Adopting an FIV cat?

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RubyRed123
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Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by RubyRed123 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:49 am

Hi

I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice about rehoming an FIV cat. We are being home checked this week and we have done a lot of reading but it is all a bit contradictory and my friend who is a vet hasn't been that helpful either!!!

My plan (if we are allowed him) is to feed a mix of wet and dry food. I have bought a bag of meowing heads (as this was recommended and seemed to look good) and some wet applaws. However, when we went to see him, we were told he liked encore so I have ordered a mixed selection of that.

I don't want to damage his teeth so would that be ok?

I also read about toothpaste stuff and I thought that might be ok? I am paranoid about overloading his system with chemical stuff.

I have also read contradictory info about vaccinations and flea treatment. He will obviously be an indoor cat but we were hoping to see about cat proofing the garden when he is more confident. Do people tend to leave vacs in this situation? It is hard to know which is best.

My other question is about getting him a friend. My boyfriend saw another fiv cat when we were viewing that he really liked and we would be quite keen on a pair so they have company. The guy at the rescue suggested it might work ok. If they got on and we were allowed, would that be ok? I am worried all the fiv cat profiles say to live alone and maybe there are issues with cross infection or something?

As you might realise from all my queries, I have not had a cat before so I want to make sure I do the best for him! Any tips would be welcomed!

Thanks!

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bobbys girl
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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:07 am

Ruby, you're a hero, and when I get on my laptop, later today, I'll share all I have learned about FIV+ kitties. I realise my boy Bob is only one and they are all different, but he is treated (almost) like any other cat.

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by Janey » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:52 am

Hi and welcome. Great to hear that you’re considering adopting an FIV cat. If you’ve not seen this link there’s lots of info here:

https://www.catchat.org/index.php/fiv

I think that two FIV cats may be a good idea, if they get on. If you check out the link above, research shows that it’s even possible for FIV + and negatives to live together sometimes. Also the idea of an outside run sounds great too, so that even if you won’t allow them to roam you’re letting them get some lovely fresh air and exercise outside. I’m with you also on not medicating too much if you can help it. It sounds like you’re going to be great cat owners, do let us know how you get on :)

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by CharC » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:23 pm

Hey Ruby,

Congratulations on deciding to adopt an FIV cat. You are doing a great thing! They often get disregarded but they are exactly the same as a healthy cat really! We adopted 2 FIV cats last year and the love and affection we get back is so rewarding and worth it.

In terms of food, we feed them raw meat from https://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/natural-c ... w-cat-food. Raw meat is the best source of food for any cat as it's the closest to what they'd eat in the wild. A lot of the dry or wet food from supermarkets includes a lot of sugar, sodium and heavily processed scraps of meat. In the end, it's like feeding them a McDonald's burger every day. It a bit more expensive but for FIV cats especially I'd advise not cutting corners on food as they have enough to contend with! I haven't heard of the brands you mentioned but worth looking into the ingredients and checking they are majority of unprocessed meat and Taurine (an important natural nutrient that can be fatal if cats don't get it but already exists in raw meat). The raw meat food is soft with some bristle which is natural for them and doesn't ruin teeth.

On the toothpaste front, I've read a lot about cats and owned cats all my life and never heard about giving them toothpaste. I wouldn't if I were you, cats don't brush their teeth in the wild and if you're feeding them the right foods this isn't needed.

Vaccinations often aren't given to FIV cats as their bodies can't fight the diseases that are put in the vaccinations. Flea treatments should be fine. Your vet should be able to advise, I'm only speaking from research and am not licensed to give medical advice.

I think cats should have friends for sure, especially if they are left alone for long periods during the work week. I would ask the current home if he/she has any friends already as it's always best to get ones that are already friends. If not, just make sure you do the introducing of two cats well as it's very particular with cats (you have to keep them apart initially, then put a barrier so they can see each other then little bits of time together first etc), as with all things with cats, it's a process! You can find a lot of info online. It's true that cats who are FIV and non-FIV can live together peacefully but I'd introduce them as kittens so they grow up together as less risk of them attacking each other.

About going outdoors, the rescue shelter usually wants to rehome FIV cats to indoor homes only to avoid them catching diseases and infecting over cats. Personally I think this is unfair on the cat as it's unnatural for them to be indoors their whole life. If you have a garden you can fence up this is great although cats do tend to find the tiniest of holes! I'd say for the shelter you are adopting off, try not to go in too heavily on them going outdoors eventually as that could worry them and put them off the home.

Adopting an FIV cat is hugely rewarding. Just bear in mind that you are taking on a cat with a low immune system who can catch illnesses easily which means hefty veterinary bills. I don't want to put you off as I wouldn't give up mine for the world but it is something to be aware of to avoid disappointment and re-homing.

I hope this helps. Good luck and all the best!

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:55 pm

Agree with most of what has been said. Though our cats only occasionaly get raw food - they don't like it much.

My OH found Bob in a storm drain just before he got washed out to sea. He was born with a nerve-damaged leg (as you can see by my Avatar) We called him Bendy Bob! :D The leg was healthy and had a good blood supply - just no feeling. He managed just fine on it until he cut it and the cut became infected. The wound took a long time to heal so we decided he would be better off without it.

It was a blood test, just before surgery that confirmed he was FIV+. We were devastated and it was then I turned to CC for help. Best thing I could have done.

Four years on he is fit and well. He had his first vaccinations (we didn't know about the FIV then) but he has had none since. We have 5 other cats - two kittens are the latest additions. Bob has been neutered, he doesn't fight, eats the same as the others - Felix AGAIL, Sheba, the occasional bit of chicken, beef or fish off the plate and James Wellbeloved dry food. He also has the run of our large, rural garden and the surrounding fields.

