Aggressive FIV kitty I've had for 5 years

Chris Ekstedt

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Portia is my muse and has been a big love of mine. I adopted her from the SPCA not knowing she was FIV positive. They had irresponsibly taken her back after she had gotten loose and someone found her except they neglected to re test for FIV. I could not give her back knowing they would not take good care of her and she'd been through enough (the place was nasty and air unbreathable).

My problem is I have two other cats in the house and one I'm fostering that I rescued. She is aggressive to both and has started chasing my foster. I have been loathe to ask the rescue I'm working with to find this kitty another foster mom as they mischaracterize her and I'm afraid she'll end up being crated for quite some time (they think she is disabled since she has a lame hind leg...she is most certainly not and is actually athletic). She's also shy and they've deemed her 'not so adoptable' because of that (BS she's sweet and adorable and we're buddies..it just takes patience).

Does anyone know how to handle this aggression? This FIV cat of mine has been with me 5 years and she's 14 years old. She has been hostile to any cat I've had in the household. Any input is appreciated.
 

cataholic07

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Have you tried gabapentin? Has she recently been to the vet for a full workup including bloodwork/urine? If not I would do so. An FIV cat should get it done twice a year. You confirmed the FIV with a pcr test and not just a snap test?
 

Jcatbird

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One thing that I noticed with a cat colony is that a lame cat may be urged to stay hidden by other cats. I can only guess that this is a natural instinct since the injured or weak can be open more to natural risked. In other words, the dear one that has a damaged leg could seem a risk or could be urged to hide for safety. It can be many other reasons too though. First, do all cats have their own private place to escape the others for quiet time? That can help. I have also dealt with FIV cats and have one now. Marcus is my current FiV. He is a little aggressive too. He is not a young cat and he seems more agitated when he isn’t feeling his best. I have had him vet checked since that is always the first thing on my list with any cat problems. We are looking at some minor arthritis issues and he may be wanting peace and his own territory at the times he is uncomfortable. He has a room where the others are not allowed to enter. He seems perfectly content there when he is having a tough day. Kidney and dental issues are the thing that most affected my last FIV cat. He was a very calm cat but did begin to have some discomfort later in life so checking the FIV kitty often is a good idea. Diet is something else that helps my FIV kitties. Your vet can advise on most of these issues but if territory and just being the older resident is the problem, maybe try a Feliway diffuser or some separate space, like a shelf or cat tree for any kitty that will use it. There is music online that is specifically to help to calm cats. It works for some. Bravo to you for all you are doing! Thank you for helping these kitties!
 
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Chris Ekstedt

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Have you tried gabapentin? Has she recently been to the vet for a full workup including bloodwork/urine? If not I would do so. An FIV cat should get it done twice a year. You confirmed the FIV with a pcr test and not just a snap test?
I'd be hesitant to sedate her. She's lethargic enough. Yes, she's been to the vet and is happier now that we've addressed a UTI that she had. The FIV test was not a snap test. It's also evident with the way she keeps getting respiratory issues and some infections that she's in fact FIV. She's playful but still aggressive towards both my orange cat (with whom she's lived for 5 years), the cat I lost in 2020 and this new one. Seems to be in her dna or something and probably why she has FIV in the first place. She was adopted from the SPCA but got out somehow and someone brought her back. They did not retest for FIV and I did not know she had it when I adopted her. I can imagine not much to do. I'm exploring having someone else foster the new kitty. The orange cat I have can fend for himself. Thanks for the input!
 
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Chris Ekstedt

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One thing that I noticed with a cat colony is that a lame cat may be urged to stay hidden by other cats. I can only guess that this is a natural instinct since the injured or weak can be open more to natural risked. In other words, the dear one that has a damaged leg could seem a risk or could be urged to hide for safety. It can be many other reasons too though. First, do all cats have their own private place to escape the others for quiet time? That can help. I have also dealt with FIV cats and have one now. Marcus is my current FiV. He is a little aggressive too. He is not a young cat and he seems more agitated when he isn’t feeling his best. I have had him vet checked since that is always the first thing on my list with any cat problems. We are looking at some minor arthritis issues and he may be wanting peace and his own territory at the times he is uncomfortable. He has a room where the others are not allowed to enter. He seems perfectly content there when he is having a tough day. Kidney and dental issues are the thing that most affected my last FIV cat. He was a very calm cat but did begin to have some discomfort later in life so checking the FIV kitty often is a good idea. Diet is something else that helps my FIV kitties. Your vet can advise on most of these issues but if territory and just being the older resident is the problem, maybe try a Feliway diffuser or some separate space, like a shelf or cat tree for any kitty that will use it. There is music online that is specifically to help to calm cats. It works for some. Bravo to you for all you are doing! Thank you for helping these kitties!
My foster has her own bedroom that she can retreat to fortunately. Sometimes my FIV cat tries to go in and I'm constantly having to 'herd cats' since she was able to access that room before the foster and she considers it her territory. She's had a UTI now treated and seems happier but still hates cats and loves me :-) This is the way it's been for 5 years with my other 2 cats (one deceased now but now a new foster) The foster needs to go elsewhere both because of my FIV cat's aggressiveness and the little wild thing foster keeps getting out of my house. I'm trying to get her to another foster. Thanks all for the input..much appreciated!
 

Jcatbird

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A UTI would make anyone aggressive! ;) So glad that is better! I have one cat here that would like to be the only cat. She is actually mother to another but she just prefers to get all the pets that humans can provide. She does not attack but she will hiss. Every cat is different. I have had a lot of kitties come and go here but she has managed anyway. I have lots of residents. If the little foster is an escape artist, it may be because the aggression is intimidating or kitty is just a real Houdini!! Hopefully a great loving home will turn up soon. Good luck and kitty kudos for dealing with it all! Bravo!:clap2::goldstar:
 
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