FIV-Positive Cats Deserve a Forever Home Too


DORI: Welcome everybuddy to another episode of Kick the Litter, a brand-new feature here on It’s a Wonderpurr Life where members of my family, comprised of cats from varying backgrounds, generations, and breeds, gather each week to mix humor with intelligent debate over Hot Topics that pertain to not only us, but to cats in general all over the world.

We hope by daring to meow about these risky topics we will educate humans who sadly are still living in the Dark Ages when it comes to cats.

Today's Hot Topic up for discussion is:


Joining me today are Elly, Chevy and my daddy, Nikolas. One out of the three is not positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, otherwise known as FIV+. By looking at their faces, care to guess which one?

ELLY: Hi, I’m Elly. Tomorrow is my sixth Gotchversary. Yes, tomorrow February 17th. When I arrived in the yard of my future Forever Home, I was a little over a year old. I had made friends with a handsome mancat named Noah who told me he knew where I could find food. I’d been living in a colony for a while, but that was a scary place. So, I followed Noah to a yard that smelled of raccoons and dog food. I thought Noah maybe had lost his mind, but he looked expectantly at the house, and soon a lady came out with kitty food and fresh water. She was so nice, and I wasn’t afraid of her at all. A couple days later she took me to a doctor so I could be adopted. That’s when she got the bad news. I was FIV+.

NIKOLAS: I arrived in the yard of my future Forever Home along with my lady, Annie, and four kittens right before Christmas. We were cold and hungry, and Annie was sick, always coughing and sneezing. But we had four kittens to feed, so we stayed and ate dog kibble until the family returned from the holidays and found us. I was lucky to get adopted by this family along with my daughter, Dori. While she became an indoor cat, I had issues about spraying stuff, so I was given a nice home in the garage. I could come and go as I pleased, and I had a couch and heat lamps and lots of love. I even had a roommate, Jesse, who looked like he could have been my brother from another mother. I truly had won the jackpot.

CHEVY: I celebrate my sixth Gotchaversary on March 27th. Yes, 2017 was a busy year to be adopted by the family at my future Forever Home. I was around two years old give or take a few months when I stumbled into the yard that smelled like raccoons and dog kibble. I’d not enjoyed my life as a colony cat and had a reputation for fighting. My ears were chewed badly, and I had an aggressive attitude when it came to making friends. But I was tired of scrounging for food and getting run off by dogs and cat-haters.

Then I met Nikolas and Jesse. While Jesse was aloof because he was shy, Nik was outgoing and friendly. Nik and Jesse had been talking about putting a garage band together and I mentioned I sang and played drums, so he invited me to a jam sesh at his place. That's where I met the lady who had adopted them. 

I remember her giving a big sigh when she saw me looking up at her from beside my pals. Remember, she had just adopted Elly, and later I found out she’d adopted Candy some months before, and Frank the year previous. She said to me, “Sweetheart, I’m running out of names. Think about what you want me to call you while I get you something to eat.” So, I crawled onto the hood of the car to think about this huge decision. The only names I knew were mean ones like Scat, Shoo, Damn Cat. Well, turns out I didn’t have to come up with a name because when the lady returned with noms, she took one look at me sitting on the car hood, and said, “Welcome to Casa Koz, Chevy.” I have no idea what a Chevy is, but now that’s my name. 

Then I got put into a cage and went for a medical exam. And that’s when we all got the news that I was FIV+. With the condition of my ripped ears and my attitude, my new mom wasn’t surprised.

NIKOLAS: But you never tried to fight with me or Jesse. You were always nice to us.

DORI: I heard a rumor that while Momma and Hwermie were enjoying the sunshine, yoo jumped the fence into the yard and attacked him. Yoo rolled him, making Momma fear for Hwermie’s life.

CHEVY: Yeah, that was a huge mistake. Especially when I later found out Herman was a celebrity with thousands of Twitter friends, a book deal and had walked the red carpet at Blogpaws in Vegas. I guess I was acting out of jealousy. I mean, he was all white and clean and fluffy, and I still stunk like a tom cat.

copyright KimberleyKoz

ELLY: But you didn’t lose your home.

CHEVY: No, but I never saw Herman again. And I certainly never got invited to tea inside the house like you did.

DORI: Momma told me about another girl she tried to rescue about five years before Elly. She was also a petite panther like yoo, and she was about to give birth. So, Momma took her to a vet to get checked up, but they told her she was FIV-positive and strongly suggested she be euthanized. Mom didn’t know about FIV kitties and trusted that vet. Five years later she had found another veterinarian who was instrumental in us discovering we had black mold in our air ducts. That’s what killed Momma’s cats Nicholas and Cookie. This new lady vet told Momma Elly would be able to live indoors with everyone else. That being FIV+ wasn’t dangerous because Elly was not a fighter.

CHEVY: And that’s why I’ve remained a garage cat. I rolled Herman. Mom still doesn’t trust me all these years later.

NIKOLAS: But she does, buddy. How many times have you been allowed to hang out in her office? And there has been a lot of times when you slipped into the house to wander around while the indoor cats were eating breakfast. You’ve never once fought with me or with Jesse while he was a part of our garage band.

ELLY: And this past year Daddy started picking you up to carry you outside to the Catio to get fresh air. He’d always been leery about handling you until he finally realized how nice you behaved when he was in the garage. So, he took a chance and picked you up. Walked you through the house to the Catio where you sat in his lap to cuddle.

CHEVY: I never once tried to bite or scratch him.

ELLY: You aren’t the same cat you were six years ago.

DORI: So, let’s discuss why humans may be reluctant to adopt an FIV+ kitty. The biggest myth is that your saliva can transfer the virus by sharing the same water bowls, food bowls, and grooming each other.

