Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FIV Cats Develop Cancer

In 2008 I rescued  a stray black and white  kitten that was constantly getting into fights.  This little cat had a big heart but was no match to the feral tomcats, so I befriended him by feeding him twice a day and soon he became dependent upon me. Then I coaxed him into my mud room by leaving the door open. Once the cat came into my house he made no attempt to run out the door. He came indoors on his terms and I welcomed him to my home.

Manx cat outdoors

The kitten was approximately five months old. I took him to the veterinarian and he was tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the test came back negative. I had him neutered and he got all of his vaccines and rabies shots.
Black and white kitten rescued

All was well with this little black cat. He adjusted well with the other cats in my care and was sweet and loving. He was buddy’s with my Manx cat as they used to play and sleep together. Then one day my Manx cat got out of the house and he was gone for 28 hour, when he came back indoors we noticed fur was missing and suspected that he got into a fight.  I examined him there were no bite wounds.

My Manx cat was a gentle giant and never showed aggression so I was surprised when his behavior changed and he turned into a trouble maker.   His behavior changed for no apparent reason and he wanted to fight with my black cat. After a two ruckuses where the fur was flying and Manx cat had bitten my black cat and caused an open wound I took both cats to the veterinarian for a wellness exam because something was wrong.

The cats teeth was the first system that my veterinarian noticed; they both had inflammation of the gums and dental disease, other than that my Manx cat had changes in his behavior. Even though our cats had the ELISA blood test which identifies the FIV proteins in cats blood previously my veternarian suspected that the  cat had symptoms of this incurable disease. 

To my surprise  both cats were diagnosed with FIV.

We found out that our cats tested positive for FIV in December of 2013 and from that date forward their health seemed to fail due to a weakened immune system.   Both cats developed cancer  and it spread very quickly.  My  cats were put down September 2014 they were both six years old.

 I suspect that my Manx cat was infected with FIV during the time he had gotten out of the house for a day and a half.  He must have had a puncture wound that I did not see when I examined him. 

This is why a recommend that everyone  keep there cats indoors because there is no vaccine to prevent the feline immunodeficiency virus.  Know that FIV  is transferable by bite would. Even a mating love bite is enough to infect a queen cat and her kittens. 

I think it is better to keep cats indoors and be safe rather than sorry. 

Note: my Siamese cat named Sam has had no contact with these cats as he resides in another area in our home and only has contact with humans and with dogs.  Sam has no stress and is as healthy as an FIVcat can be.  
Sam my FIV cat hanging out with me in my office

Had I known that my Manx and Black cat were infected with FIV I would have taken steps to provide them with special care. I have learned that no cat is safe from catching FIV especially if they are permitted to go outdoors. 

Learn more about FIV at Web MD Pet Health

Photo credit by Pixabay public domain