Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Mr. Sweet Potato Head" Needs a Special Home, Georgia

"Mr. Sweet Potato Head"

This handsome orange kitty has seen the rougher sides of the street, as evidenced by the scratches on his face. Affectionately nicknamed "Mr. Sweet Potato Head," this guy absolutely loves to be petted! He purrs non-stop! Despite his rough appearance, all "Mr. Sweet Potato Head" wants is someone to love.

"Mr. Sweet Potato Head" is already neutered and up-to-date on shots. This lover-boy is, however, FIV positive, and as such he needs a special home. His FIV-positive status is most likely the result of his life on the streets. It does not have to be a death sentence for him!

Many people, even cat people, shudder at the term "FIV," because often, FIV positive cats are euthanized and never even given a chance for adoption. FIV cats, or cats with Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus, can lead long, happy, healthy lives.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily mandatory to keep an FIV cat separated from non-infected cats. It is only spread through blood, such as the case of serious puncture wounds.

Here are some facts about FIV from the Best Friends Animal Society:

1. The Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus is a slow virus that affects a cat's immune system over a period of years.

2. FIV is a cat-only disease and cannot be spread to humans or other non-felines.

3. FIV cats most often live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all.

4. FIV is not easily passed between cats. It cannot be spread casually - like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling and playing. It is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens.

5. The virus can be spread through blood transfusions, badly infected gums, or serious, penetrating bite wounds. (Bite wounds of this kind are extremely rare, except in free-roaming, unneutered tomcats.)

6. A neutered cat, in a home, is extremely unlikely to infect other cats, if properly introduced.

7. Many vets are not educated about FIV since the virus was only discovered 15 years ago.

8. FIV-positive cats should be kept as healthy as possible. Keep them indoors and free from stress, feed them a high-quality diet, keep and treat any secondary problems as soon as they arise.

The biggest challenge to keeping an FIV cat is the necessity to be vigilant about any health issues. For more information about FIV, please visit this article from Best Friends.

Please don't let FIV scare you away from this wonderful kitty! If you are interested in adopting "Mr. Sweet Potato Head," please contact Heard County Animal Control immediately. Because "Mr. Sweet Potato Head" was picked up by animal control, his time is extremely limited!

Heard County Animal Control Center
11818 Ga Hwy 100
Franklin, GA 30217
Phone: 706-675-3570 (Ask for Kaylene)

***UPDATE 2/27***
Great News! Winging Cat Rescue has rescued "Mr. Sweet Potato Head," and he will be making his way to a special-needs sanctuary a couple states away.