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Discussion Starter #1
I suppose this question is for DrJean but anyone with experience with this is more than welcome to answer. We're planning on getting an older kitten or younger cat this summer. Holly is up on all her shots. If we adopt a cat/kitten from a private person, as opposed to a shelter, do you advise testing for aids and leukemia before we bring her home. Vaccinations are great but they aren't 100%- right?
 

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Well, ya just happened to get me! :D

Yes, absolutely, any new cat should be tested for leukemia and AIDS before exposing your other cats to it. Not all shelters test for both, so even if you get a shelter cat, make sure it's been tested.

Of course, you will be separating the new cat for a while anyway in order to properly introduce them, so you do have a little time. It probably isn't necessary to rush to the vet on your way home with the new addition!

The vaccine for feline AIDS is not recommended at all by the experts. I don't recommend the leukemia vaccine for routine use, and experts do not recommend it for indoor cats with no exposure. For kittens, distemper and rabies are the only essentials.

We've got a couple of articles on getting a new kitten and setting up base camp in our free article library at http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library, that you might want to check out ahead of time. Also, I am working on an article on vaccinations, so stay tuned! :)

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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It's a good idea to test the new cat for FeLV and FIV. It's a simple thing to do. When it comes to vaccinations I would recommend to vaccinate against rabies, cat flu and panleukopenia. The other vaccines, against FIP, FeLV etc aren't necessary unless you've had one of the diseases in your cat population.
 

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I agree with what has already been said. I do have my feral cats tested and vaccinated for Feline Leukimea (along with common combo shot and rabies), and have them tested for FIV when I have them altered, but they only get the shot once, and I've never had one test positive yet. The ones that are tame enough to allow handeling, I give the combo shot every year and rabies every 3 years, but don't worry about anything more then that. I do the same for my own cats, since they're exposed to the feral cats quite often so I never know what they might be exposed to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. We appreciate the great advice.
 
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