Pet of the Week: Boo-Boo demystifies virus

Boo-Boo, a couch kitty, is looking for a home. Lewis Millholland/Daily

WINCHESTER – Boo-Boo, an 8-year-old Cymric cat, is the Winchester SPCA’s Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center’s poster child for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

“We’re hoping to actually use Boo-Boo to bring some education and some light on FIV, because it’s still such a misunderstood thing when it comes to cats, and people are afraid of it,” said Steven Rogers, shelter manager.

FIV is only transmittable to other cats through sexual activity or deep puncture wounds. Since Boo-Boo is fixed and amiable, neither are too much of a concern.

Rogers stated that FIV can’t be transmitted to dogs, humans or any animal besides another cat.

“FIV cats are just like any other cat … as long as they’re kept in a happy, healthy environment, they usually do very well,” Rogers said. “Basically it lowers their immune system a little bit. It’s not very easily spreadable. So you can’t contract it from using the same litter box, you can’t contract it from grooming.”

Boo-Boo could go to a home with other cats that don’t have FIV, at the discretion of the adoptees. Rogers himself has an FIV-positive cat at home along with other cats.

Rogers said that Boo-Boo would be a good “companion cat,” because while Boo-Boo can be energetic at times, his default mode is to seek affection.

“He’s very laid-back. He’s kind of a couch kitty. Like one that would be on the couch with you watching TV and that type of thing. He’s very affectionate,” Rogers said. “He can be playful at times, but really he just loves to be near you.”

Adoption fees at the Winchester SPCA vary based on promotions and sponsorships. For more information, the Winchester SPCA can be reached by calling (540) 662-8616 or by visiting WinchesterSPCA.org.

The Rockaplenty Adoption and Education Center is located at 111 Featherbed Ln. in Winchester.