I'm intending to adopt a cat. My specific circumstances are that i live in a flat, one floor up, right next to a busy road. A cat door is out of the question, and i would not be comfortable allowing a cat to come and go so close to a busy road.

After lots of careful thought and looking online at cat's protection to see what cats they are offering for adoption, I have noticed that most cats that are available for adoption, that are comfortable as indoor cats, have FIV.

Raising a kitten to be an indoor cat is not really an option as I would not have the time to litter and house train it properly, as i work 5 days a week.

Now, I do not believe it would be fair to adopt a healthy cat and keep it indoors as i believe all cats should be allowed outdoors, especially if the cat has previously been allowed outdoors. But a FIV+ cat cannot be allowed to mingle with non FIV+ cats, which would actually fit my position well.

I want to give a FIV+ cat a good, loving home. But could some of you fine folks give me an idea of what it's like to care for a FIV+ cat and what may be involved? First hand accounts from FIV+ cat owners would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    You say letting it out is not an option because of cars (wise move, indoor cats live around 3x longer than indoor-outdoor cats), but then say raising it to be indoor is not an option either? Kittens older than 8-12 weeks shouldn't need to be "litter trained," they should already be used to using it on their own.
    – HC_
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


I have an FIV+ cat, and for us it hasn't really been much different than before he was infected except we can't let him out as much, and we're more attentive to his behavior so we can get early indicators if he starts to get sick. We also have a non FIV+ cat that we let out on demand, and it hasn't been a problem.


I have 2 female cats. One was adopted 2.5 years ago when she was a kitty, and the second one was homeless, we took her from the street. I don't even know her age. I only can think by her teeth she's about 7-8 years old.

I live in a flat, and don't allow them go out at all. There are always cars, neighbours' dogs, even not very kind people (people who don't like pets at all and are always ready to hurt them).

What do I have to say? They feel themselves perfectly. They eat, sleep, play with us and each other, use litterboxes. I work 6 days a week, from 8am to 8pm, and wash litterboxes in the morning and in the evening. I guess my pets have a perfect life. Moreover, when I come home and open the door, at first they are interested what's going on in the hall, but then get frightened and run into a flat, hiding under the sofa :) They are pets now, and they got used to living inside, so I don't even think they would survive if they go outside one day.

As for me, I don't think that letting a cat go out near a bus stop is a good idea. I would better prefer they live inside all their lives.

Cats can be infected with FIV from mother cats with milk or with bites. In general, FIV cats behave and live normally long years - they eat, play, sleep. But any disease can kill them. That is why letting out FIV cats isn't a good idea. Healthy ones can be infected if they have fights with other animals, and the FIV cat can catch a disease. At home they both definitely will live longer.

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    This doesn't seem to address the question, which was about how living with and caring for a cat infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus differs from doing the same with other cats. Can you clarify that connection?
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 3:42

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