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Discussion Starter #1
I have three 9 month old kittens that have had Purevax Rabies and FVRCP vaccs. We decided against FeLV because they are indoor/same litter/all tested FeLV neg. I'm of the minimalist thinking when it comes to vaccs and am not planning on vacc'ing them again past their kitten series.

5 nights ago, we found a starving stray kitten in a parking lot. We took him to a vet to have him looked at immediately. With the exception of a light fever and needing a good cleaning and a lot of fattening up, he appears healthy. No worms, no respiratory issues and tested neg. for FeLV/FIV/heart worm. He's about 6 months old.

Assuming no one claims him, we are going to keep him. He has been and will be separated from our kittens entirely until we are sure he is 100% healthy. I've been reading up on FeLV – accuracy of testing, effectiveness of vaccines, vaccine risks, natural immunities, etc. and it's very confusing.

My question is, since he tested neg for FeLV, if we wait an "appropriate" amount of time and retest, assuming the 2nd test is also negative, is that "prudent enough"? Also, what would the "appropriate" amount of time be? Or should we go ahead and get them all the FeLV vaccines (to the tune of $633 for 2 shots each for 4 cats YIKES! 8O8O)?

If we did FeLV vaccs I would only use the Purevax Vet Jet. I'd like to avoid FeLV vaccines for them all if possible, but I'm concerned about the accuracy of the tests or a latent virus. If in a few years he started showing signs of FeLV and infected the others, I would be devastated. Am I being too paranoid?!?

Can anyone offer/advice experience here? We will obviously discuss with vet, but some of them are very "sale-sy", so I like to know what I want to do before I get there!

Also, is there anything else I should be concerned about health-wise in terms of introducing them all??

Thank you!
 

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First, thank you so much for rescuing this kitty.
Personally, I would not get the FELK vaccination unless your cats are outdoors/indoors. As I understand it, the virus does not live outside the cat very long. The feral cats I TNR do get that vaccination but they live exclusively outdoors (and not all low-cost S/N for feral cats give FELK vaccinations).
That said, I would be tempted to treat the cat for worms even if the test was negative, including giaradia (sp). There are a lot of false-negative results; we learned that the hard way with a cat that tested negative even though he'd been living outside since birth. Awful Almost died. The smell of your cats poop may tell you better than a test. Also discuss with your vet when the cat should be given the Feline Herpesvirus and Feline Calicivirus vaccination right away. If the cat is at all medically compromised, I would ask the vet if the cat is healthy enough to fight off the 'live' part of the virus. Again, learned that the hard way, and with a different kitten.
I don't know about the appropriate time for FELK purposes, but worms are very contagious. Let the smell from your litter box in part be your guide.
 

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When I rescued my Smokey, I had him tested for FeLV/FIV at the same time he was neutered. He tested positive for both. :-( I had to have him fostered for awhile because of the concern of my original three cats (Midnight, Star, and Lucky) getting infected with FeLV, since it's the more easily spread of the two. After having Smokey fostered for about 5 months, I discovered that there was a vaccine for FeLV. I arranged to have my 3 cats vaccinated, and after three weeks, I was able to bring my sweet, sweet Smokey back home, where he belonged. Sadly, I lost him 5 months after bringing him home...BUT it's been almost a year and none of my original three cats have shown any symptoms to FeLV. Granted, my cats weren't kittens, but they all shared food/water bowls and litter boxes with Smokey. And my Star was Smokey's buddy. They groomed each other all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all for the great info. so far. One other thing on my mind is...

If our new stray kitty has been previously vaccinated, how harmful would it be to re-vaccinate for Rabies/FVRCP. Should we try to do a titer test first or is he too young (6 mos.) for a titer test to be useful?

Does anyone have experience with titers??

Thank you!
 
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