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Discussion Starter #1
Question# 1)At what age kittens (feral kittens) should be tested for viruses (FIV, etc)? I've heard that they shouldn't be vaccinated until they are 5 or 6 mos.? Or is it 4?
What's a safe age to take them so that the test isn't picking up the mothers inmunity?

Q# 2 And vaccinate?

Thank-you very much, I'm planning to get the newest litter to tame but I'm not sure when I should do that
 

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I've heard the FIV virus doesn't show up until about 6 months...so testing them before that would always come out with a negative.

I think testing for FIV is a waste of money to tell you the truth. Most cats who have FIV live long healthy lives with no problems...and FIV can't be transmitted easily. This is what my local no-kill shelter told me and I have heard of cats in their 20's who have FIV with no problems.

Kittens can be given Heska (a shot in the form of drops which go in the eyes & nose) at 4-6 weeks and it starts protecting within 72 hours. Heska is what the shelters use for kittens because I know Distemper is going around with kittens in the CA. If you would rather do the shot...that is best done at 8 weeks.

Rabies can be given at 4 months.

I would say your best bet would be to talk to a no-kill shelter and see what they do.

Abhay
 

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If the kittens are healthy you can have them vaccinated at 9 or 12 weeks of age.

I would wait a little bit longer with the FIV-test. I test my cats (breeding queens) for FIV when they're about 1 year old, but I have no idea how early you can test.

I for one do not think that the FIV-test is a waste of money. Even though a cat can live a long and healthy life with it, I'd sure like to know if it's infected. If the cat would develop some other disease it can be important to know things like, if the cat has FIV.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank-you so much Abhay..I do need that information..as you might have heard (from my postings all over here about it) I'm managing some ferals and want to proceed correctly (a first timer learning as I go so to speak)
I'll contact a no-kill shelter here..yep, the test isn't much in itself but the total per cat here's over $80 and $ 100
Thank-you again..tell you how it goes..ah-yes, when they test for FIV is the FeLK test included? Or are 2 separate tests?If separate when should I ask for a Lek test? Thank-you again :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<<It is SO important..>>

That's part of my decision..I guess I've problems with it because I've always dealt with housecats wich have a different lifestyle than a feral cat.

I'm thinking test the cat to adopt out

Don't test the cat that stays in the colony

Basically because I don't see the risk to other cats where they are, even if it's a suburban area and as long as the cats are vaccinated and medicated
they pose less risk to another pets than a intact/unvaccinated pet cat.
Of course if these pet cats happen to come into contact with a feral they might contract FIV, I suppose.
Then that ferals are better monitored than many other cats in the neiborghood matters nothing..that's my frustration.
BTW, what's Best Friends, a publication? I'd like to read the article.
Thank-you all :)
 

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This quote explains why kittens are not given an FIV test:

Unlike feline leukemia, the test for feline immunodeficiency virus is an antibody test. This is a really important difference when trying to
interpret the test. If a mother cat has FIV she will pass antibodies
against the virus to her kittens in the colostrum (first milk). This
antibody will cause FIV tests done on the kittens to be positive.

It can take several months (at least four) in some cases for the antibody from the mother to get to low enough levels that it won't cause a positive test. For this reason, testing a young kitten for FIV is difficult. If the test is
positive, you can't tell if the kitten is really positive or just carrying
antibodies from its mother. If the test is negative, the kitten may have
been exposed but may not have started to produce antibodies since there is a lag period between infection and antibody production that can be as short as two weeks or as long as two months.

With these two problems interfering with testing, it is probably best not to try to test kittens until they are at least five months of age or to at least plan on retesting kittens around that time to clarify the results of any earlier tests.

I hope that this information is still useful.

Mike Richards, DVM
http://www.vetinfo.com/cfeleuk.html
 

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spittles said:
If it is SO important...why do SO many no-kill shelters not test for it when it would only be $5 more each kitten? Best Friends has an article about FIV and why it is perfectly fine.

Abhay
I have no idea why shelters don't test, but my guess is that $5 a cat is quite a lot money for a shelter. In Sweden the few shelters we have don't really have a lot of money, they can afford to vaccinate and neuter the cats, but that's it. Whenever a crisis occur (a cat needs long term medical treatment or surgery) they have to go out on the streets and beg for money. Last week a local shelter had to find homes for 35 cats! Non of them vaccinated or neutered and most of them infected with cat flu. Many of them had severe eye damage. They had to euthanize three small kittens since their eyes were rotten! So they've been begging for money, food, homes, deworming etc. ever since. I know for sure that they have no chance paying the extra dollars for a FIV-test. Maybe this is why shelters don't test all their cats for FIV? In Sweden we actuarally pay $33 to get a FIV and FeLV combo .

