Let’s Talk About FIV and Cats like Bean

Written by Tori Castro

Meet Tori and Bean! Bean, formerly known as Tommy Jones, was adopted from Town Cats in 2019. Like many adopters, Tori walked into Town Cats, planning to meet her FUREVER friend. She was not disappointed when she met Bean, a 3-year-old husky tabby boy who was gentle, sweet, and is FIV positive.

The Town Cats employee informed her that cats diagnosed with FIV receive this through bites from other cats, but it’s not transmissible to humans or other animals. She also went on to explain that Bean would be unlikely to transmit it to another cat since he is friendly and he would likely live a healthy life. Tori had never owned a cat with a condition like this before, but she felt encouraged that Bean was a healthy boy and brought him home two days later.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus that attacks and weakens the immune system of cats, and there is no cure with no means of treatment. The virus is usually

¬†transmitted through saliva from deep penetration bite wounds, making the cat more susceptible to other viruses like Feline leukemia virus or (FLV). Friendly grooming, sharing toys, food, water, and litter, isn’t a means of transmission. As long as FIV cats are friendly, there is little to no risk of transmission to other cats. Although FIV is a lifetime diagnosis, these cats can live normal lives in both quality and duration. They only need to be monitored for infections and dental issues, but otherwise will be wonderful pets.


“He’s the best boy! Whenever I take him to the vet, he is completely healthy and she doesn’t see any concerns with him,” says Tori. Tori needed to learn how to best care for Bean by preparing for him to be an indoor cat only, maintaining consistent nutrition, and planning for annual health visits with his vet.

Cats like Bean often get overlooked because of the initial stigma associated with his condition and sometimes get put down at other shelters because the FIV vaccine makes cats test positive for the virus. People like you can make a difference in these cats’ lives and adopt these healthy, happy cats into loving homes. To learn more about FIV, visit¬†https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-diseases.