HomeCat HealthFIVCaring for a Sick FIV Positive Cat


Caring for a Sick FIV Positive Cat — 21 Comments

  1. A beautiful article, Elisa.
    So many of us have had FIV cats.
    You are so right in writing that any sign of illness needs to be pounced on. URI’s, as with Brinkley, are one of the most common ailments.
    I can remember about 3 years ago taking 2 kittens in to a clinic I wasn’t familiar with (the TNR group wanted me to take them there) to be neutered, vaccinated, and tested in preparation for adoption.. When I picked them up, I was handed them in their carriers and told, “They are HIV positive. In case you don’t know, they have AIDS. If we had finished the test first, we wouldn’t have bothered to neuter them”.
    The outcome was that those 12 week old kits remained positive at 3 months but have very loving homes now and are thriving.
    But, some vet clinics are less than compassionate. This is the same clinic that blinded my sweet Dreama by over anesthetizing and ordered me out of the building when I went ballistic.
    They are no longer a partner in our TNR program.

  2. Excellent articles! Thank you for mentioning us as well! We have been working with these special guys for many years and the education is making a difference! We do well adopting FIV kitties out (compared to the past where NO ONE wanted to “take the chance”). We also are seeing through the success of TNR and educated people now accepting FIV kitties into their homes, we end up with much fewer intakes now too! A private home envirinment is OF COURSE BEST for a kitty but we do our best to help them live happy and healthy for as long as possible.

    We also highly recommend a product called Viyo Recuperation that is like a tasty gravy the kitties LOVE that can help ward off dehydration and stimulate them to eat. You can give by syringe, just put a bit in a little bowl or top it on wet or dry food! 3 bottles in a box for about $30. Just remember to refrigerate after opening. (Warning! The kitties may try to steal the whole bottle after just smelling it! Lol)

  3. Thank you for sharing! You helped educate others. Ironically, many adopters’ first questions are “Were they tested fr FIV & FeLV?” FIV & FeLV are a little different though, since FIV is harder to spread to other cats. Also, a trick I learned with sick cats is to use pedialyte. It helps boost electrolytes & hydration, & is pretty inexpensive. The trick w/ it though is it is only good for a few days once opened. I have two cats with feline herpes virus. Pedialyte mixed w/ Science diet a/d worked wonders when for them when I pulled them from the shelter as kittens. Thanks again for educating everyone.

  4. You may have to check around for a rescue with FIV cats up for adoption. I know in SC that Suzy’s Zoo takes both FIV and FeLV. The rescue who took our foster Alto was in NC. Facebook also has several pages to promote adoptions.

    • Laura’s the nurse in the family. She checks the cats daily and knows when one is getting sick. Brinkley hiding was our first clue.

      After reading all the horror stories of how cats hiss and growl at the vet I’m amazed our cats do so well when they have to go. Brinkley was an angel.

      People should give FIV cats a chance.

      • We had a FIV+ cat in foster for a good couple of years. Beautiful girl named Maggie. Only problems she had was the odd snuffle. Briliantly someone saw past the myths about FIV and she was at last adopted by a couple earlier this year.

        • Also there is an excellent free booklet called 80 FIV Cats written by the owners of an FIV sanctuary that is so worth reading for people who know little about the virus other than the early studies, which had flawed data.

            • There are so many who would just suggest “euthanasia” in that booklet. Catworks accepted that for none of the cats they took in unless there was nothing that could be done. The most interesting thing is the illnesses that got the more elderly FIV cats were ones that affect a lot of negative elderly cats, not FIV related conditions. Enjoy the read, it is an eye opener on many attitudes in rescue and vet work towards FIV.

        • The article linked into this one about FIV cats being kept with healthy cats was really eye opening. People who know of Brinkley ask me whether its safe to keep him around the other cats but he’s so calm and doesn’t fight so it is safe.

          We fostered a FIV ginger boy named Alto who was aggressive and didn’t like other cats. He lived in my master bath for 3 weeks until a rescue could take him-with the warning he needed to be an only cat. He loved people. I had contacted the shelter about taking him back and they told me he’d be killed. So the master bath was the only option.

          • Yeah the 80 FIV Cats booklet more or less dispels the whole FIV+ should not be kept with negative cats thing. So many people are scared of the virus but a little bit of research shows that with good care, as Brinkley so obviously has, FIV+ cats can live long lives.

    • The food and KMR are just as important. You can’t let a sick cat get dehydrated or it may die. Dehydration can happen very fast with a high fever. We keep sub-q fluids on hand but thankfully Brinkley doesn’t need them.

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