New cat Lolli, FIV positive, and our other 2 cats. Now what?

bikeman

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Haven't been to this forum in YEARS, but I'm back...

Lolli was a feral for his first year, is a huge, strong and very healthy proud looking male. He decided to become a house cat this spring, all on his own and has made remarkable progress in that regard, gradually moving to domestic life, cuddling in our arms, sighs of love and relief from being outside. Still has some wild in him, and can display that side in a second if he gets a bit angry. But otherwise, his temper is wonderful 90+% of the time. And still adjusting. He's been living apart from our other two elderly females, in a bedroom or a bathroom (and Lolli's not all that happy about that). Yesterday he tested positive for FIV.

We really really want to keep him. Problem is our two elderly females (~15 and ~16) also live inside and except showing signs of age, are healthy. We know very well there will be some defense posturing, territoriality disputes and just plain disagreements that will lead to scuffles and minor injuries among them. Heck, that happens between the elderly pair to this day from time to time. Cats will be cats. :lol:

The house is not big enough to forever keep Lolli from mixing with Junebug and Ember. We have learned that FIV is not a death sentence, but are crushed with the diagnosis and afraid of what might play out next.

We don't want to put Lolli back outside. He'll freeze to death or soon be eaten by a coyote if we do, and after the domestic life, would be cruel and heartless. If we mix the cats inside he'll no doubt find a way to infect the other two.

Logically, at 15 and 16, I'm thinking the older pair might die of natural causes sooner than any FIV related progressions - or am I totally wrong about that? I can't find much (or any) about elderly cats contracting FIV late in life and how it progresses at advanced ages.

Mostly, we've been despondent and devastated on what to do next. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
 

jen

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As long as they are introduced properly, which is sounds like you are doing slowly and just how it should be done, and he doesn't aggressively bite and draw blood on the olderly ones when they do finally intermingle, they should be fine. Positive and negative cats can live together just fine if they get along.
 
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bikeman

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They will fight, sooner than later. There's already attacking of arms and paws under the doors. But that's a natural part of the process of gradual mixing. I would really want to believe that things will progress smoothly, but from mixing new ones with current, six times or more now, blood/saliva transference is almost assured. I want to be positive, but things happen.

They have time for the adjustment now, since we need to proceed with de-worming treatment, so cat boxes, and cats themselves, will need to be separated for the time being.

But what if FIV is eventually transmitted? That terrifies us.
 

jen

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It only can be transmitted through mating (everyone is fixed right?) and through very deep puncture wounds. Not just casual grooming, saliva exchange, sharing bowls and litterboxes, etc. I have had plenty of positives and negatives living together with no issues if introduced properly. As long as your older girls aren't too stressed out over a newcomer.
 
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bikeman

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Kind and thoughtful words. And wisdom. Thank you.

This just in: Just found out they gave Lolli the FIV vaccine. First. Also distemper and rabies vaccine. Then they drew blood, 10 minutes later. That sounds totally backwards to me. Wife was Googling as I was writing the above two posts and it looks like there can be a false positive if the procedures were reversed, which we know as a fact, were. Yikes!
 
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jen

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Are you absolutely SURE they gave an FIV vaccine and not an FeLV vaccine? Those are much more common. Many clinics stopped with the FIV vaccine bc of false positive. Yes an FIV vaccine will cause a false positive. There are other tests that can be done though I believe to know more definitely. Please ask your own vet about what they can do to give you a definite answer.
 
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bikeman

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It only can be transmitted through mating (everyone is fixed right?) and through very deep puncture wounds...
Not completely, yet. The females were, long ago. We have not yet had Lolli fixed, as that was going to be the next appointment at the vet three weeks from now.
 
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bikeman

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The bill says FeLV and FIV combo vaccine. $53 charge for that. Expletive here. :angryfire:
 
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bikeman

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Just called the vet. The bill says the above. They now tell us that isn't the case. The TEST for FeLV and FIV is $53. Very confusing billing statement. But they also say the SNAP test is 90% or more accurate.
 
