserve a wonderful forever home. They have so very much to give. Please consider opening your home and hearts to one or more of these beloved cats. You will be richly rewarded.