Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is not a death sentence. Cats with FIV can live a long and healthy life just like any other kitty with proper nutrition. It kills me when I hear about veterinarians recommending to euthanize a cat when diagnosed with this. There’s simply no reason for such cruelty.
FIV is a retrovirus that affects a cats immune system health, much like HIV in humans. Cats with FIV are more susceptible to other illnesses due to the weakened immune system, but much of that is avoidable if caught early.
I feel for those who work so tirelessly at shelters, as they have such a hard time placing FIV positive kitties in homes. They are working hard to help dispel the myths around feline immunodeficiency virus, but the truth is that potential adopters usually want a cat without any known health issue.
One of the myths about feline immunodeficiency virus is that it is highly contagious. Foster kitties will sometimes be kept separate from the rest of the cats for this purpose. While this is a contagious disease, it actually requires a pretty deep bite wound that draws blood to transmit it from cat to cat. They won’t get it from sharing dishes or bathing one another.
We need to pay attention to diet and supplementation with FIV+ cats. Because there is no real “treatment” for FIV, offering them a healthy diet and immune boosting supplements will give these cats the best chance at living the long, healthy and happy lives they deserve.