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New Member
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Jun 29, 2006
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I have 3 cats and 15 days ago I took in a stray kitten. I have kept him separated in a different room with no contact with my other cats. He has not shared any food, water, litter, etc. Today I was able to have him tested at our local shelter for FIV and leukemia. His test came back negative for both. The shelter told me I was safe to introduce him into the rest of the household cats. I was told that the kitten is old enough that the results are extremely accurate. It is estimated that the cat is about 10-12 weeks old. However, through reading of my own, I have heard that you should wait two more months for a second test to confirm that the cat is negative. Do I have to keep this cat separated for two more months? How accurate is this negative test in a cat of this approximate age? I appreciate any help you can offer. I don't want to jeapordize my original 3 cats' health, but I also don't want to isolate the new cat for two more months if it isn't neccessary. Thank you.


Glasgow c/o 2006
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Feb 5, 2005
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Here's some suggestions from my notes on feline viruses (by Diane D. Addie,

If you're using an ELISA or RIA test (the in-house snap or similar test), if you have a negative result for a "healthy cat pre-vaccine screen: negative result = Vaccinate. If suspected contact with FeLV+ cat in previous 3 months, retest in 12 weeks."

Alternatively, but with the same results: "Screen cat of unknown FeLV status for introduction into FeLV negative household: Negative result probably true, but could be in early infection. Isolate. Retest in 12 weeks."

For FIV, "in kittens, MDA persists until 16 weeks, so to differentiate infected from uninfected kittens can culture the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), do PCR, or can wait until kitten is 20 weeks old, then do antibody test."

In my opinion, if you want to be *absolutely sure* your kitten doesn't have FeLV or FIV, you should continue to isolate and re-test in about 12 weeks.


10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2006
Another good source of information is your veterinarian, who is the best person to make specific recommendations regarding a particular situation.


LA Surgery Resident
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Aug 9, 2004
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SDN is not intended for medical advice. Please consult your regular veterinarian.

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