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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:

Tabby  large stripped FIV  Cat

Tabby  - REHOMED!

Meet Tabby! Tabby is a lovely boy who was originally a stray and would love to find a forever home to call his own. He is very affectionate, likes being around people and is such a friendly boy. Tabby is looking for a home in a rural area with none or very few other cats within the neighbourhood.



Max  Black and White FIV  Cat

Max 41096

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! 


Winnie  Black  FIV  Cat

Winnie   - REHOMED!

This beautiful young lady is called Winnie, she is currently at our Heydon Centre desperately looking for her "forever home". Winnie needs a rural home where she can be given time to flourish. She is a sweet girl who is best suited to a calm, quiet home where she can have all the attention to herself. 


Buddy  tabby coloured  FIV  Cat

Buddy 39996

Big Buddy came to us as a stray and was being fed by a kind person but unfortunately the finder could not keep him. He will need a rural home or an enclosed garden, where he is away from other cats. This gorgeous chap may look like a bit of a bruiser, but he is a complete softie and really affectionate.


Zebby   White and Black FIV  Cat

Zebby 42072

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.