This page: FIV cats face many problems, but sadly, the worst can be if they are rescued! We have examples which illustrate the problems they can face.

What we are up against

Introduction to the risks faced by FIV cats

It would be quite understandable for anyone who finds a stray cat and hands it over to a mainstream rescue organisation to think they had 'saved' the cat - sadly, that is often the one action that could lead to the cat's death - particularly if the cat is old, very timid, or has any health issues (including FIV).

All too often these cats are deemed 'not suitable for homing' and are put down. This is not 'rescue' or 'protection', but a selection process to home the more easily homed - with many so-called rescue organisations, this is particularly so if the cat tests positive for FIV.

There has for many years been a series of misunderstandings about cats with FIV. However, over the last ten to twenty years, much has been learnt, and many of the old myths have been shown to be wrong.

However, very sadly, there are still many obstacles to a full understanding about the virus by everyone - some still perpetuate the old myths, and others still destroy healthy cats simply because they have the virus.

Although there are many very good rescues around, it is a sad fact that there are also many 'so-called' rescues who still put FIV cats down simply because they have FIV. So anyone who hands a stray over to one of them, thinking they are saving the cat, could actually be putting the cat at even greater risk!

One of the most dangerous times for a stray can be when it is rescued - ironic or tragic - either way, it is wrong!

A few examples of where things have gone wrong for FIV cats have come to our attention - we have not gone looking, they are just examples that have come to our notice - as such, they are probably just the tip of the iceberg, how large the iceberg is, we dread to think.

Here are the few examples we know of, which illustrate some of the dangers that still lie in wait for FIV cats - even those who have supposedly been 'rescued'.

Blackie's betrayal
This is a particularly tragic story of a rescued stray, whose rescuers were offered help by the local Cats Protection Branch to get him neutered. This went tragically wrong when he tested positive for FIV, and it illustrates dramatically some of the issues around it.
Read Blackie's story here.

Flynn's lucky escape
This story has a very happy ending, but the danger from the local Cats Protection Branch between initial rescue and final home remains a great concern.
Read Flynn's story here.

Lincolnshire mystery
Another very worrying story of a group of rescued FIV cats being looked after by the Lincolnshire Trust for Cats.
On one single day, all eight FIV cats were reportedly put to sleep by the 'Trust' - we have tried to discover why, but it remains a mystery.
Read the full story here.

Published articles
National magazines have a large readership - particularly the popular cat magazines - so it was with dismay that we saw an extremely ill-informed section relating to FIV, in one article.
Read about what was so wrong here.

Scientific studies  - and other 'authoritative' information
Most of the information available about FIV originates from scientific studies; unfortunately, there are inherent problems both with some studies themselves and also with the later interpretation of the studies - tragically, this can lead to fatal consequences.
Read our explanation and a prime example of the problems here.

FIV is prime reason for 'euthanasia' in Cats Protection adoption centres
One published study showed that FIV was the greatest cause of cats being put to sleep in Cats Protection adoption centres over a six month period.
[Read about the study and its implications]

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