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bikeman

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Multi-week worm treatment beginning right now. This is going to be a long road.
 

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If he doesn't bite them with a puncture wound they are safe. Get him neutered, introduce slowly and maybe keep separate if he is a biter. My Wizard was fiv plus when I took him in, it was never transmitted to any of my others over many years together. He was very gentle and tame, no biting, no fighting etc. Except for Syb screeching at him when she first saw him and the watching his every move, then refusing to let him move in her presence for several weeks, he was eventually accepted and loved by her in time. No physical tussles etc. Once he jumped on Byron’s back outside when we all went for a walk, Byron looked at him like w t f and did nothing and he never did it again😹 I was afraid maybe he was aggressive😹😹 most gentle guy on the planet. Wizarduni lived to be 19 -20 years old and spooned with me every night of his life with me. The blood test which is sent out for fiv felv is more accurate.
 
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bikeman

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How old was Wizard when you adopted him? I am surprised you mixed them together knowing about the FIV diagnosis. But, that's about where we are, I guess.

Lolli will be kept separated from Ember and Junebug for now. In about two weeks his treatment for worms should be almost done, and one week past that, he goes in for the neutering. Then more time for healing, and we might try to re-introduce the three together for limited and chaperoned moments afterwards. I know it takes months (if ever) for him to calm down from the neutering. The final outcome is just so uncertain, not knowing if he will attack the females if provoked. He does have it in him, as he has bit and scratched us from time to time.

I feel absolutely terrible for the guy; we both love him dearly. Of course we are also scared for our other two, as they can hardly defend themselves at their respective ages. This situation sucks big time. We keep questioning ourselves if this is the stupidest thing we've ever done. Where the heck could he go if not for us? Not back outside, and not to a shelter as that also would be a death sentence.
 

Meowmee

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How old was Wizard when you adopted him? I am surprised you mixed them together knowing about the FIV diagnosis. But, that's about where we are, I guess.

Lolli will be kept separated from Ember and Junebug for now. In about two weeks his treatment for worms should be almost done, and one week past that, he goes in for the neutering. Then more time for healing, and we might try to re-introduce the three together for limited and chaperoned moments afterwards. I know it takes months (if ever) for him to calm down from the neutering. The final outcome is just so uncertain, not knowing if he will attack the females if provoked. He does have it in him, as he has bit and scratched us from time to time.

I feel absolutely terrible for the guy; we both love him dearly. Of course we are also scared for our other two, as they can hardly defend themselves at their respective ages. This situation sucks big time. We keep questioning ourselves if this is the stupidest thing we've ever done. Where the heck could he go if not for us? Not back outside, and not to a shelter as that also would be a death sentence.
I trapped Wizard by accident when trying to trap another cat for Tnr. He was totally tame so the plan was to have him adopted with a rescue I volunteered for at the time. ( where I got my Syb). But when he was vetted and tested pos fiv+ she would not put him in the cages but we still thought to find a private home maybe. She had had several fiv plus cats herself and told me they had not transmitted the disease to her other cats and that the infected cat had to be aggressive and bite a deep puncture bite to the other cat to transmit it. I knew Wizard would never do that because he was very gentle. I was a bit anxious at first but when I saw how gentle he was with my other cats in time I never even worried about it at all. And it never happened.

At that time no one prolly would have adopted him due to fiv and I already loved him so much, no way I would ever have let him go even if a home had been found. I still have a copy of an adoption poster I made. He loved me more than anything, I am so grateful he was in my life with me loving me. He saved my life many times over and he loved me like never before.

With Lolli it may be different because you said he is more feral maybe, and he has been aggressive with you, but hopefully in time he will be calmer and maybe he wont attack or even fight with your girls at all.

