It is said that cat aids transmission risks can be managed.
Cat aids is FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It causes immune deficiency and kills like HIV in people. It is not that uncommonly encountered and I am sure that there are very many cats in shelters that are diagnosed with FIV and subsequently euthanised. In fact about 1-3% of cats in total have the disease.
Well, even with such a disease that can kill, euthanasia is probably the wrong word because cats with FIV can live long and contented lives with proper care and aids transmission risks can be controlled to the point were there is a genuine possibility of safely adopting a cat with this disease even if the adopter has other cats.
As transmission of FIV is through cat bites and sex, old, neutered and well balanced cats who have the disease are highly unlikely to transmit it in households with well socialised cats.
Also the disease cannot be transmitted to people.
This sounds a little extreme perhaps, and in fact it runs counter to the advice of Drs Carlson and Giffin in Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. They say that “FIV-positive cats should be removed from or isolated from contact with others”.
But Cimeron Morrisey an animal rescuer and writer says differently and I am sympathetic to his argument (Cat Fancy magazine). Perhaps there is a gradual change in the concepts behind managing this disease.
I guess the answer is this. It is not a black and white situation. Under certain circumstances it seems that it is a viable option to adopt a cat which is FIV positive.
It is certainly acceptable it seems to me to do so if it is the only cat in the household and is a full-time indoor cat.
There will be few people prepared to adopt but as I have said before there is a great reward in caring for a cat that is ill and rejected or unwanted.
Lets hope that some people dispel their fears and prejudices and do it.
See Best Friends Animal Society: XXX – link broken Oct 2012 sorry.
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