Categories: FIV

Handsome cat overlooked at rescue center for 125 days because he has FIV

Twizzle is a handsome white-and-black cat with an attractive face but he has FIV – the cat version of human AIDS which has blunted his chances of being adopted even though FIV cats lead normal lives of a similar length to other cats. There is an argument that cat lovers should avoid equating FIV with human AIDS as it scares people off. That said, nowadays, AIDS does not carry the same fear factor it seems to me. Two men have been cured of it.


The average stay at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for a cat is 23 days. The only reason for Twizzle’s lack of success in adoption is his illness.

FIV is contagious cat-to-cat but not to humans (not zoonotic). In the USA it is believed that 2-4% of cats are affected.

The key point to make about the transmission of this disease is that:

‘contact is not a major mode of transmission. There is no evidence that the disease is transmitted by mating….bites during fights among toms are a source of virus transmission, especially as the virus is shed in saliva’.

If a person is adopting a single cat for the first time, Twizzle would be a good pet provided he was well cared for (Battersea will advise). He’d live a near normal life and have a near normal lifespan so he should be adopted. I worked out that the lifespan of a FIV positive cat is around 2 years less on average than that of healthy cats.

If cats with FIV are well cared for, they live long, normal healthy lives. – Jane (Everycat)


Many studies indicate that FIV+ cats live as long as FIV- cats. And…FIV itself does not cause severe clinical signs and FIV infected cats live many years without health problems. (Hartman, Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 2011)

In multi-cat households the situation is obviously different because of possible fights but transmission is relatively (relative to other diseases such as herpes virus) difficult.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Twizzle is a handsome guy and Irelynn is gorgeous. FIV kitties are all deserving of good homes. I bet Twizzle will find his human companion soon, especially after calling attention to his situation. 😢💜💜🐾

  • When will idiot humans and some animal shelters learn that an FIV cat is NOT A DEATH SENTENCE,I have an FIV cat,my 'Irelynn' is FIV and she is as healthy today as she was when she was a kitten that I rescued off a busy bridge,people need to get educated on FIV cats,our own shelter test kittens at 6 weeks and most times the result will be a False/Positive due to being tested to early,they should be tested at 6 months of age,not 6 weeks and our shelter euthanizes the kittens that do test False/Positive which IMO is egregious.

    • Thank you! I'm so glad someone else feels the same way. They are beautiful kids and should never be passed over because of FIV. I really hope this sweet boy will have a forever home soon. This just breaks my heart to see him still alone....Irish, can I just say that your daughter is beautiful!

      • No thanks needed Mary and ye are correct they are beautiful moggies and I too hope the boyo gets adopted,if I didnt have a herd of 13 I would take him in a hot minute and thankye Mary for ye comment about Irelynn.

        • You are most welcome. And can I just say that I love your accent which I can hear through your typing! May the goddess always bless you and your furkids forever more.

      • Michael, is there any way to make it so we can edit our comments if we find an error?

        • I understand your request. I am bit reluctant to change the comment software in case I lose all the current comments (82,000+). The Facebook discussion which are comments can be edited. Sorry for the frustration. I'll correct your typo in your first comment and amend the second accordingly.

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