A characterful big orange tomcat (named after the Chinese Red Panda or 'Fire Fox'), who contracted FIV from a bite to his paw in 1995, but lived a very happy and healthy life 'till his death in April 2002. He is survived by his 'one night stand' and his kittens, none of whom have FIV.

As well as photos, this page contains some useful links about cat health, FIV and related conditions. There is also a guestbook, and you can get a Ginger Cat t-shirt :-)

Panda's Story
Panda arrived in our neighbourhood in 1993 as a stray, and soon had a reputation as a roving tomcat, carousing and fighting. We followed him around, fed him up and invited him indoors. He had a liason with Kiffy his 'one-night-stand' & mother of his kittens, and then was neutered.

Unfortunately we gave in to his plaintive cries to be let outside again, and he returned one day with a bad bite to his paw. A few days later he had developed a high fever, and was diagnosed with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) a.k.a. 'Feline AIDS'. He was given antibiotics and tablets to reduce the fever, and recovered from that intitial infection. We then started him on Homeopathic FIV pills (one every three days), and Evening Primrose Oil (a few drops on his food every night). He seemed to react well to this treatment, and was basically a very normal and boisterous tomcat for eight happy years after that initial diagnosis.

We ensured that he never met any other cats, as they would have been a potential source of infection for him. Also, he might have bitten and infected them, so he was kept indoors. He never seemed bored though, and still enjoyed intimidating the neighbour's cat if it ever dared to walk past his window!

He had a few teeth & gum problems in the last few years, and lost some weight, but this may also have been the first sign of another less-obvious but more serious problem. In November 2001 he was diagnosed with non-regenerative Anaemia, and put on a dose of the steroid Prednisolone. He kept going quite happily until March 2002, when his blood cell count was found to be critically low. We consulted with our vet about the very limited options, and it was decided that with a diagnosis of Aplastic Anaemia, the best thing was to make him as happy as possible and feed him well.

Sadly, Panda died in April 2002. There's no question however that he had a long and enjoyable life. Cats with FIV should never be written-off, as with a small amount of care, they can often outlive their street-fighting compatriots.

FIV Web Links

N.B. treat all dietary & medication suggestions with extreme caution,
and investigate all sources thoroughly before treating a cat.
blackgiraffe.com/jmight/.. Tom Hapka - a very positive article about homeopathic treatments, and an alternative diet. Highly recommended.
cats.about.com ... fiv_vaccine.htm FIV Vaccine? - a vaccine which may prevent cats becoming infected ... The article mentions controversy among veterinarians over varying test results, and the issue of whether to vaccinate a cat, as it may then be at risk of being put-down as it would test as being an FIV positive cat.
www2.arkansas.net/~artg/ Feline Aids FIV - a site by Arthur Gittleman which contains a large amount of current FIV (& HIV) research, and many suggestions for treatments and diets. Tantalisingly it mentions 'Patent US5846961 FIV CURE?'.
thecatnetwork.org/FIV.html The Cat Network, FIV - basic description of disease, including prevalence, common signs and infectivity.
maxshouse.com/.. Max's House FIV page - detailed description of FIV disease. See the Max's House main page for other useful links such as lists of plants which can be toxic to cats, and information about other feline diseases like FeLV and FIP.
web.vet.cornell.edu/.. Cornell Vets - detailed description of FIV disease.
thesingapuracat.50megs.com/.. Singapuracat - FIV links, and How to interpret lab reports.
vetinfo.com/cfiv.html Vetinfo - Dr.Richards advice on FIV. Questions, answers, and suggestions for medication.
www.gla.ac.uk/companion/.. Glasgow Uni FIV info - University Vet School detailed FIV information.
www.dr-addie.com Dr.Addie - Diane Addie of Glasgow Vet School. FIP/FCoV and links about other feline diseases.
blackgiraffe.com/jmight/..Jennie Might's FIV page - commonly asked questions & answers
feline-crf-support.orgFeline CRF Support - information about Chronic Renal Failure in cats. Panda didn't have this, but it's a common problem and this page contains lots of useful info.

Please see the guestbook, or e-mail this address if you have any comments or other links to suggest

Panda Photos

Panda by Catherine

Panda jumps

Panda defies gravity

Panda helps Ed

Panda & Ruth

Panda relaxes on Robin

Sunny Panda

Panda relaxes

Panda's Family

© broccoli 2003