Is it Wrong to allow and FIV positive cat to go outside?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I have a neighbor with an FIV positive cat that allows it outside. He is not much of a fighter but it bothers me. How do you feel about this?


Susie M.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that you have a neighbor that has a cat that tests positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and allows her cat out.

As you may know, FIV is a contagious virus spread from cat to cat – primarily by bite wounds. My personal opinion is that a cat with FIV should be an indoor cat. This is my opinion. I think allowing a cat to go out with FIV to go out and interact with other cats is like a person having human AIDS and having unprotected sex and now telling their partner or sharing needles.

Keeping an FIV positive cat indoors also minimizes his risk of exposure to problems.

Unfortunately, I don’t know there is much you can do. You can talk to your neighbor and tell her your thoughts.

An article that might be helpful to you is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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