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Can FIV+ and FIV- cats live together?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid I stupidly don't know anything about FIV. Only that none of my cats have it. I was under the understanding though that FIV+ cats must go to a home with other FIV+ cats for fear of transmission. Isn't that why we have vaccines for it? and testing for it?
I'm only asking this because the foster organization I work with is trying to get me to take in a foster that is FIV+. I told her I can't because none of mine are FIV+ and none of mine are vaccinated either (because it's just us and they are indoor cats, so there's no fear of the illness). She said she puts FIV+ and FIV- cats together and has never had a transmission. Maybe I'm very naive when it comes to this, but isn't that wrong? Can't they catch it?
Someone please enlighten me.......
post #2 of 17
I was under the impression that FIV spreads through like fighting & mating. I know several people have had FIV+ & FIV- cats living together..... I don't know for sure, though.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, I just read up a little on FIV and it says that it CANNOT be spread through casual contact like litterboxes, food, water, snuggling, etc. It can ONLY be spread through blood transfusions and very serious deep bites.
If this is the case then I will have no problem bringing this little guy home, but understandably I want to make sure (100% sure!) that it does not jeopordize my clan in any way at all!!! They come first - always.
If there's enough of you here that know of FIV and know a lot about it and can assure me it's safe, I'll take him in.
Any of you currently have FIV cats? or have them mixed with FIV negative cats?
Thanks!
post #4 of 17
I have a good friend on another fourm that has an FIV+ cat living with her other 8 cats and everyone is fine. She actually just had all the cats tested recently as well to make sure. I believe that as long as there is no shared blood it is difficult to pass from one cat to another.
post #5 of 17
Some people don't want to take chances with FIV but from many experiences and personal friends who do this, I think it is perfectly fine to keep FIV + and - cats together. It can only be spread through mating and very serious puncture wounds. Even an occational "fight" between resident cats doesn't usually result in serious bites. So unless your cats routinely rip each other to shreads or they aren't spayed and neutered, then it is perfectly fine to let them all live together.

It is FeLV+ that you cannot keep with FeLV- cats. That is spread really easily and there should be no chances taken.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well - he's coming. She managed to convince me (the lady at the foster home I help out). She just kept saying how sweet he is, how much of a lap cat he is, etc and how unhappy he is at his current foster home. I'm such a sucker!
post #7 of 17
Here are a few links that might prove to be helpful. FIV can still spread to your cats, however, from what I am reading the risk is not too great. FIV can be spread through mutual grooming, but the most common way for it to spread is through biting.

Scroll down almost all the way to the bottom looking for "FIV Transmission"
http://www.vetinfo.com/cfiv.html#FIV%20Transmission
http://www.fabcats.org/fiv_000.html
http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=213

ETA: Looks like we all three posted at once! Glad you're brining him home...can't wait for pics!
post #8 of 17
Treat what I say as just one person's opinion, because people will probably dispute it, but...

I've had 2 FIV+. Both the FIV+ have been really mellow, sweet kitties, but some of my other cats can be nasty. Because of this, I don't let them interact unless I'm there to supervise. My first FIV+, Old Tiger, did not spread the disease. I had everyone retested after he was gone. My second, Pip, is also only allowed to run free if I'm there to keep an eye on things. He's not at all aggressive, but I have a couple others who play *very* rough. I've opted against giving all the others the FIV vaccine, mainly because there is so much dispute about its effectiveness, and because after vaccinated, my cats will all test positive unless I have PCR tests done, which is expensive.

Given the choice, I would take an FIV+ in any day over other problems I've dealt with. My cats don't fight to the extent of having deep punture wounds, but I'm not comfortable leaving them together 24-7 with no protection. I've had people tell me that their FIV+ and FIV- cats have lived together their whole life without ever spreading the disease. I believe them. However, I have a couple kitties that I don't trust 100%, so I will continue to separate them when I'm not there to supervise.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
Treat what I say as just one person's opinion, because people will probably dispute it, but...

I've had 2 FIV+. Both the FIV+ have been really mellow, sweet kitties, but some of my other cats can be nasty. Because of this, I don't let them interact unless I'm there to supervise. My first FIV+, Old Tiger, did not spread the disease. I had everyone retested after he was gone. My second, Pip, is also only allowed to run free if I'm there to keep an eye on things. He's not at all aggressive, but I have a couple others who play *very* rough. I've opted against giving all the others the FIV vaccine, mainly because there is so much dispute about its effectiveness, and because after vaccinated, my cats will all test positive unless I have PCR tests done, which is expensive.

