In fact, over the past few weeks the kitties have been passing a cold back and forth amongst them. Caster got the worst of it – he went to the vet twice, was sneezing blood, had to take two different medicines, wouldn’t eat, had Mom and Dad worried sick, etc. When Sassy started sneezing last week, I panicked. She had never been sick before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was terrified that the cold would progress to the level that Caster’s had, and that she would get even worse because she has a weakened immune system. Logical conclusion, right? Well, I am happy to say that it didn’t progress past the sniffles. She was sneezy and sniffly for a few days, and then it was over. She didn’t have to go to the vet, she didn’t have to take any medicine, and she never acted sickly. A cat with a supposed weakened immune system fought off the cold on her own, and did an even better job of it than a supposed healthy cat. (For the record, Caster is all better now! 🙂
This longwinded story is all just to say that FIV+ cats have a bad rep that needs to be turned around. People believe they are sickly, couldn’t possibly live long or healthy lives, and that they should be kept separate from all other cats. Some even believe they should be euthanized. I was told these things when we first rescued Sassy.
These misconceptions affect FIV+ cats’ ability and likelihood of being adopted. There are so many cats sitting in shelters, getting overlooked simply because they are FIV+. Sassy is just one example of an FIV+ cat who is living a happy and healthy life. There are so many more out there, and we need to help spread the word! This brings us to our next point… CATWORK!
Why is this important?
“By [answering this questionnaire], you and your cat could become important examples to help other owners,
and give new owners the confidence to care for their own FIV cat. You will be able to see how your cat compares with other FIV cats. You and your cat will be part of a vitally important information base that
could just change thinking and understanding about the virus and its effects. Those of us who know FIV cats, already know the truth, but we need to collect the evidence to show that to everyone else.” – from the Catwork website.
Catwork’s aim is to share the “real life” FIV – REAL stories of FIV+ cats and their families.
A few examples of the statistics that have been gathered already from this questionnaire:
Number of FIV+ cats who have been included in this study: 200 and counting, from around the world
Percentage of FIV+ cats who live in mixed FIV+/FIV- multi-cat household: 66%
Percentage of FIV+ cats who were reported to have dental issues (a supposed “common” problem: 19.5%
Percentage of FIV+ cats who were reported to have respiratory issues (another “common” problem): 12%
Not only is Catwork sharing their statistics from the questionnaire, they are also sharing their entire CAT-alogue! That’s right – you can look through the profiles for each and every cat that has been submitted. The profiles include everything from the cat’s age, lifespan, health issues (if any), general life story, and even a picture of the cat. You can also search the Cat-alogue and filter the results by country, single/multi-cat households, indoor/outdoor, and diet. I’ve already spent a good deal of time reading through the Cat-alogue. It is so awesome to be able to see real cats living with FIV who are 10, 12, 14, 16+ years old and who are healthy and happy!
To show our support of Catwork and all that they are doing for FIV+ (and FeLV) cats, we will be donating 100% of the proceeds from any bow tie or flower sales we have between now and Saturday, February 14th. So place your orders today! They are super cute and fashionable accessories for your pets, both cats and dogs. If your pet doesn’t wear a collar or wouldn’t like wearing a bow tie or flower, you might consider ordering one (or two) to give to the kitties or woofies at your favorite shelter. They may just help attract the attention of a potential adopter!