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"Real-life" FIV - 1000 FIV cats data project
a record of FIV+ cats living 'normal' lives
           

We show here what is emerging from the results of the survey


What do more than three thousand (3,000) years of FIV experience show us?


This project currently has just over 800 participating owners with their FIV cats. The length of time of experience gained through each cat ranges from less than a month to almost twenty years. When we add up all the individual cats' experience, we have over 3,500 years in total.

Overall health picture:

It is often suggested that an FIV cat is likely to suffer repeated illness from a number of ailments, so we wanted to show how the cats on this project have fared.

The pie chart below shows that the idea that an FIV cat will suffer much illness is not borne out by the experience of these cats.


The chart below is based on the reported health issues from all the cats on the project. If you count up the individual years experience - (eg. one cat living five years equals 5 FIV years) - then this chart is based on around three thousand FIV years, so should be giving a reasonably valid impression!

In fact, the degree of illness (14%) is almost certainly exaggerated, as the individual health charts (see results page) are broken into 3 month segments (the smallest recordable period). Many owners report minor infections that cleared up within a few days, yet these will show as a minor illness for a three month segment - so overall, the amount of illness is probably less than the charts indicate.

Also, the degree of seriousness of illness is somewhat subjective, so the subdivisions between minor, medium and major should be taken as approximate.


Remember, these are all the ailments mentioned by owners; many of the ailments probably having little, if anything, to do with FIV.


overall health pie chart

Healthy = 86% of time

Minor issues = 10.% of time

Medium issues = 3.% of time

Major issues = 1% of time

Based on a total of 3710 FIV years
(recorded from 803 FIV cats)


So, what are the illnesses they did suffer from?

We are told by the text books that there are several health problems that FIV+ cats suffer from. We now look at the experience of those cats on the project to see what they actually suffered from.

It would seem that there are no specific health problems that could be classed as common for FIV+ cats, just the usual list of issues that any cat might suffer from.


Shown below are the health issues listed by the owners of the FIV+ cats on the project; you will see that there are none that affect more than about 20% of the cats - so not so common then!


Number

Percent

FIV cats - Total

   803

   100%

Health issues



Allergies

29

3.6%

Anaemia

29

3.6%

Arthritis

20

2.5%

Asthma

19

2.4%

Bartonella

8

1.0%

Cancer

60

7.5%

Cystitis

7

0.9%

Dental

163

20.3%

Diabetes

19

2.4%

Digestive

57

7.1%

Ear

47

5.9%

Eye

117

14.6%

Gingivitis

66

8.2%

Heart

39

4.9%

Herpes

11

1.4%

Kidney

56

7.0%

Liver

15

1.9%

Pancreatitis

13

1.6%

Respiratory

167

20.8%

Ringworm

9

1.1%

Seizure

12

1.5%

Skin

55

6.8%

Stomatitis

43

5.4%

Thrombosis

1

0.1%

Thyroid

20

2.5%

Urinary

50

6.2%





So, as you can see, there are no issues here that can be said to be 'common' in FIV cats; in fact, I wonder how different the results would be if you studied a similar collection of non-FIV cats.


Prognosis

To help illustrate what prognosis might be expected for an FIV cat, we have put together the following graphic display of the health of those on this project.

Each cat listed on this project has a health chart which gives a visual indication of the general state of health of the cat through the years.

The blue colour indicates a basically healthy period, and the mauve, purple and red indicate health issues - the stronger the colour the more serious the issue - the uncoloured sections are where their health is unknown before the owner became involved with the cat; the black indicates the end of the cat's life. All somewhat subjective, but this is produced from what the owners report.

Below, you will see that we have put these together so you can view the overall impression of the health of the cats as a group.

Any expected pattern of health should show with this grouping.

We have put the charts in order of age - If you scroll down through you will see there is little indication of any general pattern throughout the cats lives, other than more illness towards the end of life - I doubt this would be much different for a similar group of non-FIV cats.

Obviously, this is not a scientific study, but is indicative of the general health pattern of a large number of naturally infected FIV cats living normal lives.

First we list the FIV cats who have come to the end of their lives, and after that we list the FIV cats still living.

You can read the full report from the owner of any individual cat - just click on an individual chart to link to that individual's report (opens in new tab).



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