Last updated: 22 Jul, 2019
Published on: 21 Jun, 2017
Lionel, the shy FIV cat, now lounges like a lion king!
Perth pet lover, Zasber, wanted to save a life and get a companion. She was specifically looking for a big, cuddly, adult kitty that was house trained and quiet. Lionel, from SAFE Avon Valley - the star of our 2016 Adoptables program - ticked all of these boxes. And Zasber wasn’t at all phased by the fact that Lionel had FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).
“I first searched on Google to find cats for adoption, and it lead me to the PetRescue website. Lionel's picture was the first to pop up on the home page. His cute photos and lovely personality made me fall for him,” said Zasber.
“When I first met Lionel, I was so surprised by how adorably fluffy and handsome he was (he still is). When I brought him home, he was pretty shy for the first three months. He would secretly explore his new place and then hide under my bed, only coming out at feeding time.
“The most satisfying moment was when Lionel came to me as I called his nickname (Leo). He gave me head bumps and let me rub his belly. It was a sign that he had accepted me. I felt so touched, and fell for him even more!
“I bought a cute doll’s bed from IKEA, and he completely ignored it for the first three to four months. Whenever I tried to place him on that bed, he never stayed there longer than two minutes! Then suddenly, he just decided that he loved it, and now he sleeps on it every night. It's so adorable to see him get in and get out of that bed. He’s made himself right at home on his little bed.
“He also loves looking out of the window.
“And lays wherever he wants, in any room of the house that takes his fancy.
“Lionel is not shy and timid anymore. He plays with me. He's willing to be carried now. And when I wake up every morning, he come over and asks for a few pats. He no longer runs to hide when we have people visiting our home. And if I’m studying late at night, he comes to lay right beside me. He's so sweet!”
Caring for a cat with FIV - What you need to know is really not that hard!
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is known to be carried by approximately 19.5% of cats in Australia, but it’s really not as serious as it sounds. It’s less-severe that HIV in humans. It’s definitely not transmissible to people. And new research suggests it is far less transmissible between cats than previously thought.
The virus affects the immune system, leaving cats vulnerable to infections and disease. If they get injured or ill, they may take longer to recover than most cats and could need a little extra TLC. But they generally don’t require ongoing medication, or much additional care.
An FIV cat that’s kept indoors (or with access to a cat run), fed a good quality diet and taken to the vet at least once a year for check ups, may enjoy a normal life-span of over 15 years! Here are the need to know facts about FIV