Lifeline Adoptions, Inc.

We Foster to Adopt Special Cats & Kittens Rochester


IS It Possible To
Adopt FOR The Cat
 As with other special needs cats, we try to encourage folks to think about adopting for the sake and benefit of the animal as a strong motivator. We can be so fortunate and blessed finding our furry friends because of what they give to us, so freely.  We believe we can turn right around, at the right time in our lives, and freely give back, in the form of adopting (or fostering) a FIV+ cat. Read below to get the facts.

 Number of FIV+ cats adopted, so far  = 29

(includes cats placed while volunteering before founding Lifeline Adoptions Inc)


First identified in 1986, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a lentivirus in the retroviral family that can depress or compromise a cat’s immune system. Sometimes referred to as “Cat AIDS,” the virus is species specific and is transferred only between cats. The primary modes of transmission are deep bite wounds and mother to kitten during gestation.

FIV is considered very difficult to transmit, due to the depth of bite (usually only seen in ferals or strays, fighting for territory, food or mates.) Furthermore, there needs to be sufficient quantity of the virus. There is also a delineation between being exposed to the virus, i.e., having antibodies, and having the virus itself. Many kittens who were exposed prenatally, are able to shake the virus which is why it's necessary to re-test at 3 months and 6 months. We have seen cats as old as a year who have reverted from FIV+ to negative. Infection rates vary greatly by geography, but it is estimated that approximately 2.5% of owned or kept cats and up to 23% of stray and feral cats in the United States are FIV+.

Historically, FIV+ cats were summarily euthanized, due to contagion myths and phobias leading to viewing these cats as un-adoptable. But with continued research and adoption experiences, the facts are becoming steadily clearer. FIV positive cats can lead long healthy lives, as has been the trend in certain milieus and veterinarians and rescue folks have increasingly been seeing. For example, in 2015 Love and Hope Sanctuary in Franklin, NY, began phasing out its FIV specific section because of demonstrated long lives and high adoptability of these cats. This is due to trends inside the shelter of FIV cats living since their formation of the Santuary, thriving and healthy.

With good nutrition, low stress, supplements and loving care, FIV+ cats can remain asymptotic and healthy as long as uninfected cats, who might develop diseases as part of their natural aging and biological morphology. Strangely, we have observed the occurrence of cancer in FIV negative cats at disturbing rates juxtaposed to the high number of FIV+ cats adopted out that still remain asymptomatic.

Contrary to the belief of many, FIV+ cats can be intermingled with uninfected cats. Lifeline Adoptions has adopted out the majority of its FIV+ cats into mixed households, without a single incident of transmission of the virus. We do urge anyone considering adopting a FIV cat from anyone other then us, to do their research, talk with us, or a knowledgeable vet and follow safe proven methods. For example, what is the temperament of your current cat or cats? Are you thoroughly examining the history of each cat and assessing current living circumstances? It also cannot be overstated, how important it is to follow KNOWN techniques and methods of introduction of a new cat into environment with current cats. Minimally, introduction should take at least a week, meaning, it should take that long for the new cat to be fully interacting. Of course, it can be sooner depending on a number of variables. But this should be the template for adjusting new cats into households. See our page on Helping Cats Adjust. 

At present there are no cures, but some studies point to the possible efficacy of anti-retroviral therapies (having demonstrated decreasing FIV viral loads), albeit these are cost prohibitive for the average person. There are some promising immune-boosting products available currently that include Super C, L-Lysine, and Colloidal Silver. Important to note is that Colloidal Silver has made a comeback in the last decade as evidenced by hundreds of empirical studies and research experiments, revealing that CS is capable of destroying certain strains of HIV. Although this cannot be scientifically generalized to FIV, it does lend credibility to the potential of using CS to fight FIV. Currently, Lifeline Adoptions is using CS on all of our FIV+ cats and will measure white blood counts compared to pre-administration of CS at nine-month intervals. Additionally, studies are taking place to establish the efficacy of a drug known as T-Cyte, considered to be curative as well as prophylactic. 


Discussion of FIV and Non FIV Living Together Study Done   < click to read


Another excellent and informative article on FIV and non FIV co-mingling.   <<< Click


 We Cannot Do This Work Alone -

Monroe Veterinary Associates (MVA) Helps

 (Typically, free health exams are provided to adopters from Lollypop or Rochester Animal Services.Our adopters get one from just three
cat vets with short expiration period. This certificate can be used at ANY MVA vet, and for a full year.)
Love and Hope Animal Sanctuary Phasing Out It's HIV Specific Room Due To Internal Trends of FIV Cats Living Longer and Being Adopted in Different Areas!

Image result for love and hope animal sanctuary

Since the sanctuary was seeing so many FIV+ cats living so long and being healthy, largely due to low stress, wet food diets and lots of love from staff and volunteers, they decided to begin to home as many of these previously defined “unadoptable” cats, and are hoping to eventually close the FIV room. This is a trend that was not expected and we are so glad to be able to be supportive of this and also acting in unison with them whereby we strive to place FIV cats in homes that might not have a decent chance otherwise.

We have produced a booklet about our experience with the FIV cats that have lived in our sanctuary. We hope it will prove a useful resource for those who have to make decisions about FIV cats.

Catwork has been a private sanctuary for cats with special needs since 1996. 

We took in our first FIV positive cat in 1997, since when we have cared for more than 80 cats with the virus.

They came to us at various ages, and in various states of health. The vast majority stayed with us, in the sanctuary, for the rest of their lives.

Through the experience of caring for these cats, we have learned what the FIV virus really means to a cat.

There is, sadly, a great deal of misunderstanding about the virus. What one reads is mainly based on academic theory rather than practice, making it misleading at best.

It is imperative that animal rescue groups and individuals deal properly with FIV cats. So our mission now is to pass on the information we have learned - the cats have taught us, now we want them to teach you.

This booklet explains the practical reality of FIV cats, based on our direct, hands-on, experience of caring for 80 FIV cats over the last fifteen years.

We want to distribute it to everyone who has decision-making responsibilities for FIV cats, so that all decisions are made on the basis of knowledge and understanding, rather than myth and hearsay.

If you care about cats, please request a copy of the booklet.

Thank you for taking the trouble to learn the realities of FIV.













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