Take a long time to introduce them, and see how it goes. Otherwise you can keep them separate most of the time unless supervised. I had to do that with Quinn and Syb because he wouldn't stop jumping on her and hounding her. None of my cats have ever really fought or actually bitten each other though, I guess I was lucky.

I am worried about this with Quinn and Merlin now, I am hoping to get him adopted still but he has become more aggressive in supervised visits with Quinn, jumping on him etc. no actual biting and he stops if I yell stop. Keep a spray bottle handy when you introduce them etc. and be ready to grab Nolli. A cat who is used to being outside can still live outside if you set up a shelter etc for him and provide food, so that is an option as well if he becomes too aggressive with your girls. I think he will calm down with the neuter though hopefully. There is a charity I donate to called the blind cat sanctuary which also helps fiv and felv cats I think. I don’t know if they take cats in or what their process is but you can investigate too maybe. Another option is to advertise yourself for a private home as well. It is a long shot but worth a shot. Maybe someone with another fiv cat who needs a companion.

Here is my Wizard, dvm thought he was about 3 when I trapped him, he was not neutered then but still so gentle. He was part siamese or os. He lived a long, wonderful life.

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jen

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How old was Wizard when you adopted him? I am surprised you mixed them together knowing about the FIV diagnosis. But, that's about where we are, I guess.
Because it generally accepted as being perfectly ok to do so. The bite transmission isnt even a nip here and there, it is the deep puncture wounds males tend to give in the wild over territory and aggression over mating. It isnt your average day to day play nips. I have brought many FIV positive foster cats into my home and they all mingled with my cat just fine with none of mine ever becoming positive.

You just want to neuter this guy and give some time for his hormones to leave his body, can be a few weeks.... then they should be fine. I wouldn't worry so much honestly. I would focus more on the care of an FIV positive cat. Since their immune system is weakened he needs to be in top health. Have the vet keep an eye on his teeth and gums bc he will eventually need cleanings and extractions.
 
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bikeman

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Lolli just spent more than an hour walking around and near our two girls. He seems to have no anxiety being around them at all. Ember and Junebug, however, still have worries with that kind of proximity. Meetings are supervised.

Most of the bad boy stuff lately is jumping up onto counters and trying to eat everybody else's food other than his own. We have to move swiftly to keep ahead of him.

Lolli, at top left, oversees his prospective new kingdom, contemplates complete domination over cats, people, and inventories his new possessions. Below right are Lolli's future subjects - Junebug (rear pillow) and Ember.

 
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Meowmee

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Sounds great! I would not let him spend too much time with them until he is neutered, just to be safe. Looks like he has found his furrever home with two older sisters❤😻
 

Meowmee

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Lolli just spent more than an hour walking around and near our two girls. He seems to have no anxiety being around them at all. Ember and Junebug, however, still have worries with that kind of proximity. Meetings are supervised.

Most of the bad boy stuff lately is jumping up onto counters and trying to eat everybody else's food other than his own. We have to move swiftly to keep ahead of him.

Lolli, at top left, oversees his prospective new kingdom, contemplates complete domination over cats, people, and inventories his new possessions. Below right are Lolli's future subjects - Junebug (rear pillow) and Ember.

Wow, did not see your photo when you posted this, how did he get up there🤪
 
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bikeman

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Wow, did not see your photo when you posted this, how did he get up there🤪
I added the photo later. There is a stairway behind that. Just a step away from that perch. And not that it would matter with this gymnast.
 

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I added the photo later. There is a stairway behind that. Just a step away from that perch. And not that it would matter with this gymnast.
He looks very happy while the girls look like hmm we have a problem in our midst 😹
 
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bikeman

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He looks very happy while the girls look like hmm we have a problem in our midst 😹
That's about right. There is some apprehension among the girls. I think Junebug thinks he's cute, but Ember is kinda worried. Ember worries about a lot of stuff, actually. We let him out of his room for an hour or so each day, sort of like recess in grade school, but very supervised recess.
 
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