Given the choice, I would take an FIV+ in any day over other problems I've dealt with. My cats don't fight to the extent of having deep punture wounds, but I'm not comfortable leaving them together 24-7 with no protection. I've had people tell me that their FIV+ and FIV- cats have lived together their whole life without ever spreading the disease. I believe them. However, I have a couple kitties that I don't trust 100%, so I will continue to separate them when I'm not there to supervise.
I completely understand what you're saying and this was my concern as well - rough play, but from what I understand it has to be very rough! That said, I have found out that the personality of this little guy is extremely docile. He's very very laid back, like a little lap warmer I'm told and will not confront anyone. He's very easy going. So, I think we will be ok. I"m going to keep him separated until he adjusts and then we will do supervised visits only. If I see that he is truely extremely docile as she says then maybe with time he can interact with everyone on a regular basis. (Actually my hope is that he's not here long enough to do that though. Not cause I don't want him, but because I obviously want to see him go to a nice permanent family soon)
post #10 of 17
A friend has a FIV+ and a FIV- cat for years and never had any problems. From the sounds of it, I think you'll be fine, but absolutely do not risk your own kitties!

Good luck and can't wait to see his pics
post #11 of 17
I personally would do it - but they would be introduced very carefully and only left alone if neither were fighters. There was a study quite a while ago done in Glasgow, and the transmission rate was as low as 1-2%, and even then, it didn't affect their lifespan, if anything, they had longer, maybe due to being kept as indoor only cats. Good luck with him.
post #12 of 17
Two of our cats, a brother and a sister, tragically died of it very early in life...the risks are there, but the cats still can have a good life, even if they are carrying the disease.
post #13 of 17
I know a lot of people who have "mixed" households and no problems at all...
post #14 of 17
I recently was helping out a friend who has been feeding a colony of ferals. We were trapping, neutering and releasing them in order to manage the colony. I fell in love with a little kitten as well as one of the other full grown cats as he was sooo friendly compared to the ferals. He would walk up to you and let you pet him. I was planning on adopting them both. WHen I went to pick them up I noticed one of them wasnt the righ cat. SO ....I got my correct cat from downstairs and brought it home. WHen I went to the vet I had him tested as he wasnt b/c they thought I wanted the other one. (When I went to get him I didnt even think about him being tested as I was so happy I didnt take the wrong cat) To make a long story short he is only 2 years old and he is FIV positive. THe kitten is negative. I am so nervous about them living together as the kitten is playful and Im afraid they are going to fight (although the FIV pos. cat is so mellow and sweet) . On the other hand, I feel so bad if I was to bring the FIV positive cat back to the colony. He was so friendly, not like the others. I know he will be fed daily and he sleeps in my friends shop when it is cold, but I feel lik eIm giving up on him. When I think about keeping him I feel like I jeopordizing the kitten.
I need some advice.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMSCATS View Post
I recently was helping out a friend who has been feeding a colony of ferals. We were trapping, neutering and releasing them in order to manage the colony. I fell in love with a little kitten as well as one of the other full grown cats as he was sooo friendly compared to the ferals. He would walk up to you and let you pet him. I was planning on adopting them both. WHen I went to pick them up I noticed one of them wasnt the righ cat. SO ....I got my correct cat from downstairs and brought it home. WHen I went to the vet I had him tested as he wasnt b/c they thought I wanted the other one. (When I went to get him I didnt even think about him being tested as I was so happy I didnt take the wrong cat) To make a long story short he is only 2 years old and he is FIV positive. THe kitten is negative. I am so nervous about them living together as the kitten is playful and Im afraid they are going to fight (although the FIV pos. cat is so mellow and sweet) . On the other hand, I feel so bad if I was to bring the FIV positive cat back to the colony. He was so friendly, not like the others. I know he will be fed daily and he sleeps in my friends shop when it is cold, but I feel lik eIm giving up on him. When I think about keeping him I feel like I jeopordizing the kitten.
I need some advice.
All I can offer you is the research I've done since I've posted here and it seems that it can only be transmitted through Blood Tranfusion, Breeding, or deep bites. The bites for the most part have to be extremely deep (into the muscle) from what I've heard and are very unlikely to occur. Most cats that get FIV are outdoor Toms and that's because their fights are serious business and the wounds are deep.
That's all that I've seen so far and I feel comfortable enough to take this little guy in now and eventually introduce him to my clan.
I think you'll be just fine with yours as well.
Good luck!
post #16 of 17
My current FIV cat Pip had already been neutered when I adopted him. I'd been feeding him for a couple years behind the building where I work, but he wasn't easy to catch. He'd wait until I went to my car before he'd come and eat, but eventually he warmed up. According to a kid who came by one day, his owner died. This tells me that he was already neutered when he went out on his own. He'll run from the other cats before he'll fight, but he still has FIV. So...he either had it all along, or contracted it during the time he was on his own. To look at him, you wouldn't think he'd been in a fight in his life. We don't know how old he is, but the vet estimated 6-8.

Old Tiger looked like he'd had a rough life, so his FIV+ result came as no surprise to me. But I do wonder how Pip contracted the disease.

A second cat, Cliffie, that I trapped out of the same parking lot was so sick I actually thought I was taking him in to be euthanized. He came back negative for everything, and after weeks, no....more like months, of treatment, he's the picture of health. Sometimes it makes no sense at all.
post #17 of 17
I just get nervous that if one day I had the negative one tested and it came out positive and it even turned into full blown aids I would feel terrible.
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