You’ve probably heard of FIV, and if you’re like most people, you’re not quite sure what it is.

Is it contagious? Does it require any extra veterinary care? We have answers to all those questions and more!

First, here are some FIV facts you should know:

  • First and foremost, it stands for “feline immunodeficiency virus” … and it is very common!
  • If left untreated, it weakens cats’ immune systems and makes them vulnerable to obtaining second infections.
  • An FIV-infected cat may take years to show symptoms.
  • Symptoms include: enlarged lymph nodes, fever, anemia, weight loss, poor appetite, diarrhea, inflammation of the eye/gums/mouth, skin redness/hair loss, sneezing, eye/nose discharge, behavior change and more.
  • The virus is primarily transferred to other cats through bite wounds. It can also be passed from mother to kitten.
  • Indoor cats are least likely to contract FIV – more aggressive, outdoor male cats are most susceptible to it.

And here are some myths we want to bust:

  • FIV is not the same thing as FeLV (feline leukemia virus). And it’s not “cat AIDS.”
  • The virus by itself is not life threatening!
  • Humans cannot contract FIV.
  • The virus is NOT commonly spread through shared food bowls and litter boxes, grooming, and other common types of contact. You do not need to keep FIV-positive kitties away from other kitties!
  • If you keep your kitty in a safe, happy and healthy environment, there is no additional veterinary work needed outside of regular check ups! Many times, FIV-positive cats do not even show symptoms.

*If you suspect your cat has contracted FIV, please visit your vet ASAP.*

Our friendly FIV-positive kitties!

Now that you’ve learned what FIV is (and more importantly, what it ISN’T) you may be starting to realize adopting an FIV-positive cat is not a scary thing. In fact, kitties with the virus that are kept happy and healthy live long, comfortable lives and do not require extra work on your part. Cats that happen to have this condition deserve a loving forever home just as much as the next cat.

If you’re interested in giving an FIV-positive furbaby a chance, you’re in the right place! At Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society, our mission is to provide a safe, peaceful haven for ALL KINDS of cats!

Meet some of our cuties below:



Cutie pie Carl was rescued from a life on the streets, and he is so grateful! This adorable boy has beautiful brown tabby fur with a white bib and “boots,” big black-rimmed green eyes, and a cute pink and bro wn nose. Sweet and friendly, Carl is ready to cuddle up with his people in his forever home. Carl enjoys having his soft fur stroked, rolling over on his back to flirt, and long naps by a sunny window.  Captivating Carl is FeLV-negative, up to date with vaccinations, microchipped, and neutered. His birthday is estimated to be around 2/21/2012.




Axel gets happier by the day. His health is better than it probably has been in a long time, he’s learning how to play, and he loves kittens! He would love a forever home with other friendly cats, but no dogs or children please! Also, he would love his forever owner to understand he LOVES food! And by loves food we mean… he may or may not have figured out how to open kitchen cabinets. Axel is a part of another local foster-based rescue, Holisticat. If you think you might be the family Axel is looking for, please submit an adoption application on Holisticat’s website.



Cheeks was found outside a Holisticat volunteer’s home with her colony of outside cats. He was either dumped or wandered away from his home! No one came looking for Cheeks and he had no microchip. Cheeks is on the hunt for a forever home where he is the one and only kitty/pet. He recently was neutered, dewormed, vaccinated for age AND had a dental. Cheeks is a part of another local foster-based rescue, Holisticat. If you think you might be the family Cheeks is looking for, please submit an adoption application on Holisticat’s website.


And a success story … lucky Leo!

And now we have a tale that proves FIV kitties CAN and DO find their forever homes! Lovable Leo was recently adopted by someone with a huge heart who could see past his FIV-positive stigma and was willing to give him a beautiful second chance. A sweet and adorable boy, Leo is very playful and enjoys all kinds of toys. He also loves to be pet and brushed, and adores napping in sunbeams and even watching movies. Happy life, sweet boy!

Contact us today to learn more about adopting our featured kitties!


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