Dear Porky and Buddy,
Yikes! I took in a stray cat last winter.
He had been hanging around my back porch looking pathetic and it got to one of those 10 below nights and you know how that goes.
The next thing I knew he was in my bed with me. He was thin but seemed to be in pretty good shape and he had already been neutered so one thing led to another and I only just now got around to getting him to my vet to check him out, get him his shots etc.
So, now that I have gotten very fond of Mr. Slim, I found out that he is FIV positive! My vet said that he seemed to be in good health at this point and I don’t have other cats right now so not to worry too much, but I feel like such an idiot.
What should I do?
Let’s get this straight. Out of the goodness of your heart you took in a stray cat who would probably be dead by now if it wasn’t for your kindness, and yes, you really should have taken him to the vet sooner (but one thing led to another) and, let’s face it, if you had taken him in sooner you would still have an FIV positive cat who has stolen your heart.
Why do you feel like an idiot and not a saint???
Here are the simple facts straight from our friends at the ASPCA.
FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, a disease that weakens a cat’s immune system. Cats with FIV can live full, long, happy lives with proper care. Humans, dogs and other animals cannot contract FIV. Other cats can contract FIV—and that’s why you should adopt an FIV-positive cat only if you have no other cats or you have only FIV-positive cats.
So what should you do? You need to be vigilant about any illnesses that Slim Jim might develop. Because his immune system may be weaker now or may become weaker over time, early intervention for infections is critical.
Many FIV cats have dental problems so you need to watch for that. And of course you need to keep him inside. You should be careful to feed him a high quality cat food.
Feel free to ask your vet for recommendations and for more practical advice about caring for your new best friend. And then go buy more cat toys to enjoy his company even more.
Speaking of saints . . . you could be one too by adopting Shadow, a gorgeous FIV positive cat up for adoption on the Oswego County Humane Society website.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone is 207-1070. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.oswegohumane.org