I keep an eye on his teeth - so far no problems. He has incredibly pearly white knashers!

The FIV virus is very short-lived outside the host so we have no fear of him infecting the others.

You are doing a wonderful thing and I wouldn't stop at one cat! If you can give two FIV+ cats a home go ahead and do so. Keep in touch, and the very best of luck with your new family.

Here's Bob
rsz_020.jpg
My favourite picture
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Catnip time with the family
Photos would be nice!

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by RubyRed123 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:48 pm

Thanks so much everyone!! I really appreciate the support. I just want to start as we mean to go really and not make too many mistakes. I love Bob and his furry siblings btw!

It turns out we can't have the other cat because he has some health problems which they can't resolve and they are not planning on letting him go- he is going back to his foster home imminently so all good. It's disappointing but there were no guarantees the cats would get on anyway and the one we are hopefully getting is quite shy so I think he might be better on his own for now. They are all in individual pens so he doesn't have a friend now (we wouldn't have left one alone). The rescue implied they wouldn't usually give 2 house cats anyway.

I read somewhere else not to feed raw food because of the immune issues but it sounds like you guys do and it is all ok? The stuff I have got is all grain free and very high meat content (I think he is going to be an expensive new friend frankly!) So hopefully he will eat it!

The toothpaste stuff is called logic oral hygiene gel? If he won't let me touch his teeth, you can get him to lick at it. I used to do my dog's teeth and I think it helped a bit but i didn't start as a puppy which was a mistake.

The lovely lady at the rescue is going to try and find some vet recommendations nearer to us so obviously I will run everything past them, don't worry, but just wanted some advice from people who have actually got fiv cats as my friend the vet just said not to get him and wouldnt say much more so I was a bit worried vets aren't going to be that helpful. Obviously I won't take him to my friend.

Fingers crossed for the home check and then I will bore you all with pictures. I think he is super cute. I think he will need a while to settle as he is scared but he is very purry and happy to be stroked so I am sure he will be fine. Going to read the adoption tips and stuff now :)

Thanks everyone xx

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by Lilith » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:56 pm

Ohh, Bob the tripod - bless him! :D

Hi RubyRed,we've overlapped but I'll let this stand. I've no experience of FIV+ cats - at least not to my knowledge. My elder two are ex-feral teenagers.

I'm afraid too that I feed a 'mainstream' diet, including Encore, which they love, but this isn't a complete diet; I tend to use it as a relish to brighten up boring complete pouch food like Felix - and of course it's a boon if a cat needs tempting for any reason.

Raw? If I'm cutting up beef or venison to stew, my youngest cat adores a strip to gnaw on and trimmings of anything like this cause some interest. Perhaps I ought to get my head more seriously round this and feed more raw! I realise I feed 'convenience food' to my guys, but they do well enough on it. They're positively menacing!

I do hope you get your cat/s soon, please keep in touch, look forward to pics and all the very best :)

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:26 pm

The vet we were using when we found Bob was of the old school and would have recommended pts for him. The new vet we took him to is a little more enlightened (especially after I gave them a copy of the FIV book). The 'old' vets is now in new hands and we took the kittens there for their health check - MUCH better than before! :D They have a younger team of small animal vets. (And no Lilith, I don't mean the vets are small. :lol: just before you say anything!)

Forgot to mention, they DO get some raw meat. The evidence suggests they get more than their fair share of mouse and shrew heads and the occasional bird :o :? :evil:

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by Lilith » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:01 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I envisage walking into the consulting room and peering over the table to find, peering up at me ... a small vet ... :lol:

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by Jauntyjet » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:22 am

If you’re ever unsure about finding the right vet check out catfriendlyclinic.org which is an international programme run by the International Society Feline Medicine (ISFM). Vets have to earn their place in the programme to be recommended.

As to an FIV+ cat, my two-cents is - if the personality and the cat feels right - do it. It’s not difficult to care for a cat with FIV, and the vet bills and food bills (in my experience) are no more than any other non-FIV cat would be. Jet spent the first 5 1/2 years in the WLPA, never adopted because he’s black. He lived in an area with another 30+ cats who were a mix of FIV and non-FIV. As time went on he was black and older and typically people want younger pets. He’s fully trained, already socialised with humans and other cats and the sweetest cat I’ve had.

Food - he gets 2 wet meals and some dry food to nibble on. No different to any other cat, no special diet or raw vs tinned - whatever I fancy buying he’ll eat. The only extra thing I do due to his FIV is grind a lysine pill (from the supermarket, human cold sore pill) and add it to his wet food every day. This is what the shelter recommended as it helps in boosting their weakened immune system.

Indoors/outdoors - Jet is fully indoors. If I had land or even a backyard where I could put an enclosure out I would, alas it’s apartment living for us.

Health - only recently has he begun getting lip ulcers, which could be caused from bad teeth, allergies or even the FIV. This has caused us to go to the vet and of course $, but I think if I can afford to buy a new pair of shoes or a cup of coffee each day, I can damn well afford to help him get better.

For me - FIV cats shouldn’t have this negative stigma about them. They’re cats, just cats, and can be as moody, fickle, playful, loving and (sometimes) annoying as any other cat out there.

#adoptdontshop #fivcats @jauntyjet_thebigblackcat

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Re: Adopting an FIV cat?

Post by Lilith » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:08 pm

Well said, Jauntyjet :)

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