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cat of the month randy

Regal Randy teaches us about FIV

Lord Randolph – Randy, to his friends – is a special cat looking for a family home.

He is about three years and four months old. Last fall, he was found as a stray in the backyard in a Surrey neighbourhood. He tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and the veterinarian who treated him asked if Randy could move into the RAPS Cat Sanctuary.

Our Cat Sanctuary has special wings for cats with FIV … but this can be confusing to some people. Let’s take a minute to understand what FIV is – and is not.

First of all, cats with FIV can live long, healthy and happy lives.

Secondly, the virus is not easily transmitted and, in fact, cannot be transmitted through routine interactions between cats with the virus and those without it. Shared litter boxes, food and water bowls are not a concern. Cavorting and kibitzing are not a means of transmission either.

FIV cats also present no harm to humans or other species, as the virus is limited to felines exclusively.

As science around the issue has progressed, researchers have founded that, not only is the virus not transmitted through casual contact, it is not even transmitted from infected mothers to new kittens.

How the virus is most commonly transmitted is when an infected cat bites another cat and breaks the skin. This is the interaction most likely to transmit the virus. So … what does this mean?

A spayed or neutered cat with FIV who is properly introduced and socialized to a non-FIV cat in a home environment should coexist harmoniously with its housemates. And two or more FIV-positive cats can live together without concern.

At the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, we keep FIV-positive cats separate from the larger population because we can’t be sure that an incident might occur in which an overly playful or deliberately aggressive action could infect one of the residents. In most domestic situations, though, FIV and non-FIV cats that coexist in a friendly way can live happily together for years.

So these are a few facts about FIV. Now back to Randy …

He is sweet, playful, fun and affectionate. He is a very adoptable little cat and, despite the discussion above about the ability of FIV and non-FIV cats to live well together, we happen to think that Randy would thrive best in a good home where he is the only cat, although he could possibly live with another non-aggressive cat. He’d also love hooman brothers or sisters, as he is friendly, high energy and needs a lot of stimulation.

If you are considering adopting a feline companion, Lord Randolph is looking for a home where he will be treated in the aristocratic manner his name suggests.