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What is FIV?


You may have heard the term FIV being used when talking about a cat, but what does this actually mean?

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a viral infection of cats that occurs worldwide. It is a species-specific virus so there is no risk of infection for people or for other species that come in to contact with FIV positive (FIV+) cats.  It can however be transmitted to other cats. FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through bite wounds during fights or through mating. Another, less common mode of transmission is from an FIV infected mother cat to her kittens. FIV infection will be diagnosed by a vet using a blood test.

Cats with FIV can live a perfectly normal life, quite often you wouldn’t be able to tell they are any different to your average healthy cat.

Spartacus and his sheep


He was one of our FIV+ cats who had to be rehomed to a rural location and as you can see, he is loving life and ruling the roost.  He spends time with the sheep who clearly love him as much as he loves them. He is groomed every day by the owners two little daughters who adore him and he gets to spend as much time as he wants patrolling the area, hunting and posing for photos.  A great result for this boy and the perfect home for an FIV+ cat.

Caring for a cat with FIV

There is currently no cure or any treatment that can be given to deal directly with FIV. Cats that are FIV+ have a lowered immune system so are at greater risk from infections, they may need regular vet checks and treatment for any infections more regularly than a healthy cat might. They are still able to lead a normal life with a good life expectancy.

The individual cat’s personality will determine what requirements they would be looking for in a home. For some cats, they will be happy being slightly more confined and either live as an indoor only cat, with appropriate levels of enrichment, or in a property with an outdoor enclosure for them to sunbath in or an enclosed garden. Other FIV+ cats may still need to be able to explore, so will need to be housed in a rural location where they will not come into contact with other cats.

Could you offer a FIV+ cat a home?

We’re looking for special people to rehome our FIV+ cats. Get in touch if any of them pull on your heart strings:

45200 Poppet KS Website

Poppet   45200

Poppet is a very handsome boy whose name reflects his nature. This gorgeous lad is a real poppet! He is friendly and relaxed, and simply adorable. He is FIV+ which means he will need a rural home where there are no other cats in the surrounding area or he could go somewhere with cat-proof fencing on the garden. He loves people and he enjoys his time outdoors.

Max  Black and White FIV  Cat

Max 41096 - REHOMED

Meet Max, a very handsome boy who is looking for a specific type of home. Max needs to live somewhere rural where there are no other cats around and where he can spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. He loves being outside but this sweet boy also loves the human touch and food - lots of food!

44094 Oliver KS  4  Website

Oliver   44094

Oliver was found as a stray, and as a result of looking after himself for too long, he can be a rather scared boy. Oliver has slowly build up his confidence, and can be a affectionate cat, but he is now looking for a home where he will be loved and looked after. Oliver is FIV+, so he needs a home in a rural location where there are no other cats around.


163954 square

Leo 42579

This handsome chap is called Leo. He was admitted to the centre after his owner moved away and left him behind. He is currently in a foster home, where he has thrived and is thoroughly enjoying being the centre of attention. Leo is FIV+, so needs a home where he is the only cat, with access to the outside in a very rural location. He desperately wants to be the only kid in the home, and as long as you promise to love him, feed him, and give him the occasional sip of tea, his heart will be yours.

Zebby   White and Black FIV  Cat

Zebby 42072  - REHOMED

Zebby is an extremely sweet boy who was sadly abandoned in a warehouse. He loves your company so will need a new family that has lots of time for cuddles! He goes crazy for catnip and enjoys a good fuss! Zebby is looking for a rural home away from other cats with have lots of outside space.

If you would like to open your home to an FIV+ cat and don’t see anyone that fits your criteria here, then please get in touch with us on 0300 303 9333.