When I adopted my current cats last year, the folks at the shelter asked me if I would consider adopting some of their Feline Immunodeficieny Virus (FIV)-positive cats since I did not have any other cats at the time. The adoption counselor and I briefly discussed what this would entail, but since I had just come off of 6+ years of treating complicated diseases of elder cats, I wasn't ready for that challenge at that time.
But the counselor, the brochure she gave me, and the time I spent with Google didn't give me a very thorough understanding of the issues. So, because this question could come up again in the future, I'd like to know what the practical issues are in caring for an FIV-positive cat. Is day-to-day life pretty much the same as for other cats until the cat gets older? If not, what's different? (Diet, medicines, more-frequent vet visits?) Once the disease starts producing effects on the cat's health, what does an owner need to do to keep the cat comfortable and as healthy as possible?
I realize that every cat is different; as much as possible I'm looking for what is typical and how much variation there is.