Meet Puffy: homeless & FIV+

Meet Puffy: homeless & FIV+

UPDATE: Puffy has found a new home! Thanks to the new family!

Puffy has been an Ottawa neighborhood cat for about a year now. Neighbors have been feeding him and keeping an eye out for him. However, he was an unneutered male, so, though handsome to the eye, a “baby-maker” nonetheless. And a bit of a rabble-rouser who got into fights with other cats in the neighborhood.

Recently, a concerned neighbor stepped up and befriended Puffy.

“…he let me pat him and cut some matts out of his fur. He had a huge tick on him, a big healing abcess and lots of smaller scabs and scratches.”

Puffy: FIV+ and homeless


After talking to his neighborhood “watch group,” it was decided that Puffy needed to be caught and neutered. Then he could possibly be released back into his neighborhood.

So this week, Puffy got a full checkup, de-worming, vaccinations, FeLV/FIV tests, and a neuter. All went well except for the FIV test. He has tested positive for the FIV virus.

If you are unfamiliar with FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus (or “slow virus”) which is characterized by a long incubation period. An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body — poor coat, gingivitis, stomatitis, various cancers and blood diseases; much like any other cat might experience. [source]

What does FIV do to a cat? Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment — where they usually do not affect healthy animals — can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV. [source]

In other words, FIV won’t kill him, but rather a secondary infection could. Therefore, to lessen the possibility of acquiring a secondary infection and for keeping his immune system as strong as possible, it is best for Puffy to live indoors now.

So we are looking for a home that can take Puffy in. He currently lives in Ottawa. Taking him to the Ottawa Humane Society would likely be a death sentence (read some of the reasons an animal is destroyed in a shelter) and rescue groups called are full at this time.

Per Judy who took him to the vet:

The vet says he is young and seems to be in good health other than being a bit thin. He seems gentle and friendly. When he was at my house for a little while he was comforted when I rubbed his cheeks and ears.

I have a foster home for him only until Sunday, and then maybe another foster for a few days after that.

If you are interested in fostering or adopting Puffy, please email me (Enable Javascript to see the email address) and I will connect you with Judy.

If you want to learn more about FIV — what it means, how it is transmitted, what you might expect — the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University has created this great page to explain. It needn’t be a death sentence. Puffy can live a long and happy life. Even in a home with other cats.

And please… SHARE Puffy’s story by clicking on one of the icons below so we can find him a new home.


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