You know, there really is a lack of exhaustive studies on this whole
question.  Mortality rates are based on study of cats who already test
positive.  And, I have never been able to find a really good study on the
prevalence of either FIV or FELV...  Studies are done of particular
colonies, or of some sort of controlled population.  But absent some
scientific, purely random and large scale testing of owned as well as
strays/ferals, I do not believe that anybody really knows how many cats are
out there with these conditions.  Absent that, it's a tossup to make
predictions on rates of transmissions.

The one 'fact' that has always struck me is that neither of these viruses
are considered new--they have been around since forever.  If they were
indeed as lethal or contagious as some would have you think, then there
would be no cats left.  Remember that its only a recent development, even in
this country, that cats are taken to vets for shots, for testing, etc.  We
always had cats when I was a kid but I could count on one hand the number of
times any of them went to a vet.  Since all our cats were strays that we
took in, I can only assume that at least one or two were positive for
something.  I know this will sound very crass, but in some ways, ignorance
was bliss... Our cats were loved, well taken care of, and lived happy, (and
generally) long lives...  

Christiane Biagi
Cell:  914-720-6888 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of MaryChristine
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Felvtalk] PA Sanctuary

i think that the stress issue is far more important, especially for ferals.
translocating to a sanctuary is not an issue with housecats, and while
living with large numbers of cats CAN be very stressful, when the cats are
somewhat socialized to people, it's quite possible to provide them with a
comfortable environment. not easy, but possible.

one of the reasons that it's so hard to find FIV space at sanctuaries is
that they DO live forever.... or close enough.

dr levy, like most researchers, are not going to state that something is
absolutely safe until and unless there is actual data backing that up;
unfortunately, we've gone so many years without adequate research being done
that some important questions still remain unanswered. agaih, this is why
the discussions about using, "captive" populations come up.

from my experience, feral FeLVs did less well in a sanctuary enviroment than
did strays or more social cats; didn't see the same thing with the FIVs--tho
the ferals stayed away from the horrible humans (who would make their fur
fall out if they got close enough, i'm told that mamaferals tell them).
actually, feral non-positives did less well than other cats did, too--being
around people, even tho we left them alone (except when necessary, tho we
checked them visually every day), was NOT a good thing to them.

so i'm not sure that the rules DO apply equally.

i don't know what actual figures exist for transmission of FIV without
fighting; i know that sanctuaries will foster out, or segregate, any cats
who continue to be aggressive after neutering.


On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 3:43 PM, Stray Cat Alliance <> wrote:

> I disagree on a few points.
> --
Spay & Neuter Your Neighbors!
Maybe That'll Make The Difference....

Special-Needs Coordinator, Purebred Cat Breed Rescue (
Member, SCAT (Special-Cat Action Team)
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