NIKOLAS: Happily, there is now scientific proof that the virus stays inside the cat’s mouth, and therefore FIV is passed from one cat to another through deep bite wounds. The kind that typically happen during fights over territory. I read that on the ASPCA website.

copyright KimberleyKoz

ELLY: The virus is very fragile and can’t live outside the body. It’s destroyed by being dried, and from light, heat, and cleaning detergents.

CHEVY: Is that why Mom threatens to wash my mouth out with soap?

NIKOLAS: No, that’s from you using bad language when you’re hungry and demanding an early dinner.

ELLY: I’ve learned the mucous membrane is also an effective barrier to the virus, so even if the virus does enter the cat’s mouth, it’s unlikely to cross the mucous membrane and will die inside the cat’s stomach.


ELLY: Some researchers believe that for the virus to really and truly infect a cat through the mouth, it would need to be 10,000 times as much virus present for it to achieve infection.

DORI: Sex?

CHEVY: No can do. Nootered.

DORI: No, I mean, can the virus infect a kitty through sex, like HIV does for humans?

ELLY: No. Despite the virus being found in kitty semen, it seems our immune system can better ward off the virus through sex than it is through aggressive bites.

CHEVY: Another reason humans may not want to adopt an FIV+ kitty is because they think we don’t live very long. Why get all attached to a cat when he’s gonna be dead within a couple of years?

ELLY: When I Googled that question, I read about a ten-year FIV monitoring project at the Glasgow Veterinary School involving twenty-six cats had results with a higher percentage of FIV negative cats dying during the period of study than the FIV positive cats. Therefore, FIV infection did not affect a cats’ life expectancy.

copyright KimberleyKoz

DORI: A kitty who contracts the virus will usually have a strong immune system for many years. It’s only as they age that effects of the virus may start to show. But even then, the infection can be treated with medications.

CHEVY: Plus having love and a good home contributes greatly to our overall wellbeing.

ELLY: It’s not unusual, these days, for FIV positive kitties to reach fifteen years or more. Therefore, if veterinarians continue to push euthanasia like that one did to our mom, then they need to go back to school. Euthanasia is now inappropriate and inhumane.

DORI: So, what’s the take-away for today’s Hot Topic?

NIKOLAS: Do your research. Ask questions. Find a rescue group that specializes in FIV positive cats. There are a bunch of FIV Positive supportgroups on Facebook for owners.

CHEVY: Also, if a stray has wandered into your life who was like me, never having had a home, please be patient and understanding that it takes time to work the aggression out of our personalities. I have never bitten anyone, human, or cat, since getting adopted. I’m a nice guy.

ELLY: You are, Chevy.

NIKOLAS: Couldn’t ask for a better roommate.

CHEVY: Awww. *head bonks*

ELLY: For more information about adopting an FIV positive kitty, please click the following links.

CHEVY: Let us know in the comments if you have ever lived with an FIV+ kitty, or known someone who did, or had concerns about living with one of us.

NIKOLASTo everyone joining us today, thank you for your time. If you’ve enjoyed today’s show, I invite you to share it with those who may also enjoy our panel discussions. And please consider adding your email to our list – located on the sidebar – so you don’t miss next week’s Hot Topic: Adopting a Purebred over a Shelter Stray.

DORI: *huge sigh* I guess that means a notorious AssWabbit will have to pawtissypate in our panel discussion since he's the only purebred in our family.

Until Next Time…


  1. That's such great information and incentive. We have never had an FIV+ cat but have several friends who have and they all did really well.

    The Chans

    1. Dear Chans, thank yoo so much for stopping by. If yoo learn of others who are confused about FIV+ kitties please refer them to us. Love, Dori

  2. I've not had an FIV cat. I am so glad to read the news that it is not passed on from sharing pet bowls. I did not know that. my neighbor had 2 kitties, one with FIV and the other not. They lived very long lives inside together, though not really friendly to each other. I always knew the 2nd cat did not catch the disease. Now I understand why. Dori, you and the rest of the crew did a great job today.

  3. Great information & ❤️ how it was shared

  4. Such an excellent post and fabulous info! We'd have no problems with an FIV+ kitty or two. When we trapped Maxwell and Macy they could have been, but they weren't, but we'd adopted them regardless.

    1. I'm so happy they weren't. Being informed is needed today. We can't just put our trust in veterinarians who are only hoomon and don't know everything.

  5. We've had a couple of cats that were FIV + and with regular care they lived happy lives with no harm to our other cats.

    1. Chevy and Elly are really nice kitties. Chevy really got his act together once he realized he was getting a home and would be loved for the rest of his life.

  6. Great post. I agree FIV and FELV cats deserve to be adopted too and not euthanized. XO

    1. Thank yoo, Miz Ellen. We need hoomons like yoo to spread the word. Love, Dori

  7. I do enjoy your conversations, and it is very important information to get across to people.

    1. Absolutely! Thank yoo so much for stopping by. Love, Dori

  8. This is a really good post about FIV. Great news too :)
    More info leads to better understanding and treatments :)
    Purrs, Julie

  9. I think all cats deserve to live a good life .Even sick deserve a happy life.
    FIV cats can do well. People just need to be educated.
    Purrs, Julie

  10. We adopt out FIV+ kitties at our shelter. None of mine have had it, but i wouldn't be averse to adopting one just because of FIV status.

    Thank you for joining Feline Friday!

  11. Epic news report guys! Amber is FIV, and is still going well at 20! Happy Caturday sweeties! ❤️

  12. That was a furry impawtant post for Us, considering Mummy's current dilemma (see Our latest post).


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