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Tobi’s Story by Ioana Curcan

This is my Tobi, an approx. 7-year-old boy. I had his mother that most likely was FIV+, but undiagnosed. He was sick as a kitten, lots of rhino tracheitis and antibiotics therapy. He was an outdoor - indoor cat. At around 4 years i got him tested and was FIV+ and i tried to make him live only inside from then on but it was Very difficult because he is not neutered because he has chronic breathing problems and I was afraid to use anesthesia. For 2 years now he lives in an apartment and sometimes when cats are in heat he marks with urine in some places inside and meows loud and in the night. Sometimes is hard to get a good sleep in those days 😅😅. In November 2022 at a vet check up , we found that he has chronic kidney disease IRIS stage 1 -2 and hypertension. Also he has some gingivitis. He struggles with appetite and sometimes he lose weight because he doesn't eat enough even if he is hungry. He doesn't eat prescription diet for kidney disease not even if i let him starve for 24 h. So now he eats a raw diet with a completer of vitamins and minerals without phosphorus and he is happier than ever. His bloodwork doesn't show any problems on his immune system now.

He has to take every day medication for hypertension and renal function.


Beside those problems, he is now happy and having a great time. He still wants to go outside but i managed to get him somehow more relaxed with the life indoors. I have 2 more cats, both FIV- that eats, drink and rough play with him . He plays every evening almost like a kitten. He is very talkative and meows to "respond" to whatever o tell him. He waits for me , on the furniture, to come home and he greets me with meowing and pats with his paws. He meows if I exceed sleep hour and calm down only when i finally go to bed so he can sleep beside my head. Tobi is the boss in the house, the dog listen to him too.

He is a great cat, and although I am somewhat disappointed in myself that I didn't do more for him in his young years to prevent some of the problems he has now, I am very happy that I can take care of him now and that he live a better life. My heart grows with joy when I see him playing with my 1 year old FIV- cat (his favourite between the two) and when he runs and jumps around the apartment. He has a few health problems related or not to FIV, but he is a loving cat and the evidence that there is hope for FIV+ cats to live a (mostly) normal life.

My other 2 cats, FIV- are neutered. Sometimes they fight but never heavy fighting like males outside for mating.... So they are safe and live FIV-

Even vets I heard that FIV+ is better to be put down... When I have a problem with Tobi, I avoid to say that he is FIV+ before hearing an diagnosis because most vets did put very little effort in treating him/diagnose him correctly and just said is FIV fault and can't treat. I asked a specialist in immunity what to give Tobi to help and prevent disease and she said that he needs to be put down and that is irresponsible from me to keep him and 2 FIV- cats. Since then, I wait to tell about FIV+ only if is necessary (I'm a vet student so I know about some medical issues)

My 2 other cats were saved from the streets and adopted... I was they only chance and it was either surviving (hopefully)on the streets/ or living with Tobi FIV+. I couldn't let them on the streets so here they are... Still FIV- and still happy

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