If you can get a FIV test for $5, why not test? Knowing about the disease can help you help the cat to live a longer and healthier life than it would have if you didn't know about it.

I for one want to know if my cats are sick (even if they can live long and healthy lives with the disease) and I don't know of one breeder who don't test their cats and more and more non-breeders in Sweden are starting to test for FeLV and FIV. It's a security to know if the cat is infected or not.
 

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There is no test where you can do FIV-only. In the USA, the only tests for FIV are the FeLV/FIV combo tests.

Like I said above, testing for FIV in kittens is useless unless it is done at 5-6 months old.

Where I volunteer, they only do FeLV testing. They have plenty of extra money from the adoption fee to test for FIV, but they don't consider it a danger so it is not done.

Abhay
 

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spittles said:
There is no test where you can do FIV-only. In the USA, the only tests for FIV are the FeLV/FIV combo tests.

Like I said above, testing for FIV in kittens is useless unless it is done at 5-6 months old.

Where I volunteer, they only do FeLV testing. They have plenty of extra money from the adoption fee to test for FIV, but they don't consider it a danger so it is not done.

Abhay
Well, we all prioritate different things. I want to know if my cats are infected with FIV and FeLV. To me it's vital since I breed. Males do bite their lady after mating so there's a risk for transmitting disease.

Good to hear that "your" shelter have money though :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
**after mating**
..you mean during mating, after the act is completed the female strikes at him and he better retreat!..I'm sure you're concerned with that specially if you are a breeder..I've thought about it too but I quess ferals bite more than just scruffs..which reminds me; how much of a wound is the scruff bite during mating? I don't think it normally is a deep wound, more of hold, right? If so, being that the virus infects a deep wound, it wouldn't matter on a superficial one..on the other hand I think that also could be either_ the last female spayed has some hair missing from the back of her neck, I thought it could be from mating but then it coud be anything else
 

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FeLV is transmitted through salvia, which can mean licking each other, sharing food bowls...etc. My cat tested positive for FeLV when she was about 2 years old. We chose not to kill her, and we re-tested her a few months ago(age 14)....and she was negative!!!

Only 3-5% of feral & pet cats are infected with FeLV, and 1 1/2-3% of feral & pet cats infected with FIV.
http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/shouldwerelease.pdf

My shelter, as well as many others in my area have enough extra money after the adoption fee to test for FIV...but they don't because it isn't a threat.

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.

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, un-neutered tomcats.)
I HAVE NEVER in my life, ever seen serious bite wounds from un-neutered males fighting. Even neutered males often fight(mine sure does).

Abhay
 

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What is the source of the quote? You forgot to put it in your post. I agree that it is not as easily passed from one cat to another, but eventually, the cat will become very ill. The cat with FIV has a compromised immune system. :(

Before my cats became indoor cats, I had one who repeatedly got abscesses. One was so bad it went through his body almost to his spine. The surgery was very expensive, and it took quite a long time of daily cleaning and treating before it was finally healed. I had to clean the wound from the inside out so that the wound would not heal over an infection. Poor Blacky purred, but his paws were sweaty from the pain. I was young and uninformed, and hadn't got him neutered. The surgery was so close to the spine that all of the staff in the hospital who could be spared watched the surgery. At the same time, he was neutered. It was the last of the abscesses he got from fighting over females.
 

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Sorry...it was from the Best Friend's link that she had.

Two of my indoor/outdoor male cats fight and chase others off our property. One of my boys is really aggressive(that is why he cannot be indoor very much with my other cats) and he can get into some pretty nasty cat fights. He has never gotten hurt...never. Even our local un-neutered male(who I plan to get neutered very soon) gets in some nasty cat fights. He has never gotten injured before.

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

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

A neutered cat is extremely unlikely to infect other cats.
Anyway, now Rosalie has heard both our opinions. She gets to make up her own mind. Although Rosalie, I encourage you to do the research before you go spend your money on something that may be useless.

Take Care :D
Abhay
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And I thank-you very much for them..you're right Abhay and Jeanie, all cats no matter what their status will fight; being altered just takes away 1 reason (females) but not any other causes for disagreements..

<<and we re-tested her a few months ago(age 14)....and she was negative>>
I've heard that sometimes the cats system throws off the FIV virus, ussualy after many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Lek? Wow, I haven't heard of Lek babies testing negative later on their lives ever! How nice for all concerned..I guess I mistook or forgot which one it was :lol:
 
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