Cat Lovers...Please read. I lost my cat to FIV.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by hermitlady, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I am still in such shock. My 3 yr old neutered male cat, Murfy contracted FIV and I had to have him euthanized Wed. morning. I had no idea this was really a threat, we live in the boonies and don't see other cats around here besides ours.

    I just want to share Murf's story in hopes that it will help save another cat.

    He had been tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV (like human HIV) as a kitten and he did not have it. He was never vaccinated for the FIV because many vets don't use it for various reasons, it's only 80% effective and the vaccinated cat will always test positive for FIV (so you never really can know if they are infected)

    Last wk, I noticed blood in his mouth and took him to the vet immediately. He had seemed perfectly fine before I noticed this. He had sores on his gums and bad gingivitis that must have come on quickly because I frequently check their teeth and ears.

    My vet (wonderful vet and staff I've gone to for 22 yrs) did labs on him and he tested positive for FIV and had very low platelets and red cells. The ELISA FIV test most vets use can occasionally show false positives, so he sent out a second test called the Western Blot (much more expensive, took a wk to get results back).

    Over the next week, Murfy declined very quickly. It was unreal. He had a transfusion, IV fluids, antibiotics, more tests, and was at the vet for care almost everyday while we waited for the final test results. The vet kept hoping he'd find some other cause and did not give up on him.

    Wed morning when I took him in for another blood count, the vet told me the bad news. I had to have him euthanized right away because he was going downhill so fast and to protect my other cats since it's contagious. I'm still crying.

    FIV is transmitted mainly thru saliva and bites are the most common way. He was mainly an indoor cat, but had to have been in contact w an FIV cat outdoors somewhere since my other cats had all been tested as kittens also.

    Now I have to wait and worry for a month before I can take my others in to be tested. Murfy could have passed it on to our entire cat family, it's a nightmare!!

    I will never let my cats outside again. I never knew that this disease was present in the area where we live. The vet rarely sees any cases, and Murfy was one of the unlucky ones. I hope all of my others will be OK, but I won't find out for awhile.

    So, cat lovers, be careful w your beloved kitties.

    Rest in Peace Murfy...

    [This Message was Edited on 07/25/2008]
  2. fibromickster

    fibromickster New Member

    I do not have cats, but have a dog. But it doesn't matter, I love all animals. I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are so dear to us.

    I will pray and pray that your other precious babies did not get infected.

    Rest in peace Murfy!!!!!

    Take care and God Bless Hermitlady!!!!

  3. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member


    So sorry to hear about your dear cat Murfy. Thanks alot also for posting so that it might help some other owners and their feline pets. We don't have animals now but we did when we were growing up. I also love animals.

    May God bless you and your dear Murfy !!!

    Blessings and hugs,

  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm sorry Murfy had to leave you so soon. Unless he bit them, your other cats should be OK - and I doubt that he did from what you say about him.

    Thank you for sharing this story with us and for helping others see how important it is to keep ours cat indoors. Gone are the days of happy, free, wandering cats.

    Hugs and healing thoughts,
  5. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hermitlady to hear about your loss of dear Murfy. You are so thoughtful to share your story with everyone on the board.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Give your other kitties some extra hugs for me.

    Warm hugs, Erika
  6. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Murfy and I thank you for your kind words. Hopefully he's somewhere having a nice time w all the other pets we've lost over the yrs.

    I couldn't imagine life without pets, but it just hurts so badly when you lose them.
  7. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    I am so sorry to hear that you lost your beloved Murfy. He was still so young. Poor little guy. And to have it come out of nowhere and his health to decline so rapidly, must have been such a shock to your family. And now, to have to wait and worry about the other cats...

    I have lost 3 cats over the last 15 months. I know how painful it is, and hate to see anyone go through it. Our pets are our children, in every sense. We love and care for them just like family, and it is so hard to lose them. You did the right thing in ending his suffering though. But even though it was the right thing to do, it must have been very painful for you.

    I hope all the other cats will be alright, and that you don't have to go through this again with any of them. I am sorry Murfy was a victim of this disease at such a young age. And I am sorry for the pain you are feeling over the loss of your little boy. You have my deepest sympathy.
  8. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    How terrible for you. I am so sorry you all had to suffer so much. There are ferral cats everywhere and many are FIV positive. We had two cats that picked it up whilst in quarrantine care!!! Fortunately, they lived their lives out as indoor cats confined to a small outdoor fenced in area, but any sort of dental work will cause a flare.

    Remember you can use special disinfectants to clear the area prior to getting any ther cats.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Love Annie
  9. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Again everyone......I'm very depressed today and in a terrible flare. Stress is not good for me at all and I feel sooo sick now.

    Annie, sorry to hear you've had 2 kitties w FIV. I know the vet said some of them can live their lives and not be very sick. Unfortunately it attacked Murfy quickly and the vet didn't think he'd rebound, he was just too sick. How long did yours live, or do you still have them?
  10. Didoe

    Didoe New Member

    I am sorry Murphy that you spent your last days down here best pal in the world, Cat, died last December and she had a very hard too. She had cancer.

    You guys must know how much you change our lives and bring love to some that no one else ever did...or will.

    I think of Cat every day. When Cat left me I thought I couldnt live, it was that bad. With all the people and things I lost in my life, nothing equalled losing Cat. She had seen and been with me longer than anyone in my life.

    Your mom is having a really hard time Murphy, so when you can take a break running through soft grass, smacking bugs and butterflies, send her some of the love you gave her while visiting down are very missed and loved.

    Prayers filled with love are sent to you every day for all the memories and sweetness you brought to those who knew you.

    Murphy if you see Cat, she's a shy fluffy feather weight peeking out from behind a curtain as she watches the birds, go and sit with her...she'll keep an eye on you for Mom.
  11. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Thank you for such a lovely reply....Cat must have been very special.
  12. ckball

    ckball New Member

    I am so sorry to hear about Murfy. We do get so attached to our furbies. I do pray that your other cats are not afftected or infected with the virus.

    I lost my 15 yo cat Bubbus 2 years ago, he had been HIV postive since he was 2. He had disappeared for a few days and came back with a really bad bite on his paw so took him to the vet.

    They fixed him up then told us he was HIV and what did we want to do, I said what do you mean, they said have him put down and I said no way and we took him home.

    He was fine for many years and I did limit his outside activity but he did get out and came home with a bone for a tail, all the meat and fur was ripped off, like maybe a dog got him by the tail and he got away.

    I had moved and took him to a new vet and did not tell them he was HIV as he was around 6 by then and showed no symptoms. They called me and told me they tested him and wanted to know if they should cut his tail off or put him down.

    I said fix his tail that he is not symptomatic. So he was my little bob tail kitty. He saw me threw so much over the years, it was just me and him for a lot of years.

    The vet said they can live a long life with HIV if they have proper care and low stress life. Then when I moved to Ky, he was ok and had to adjust to our new life, then Twy came along and he handled her, it was funny.

    But when I had my new kit put in, there were people here for nearly 8 weeks, had central heat and air in too. I saw he was starting to decline, sleep more and lost some weight but still was his loving self.

    I got up one morning and he was laying on the floor like he was asleep, then when I went to pick him up I knew. I held him and cried my eyes out. My contractor came about 10 minutes later and saw my condition and left to give me some time alone.

    So if any of your other kitties are infected don't think of it as a death sentence. They CAN have a good life.

    I am sorry for your loss and still 2 years later I still miss my Bubbus, he was quite a special cat. Hang in there and know we are all here for you. Carla
  13. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    So very sorry for your loss. I lost my last furbaby a few months ago and still grieve and miss her terribly.