Monday, January 31, 2011

eHow Member Stories: Virginia and Susan | eHow Blog | eHow.co.uk

Ehow in the United Kingdom did a story on Virginia Allian, my cat Sam and me.  Sam is my rescued Siamese cat that was infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Leukemia.  Sam's story has helped cat owners to understand that the feline viruses are not death sentences. 


I started this blog; Feline Leukemia and other cat conditions and treatment tips in April of 2009.  That is when I first learned that Sam was infected.  Since then I have received messages from people all over the world and I know that this blog has helped cat owners and has saved cat lives.  I write about my cat Sam's life and how I have cared for him I share the products that I used to build up his immune system which enabled him to eliminate the feline Leukemia virus in the 3rd phase.  

In 2009 when Sam was diagnosed the veterinarian was insistent that we euthanize him, he said it was best for the cat and for us, and it would spare us from suffering.  As I type these words I am watching Sam out of the corner of my eye, he went into the guest bathroom and was Mr. busy cat, he got a roll of toilet paper and he is decorating my office and is having the best time. Sam is alive today because I said NO to euthanasia.  Sometimes you just have to listen to your heart and have a little faith in yourself, your cat and in God.

I want to thank all of you who have supported this blog, and I would like to thank Virginia and Mecca the Community Manager at eHow.com for believing in my cause.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adopting Cat with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus



Adopting a cat that has a health concern is never easy however if you love cats and are a nurturing type of person then you will save a cat with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) life.  

There are so many homeless and stray cats that test positive for the antibody for feline immunodeficiency virus however because these cats are strays there is no way of knowing if the cats were vaccinated and thus the blood test could be a false positive. 
FIV cat plays with dogs on the bed

Feline immunodeficiency is commonly referred to as FIV, AIDS or Cat AIDS. This viral infection attacks the infected cat’s immune system and makes it difficult for the cat to fight off infection. FIV has infected cats worldwide as it is transmitted by saliva or deep bite wounds.  The virus enters the other cat’s blood stream and the cat is infected for the rest of their life.
 
Many animal shelters are euthanizing cats that test positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency virus).  However, studies show that there is no need to euthanize these cats.  
Normal as Sam can be, he has FIV

FIV cats that carry the antibody can live long and relatively healthy lives in households where they are the only cat. Or they can live with cats that are not infected provided they get along and do not fight.  I have three FIV kittens that were raised with two healthy cats.  The two healthy cats have never been infected with the feline immunodeficiency virus.  
My cat Sam had FIV since 2008 / he is a rescue

The cat relationship is normal.  The adult cats took care of the kittens with grooming and they ate out of the same bowl.  They did not fight or bite each other.  The kittens are now age two.  I also have Sam my rescued Siamese cat.  He does not get along with other cats so he resides in my office and is with me and my dog 7 to 8 hours a day.  We tried to socialize him with other cats but he is a fighter.  

FIV cat Sam sleeping in Water container

Getting Home Read for your Adopted FIV Cat


The cat owner would have to provide a sanitary lifestyle by keeping the home spotless and litter boxes clean.  You would not want to weaken your cats immune system by exposing them to unnecessary germs.   


The indoor temperature would need to be an average temperature of 72 degrees.  You do not want your cat to be cold or hot. You would also need to feed an FIV cat a quality high protein diet with low carbohydrates.  Canned cat food that is supplemented with antioxidants. Supply the cat with filtered water and provide a stress free environment and your FIV cat should live a long life.  


A cat that is infected with FIV cannot go outside unless it is to an enclosed shelter that is safe from interaction with other cats. 
FIV cat plays with toys


No Kill Animal Shelters

I have noticed many cats that test positive for feline immunodeficiency virus at the private no kill shelters and these cats appear well groomed, in good healthy and happy.  While the virus does not have outward symptoms one will be able to note if the cat is lethargic, or has a weakness.  

The no kill shelters will offer cats that have the FIV antibody for adoption because the cat is healthy enough to live in a household with no other cats, and will live a relatively long life.  All these cats need in their life is a forever home where they will be loved.  I believe that adopters are passing by these cats because they are afraid of the virus and feel that the cat will infect humans or the cat will be sickly.  

A cat that is infected with the FIV antibody has the same mannerisms as normal cats: they play with their toys, they love, and they cuddle with their people.   


FIV cat Sleeps more:


The only difference that I can see is that Sam and the two kittens sleep more than the other cats.  Sleeping more is not an issue for me, and it should not be an issue with adopters. 


Long Term Care for FIV Cats


Your FIV cat will need to go to the veterinarian for a wellness check up as soon as you adopt them.  

The veterinarian will exam your cat and he may test their blood. Thereafter your cat will have yearly preventative check-ups.  If you cat shows signs of cold; sneezing , runny nose, tear staining then you must contact your veterinarian for medical care.
I recommend that you do not turn your back on a cat that has the FIV antibody. If you have a household that does not have any other cats then this situation is ideal for an FIV cat.  It would be stressful to try to socialize an FIV cat with other cats simply because they may fight.

Note: 
  • A cat that is vaccinated for the prevention of  Feline Immunodeficiency Virus will show a false positive for the rest of their life. Many veterinarians do not vaccinate cats for this reason.
  • There is no cure for feline immunodeficiency virus.
  • Spay or neuter your cat and treat them with flea preventative as the biting fleas will cause infection. 
  • Keep all veterinarian appointments.
  • All members of household must get annual flu vaccine.
  • To date I have adopted 5 cats that have tested positive for FIV.  To look at them they appear as normal healthy cats.
What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?  Learn more by viewing this video: 




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Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Creative to Keep My FIV Cat Hydrated



Cats like humans need water to sustain their health and well being. A cat can skip meals however they need to hydrate their bodies to prevent illness; bladder infection and cysts will occur if the cat is not hydrated.

My cat Sam shows no interest in his water in his bowl and I needed to find ways to get him interested in water so that his body would be hydrated. Sam has feline immunodeficiency virus and his life needs to be an equal balance at all times. Any change to his happy life could make him sick.  I must watch his water intake to make sure he stays hydrated.

 It is not uncommon for cats to avoid drinking water and pet owners must get very creative to entice their cat to drink more water. If your cat shows signs of illness and is staring at the water bowl, but not drinking then contact your veterinarian. Otherwise for all other finicky cats that need to be coaxed into drinking more water, here is what I suggest.

The first thing that I needed to do is determine if Sam was getting his daily water intake from another source; fish aquarium, faucet, cup in the sink or toilet. To achieve this I measured the amount of water going into his water bowl. Sam is 10 lbs and his daily water intake needs to be 3/4 cup to 1 cup per day so I filled the his bowl with one cup of purified water.  I cleared my schedule so I could watch Sam's drinking habits.


I discovered that Sam did a balancing act on the aquarium and drank a little fishy water in the morning, then in early afternoon he drank some lactose free milky water in the sink, followed by licking up the droplets of water in the shower and in the evening he charged to the guest bathroom and attempted to drink from the toilet while it was going down the drain. 

At the end of the day I poured his water from his bowl back into the measuring cut to determine what he drank and Sam drank 4 tablespoons of water. I learned that Sam did like water, as long as it was flavored and interesting. I had my work cut out for me and I was determined to wean him off his bad water habits and get him to drink water from his bowl as I was certain that he was not getting enough water to keep him hydrated.

Update:  The best way to keep your cat hydrated is to make water fun. Since Sam enjoys water movement I got him a pet water fountain at amazon.com.  It took him some time to figure out that he was suppose to drink the water.  At first he played with the water but soon he learned that he could drink the water and now  Sam loves the water fountain