What is FIV?
What is FIV?
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a feline only, slow-acting virus. It is so slow to progress that most FIV+ cats die of old age.Once thought to be deadly and highly contagious, it has since been found to be neither. Just as HIV was once believed to be a death sentence for those afflicted, so it is still with FIV. Only in the case of cats, the mere diagnosis produces that death sentence … carried out by those who really should know better.
When prescribing death, one must be current on the relevant research. The stakes are simply too high for decades-old information to determine policy.
How Is FIV Diagnosed?
A simple blood test called ELISA is used to diagnose FIV. It is often routinely given to cats as they are admitted to animal shelters. Particularly if they are injured.
However, the test itself has a fundamental problem — it does not measure the actual virus, as most people believe. Instead, it merely records the presence of antibodies to the virus.
Antibodies are microscopic organisms that actually fight the virus. Due to many “false positive” results (20% and up) from this test, if a cat tests positive it should be retested later. That is very rarely done because of the cost. Killing is cheaper.
Cats who have been vaccinated AGAINST FIV by loving owners, will test positive FOR FIV antibodies! This leads to false readings all of their lives. So if they are ever separated from their owners, they are literally “marked for death.” An act of love becomes a death warrant.
A Misinterpreted Test With A Lethal Result
Many shelters (both “Kill” and “No-Kill”) routinely “euthanize” all cats who test positive for FIV antibodies.
We’ve seen that the test itself is questionable because it measures the wrong thing. What about the result? Euthanize: such a pleasant sounding word. So much better than kill, slaughter, or murder. Yet the result is the same. Undeserved death.
“Half of the 8 million dogs and cats that end up at U.S. shelters are euthanized.”
-according to the Scripps Howard News Service.
Year after year. Why?
The solution is quite simple: “Just Say No!” … to killing FIV+ cats.
That is our primary mission, to stop the routine slaughter of perfectly healthy cats.