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Are tests necessary for a "dumped" kitty?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm planning to bring in a dumped kitty; a fellow down the street moved off & left her. I know she's been spayed (thank heaven) but don't know a thing about her vaccination history. I asked at my vet's the other day, and apparently there is only 1 vet clinic in our town that would spay a cat without having all their vaccinations being done first. They did, however, recommend that I bring her in for an FIV and FeLuke test.
Some of you may have seen a thread from last week that I posted about my 17y/o Sophie; she had to be put to sleep last Monday. Even tho' she was only at the hospital for 24 hours, we ended up with a bill of over $500. My DH doesn't want to add to this, especially since we have 2 kittens that we will be having spayed within a month or 2.
I've done some reading about FIV, and how unreliable the tests are. I obviously don't want to compromise the health of the 4 cats I have (all indoors, all vaccinated). I know that even if the new kitty tested +, odds are she wouldn't spread it to my others.
I guess what I'm getting at is this--just how reliable are the FIV and FeLuke tests? I know there are quite a few vet techs here, and would love to have your opinion. I'm all for having her tested, but don't want to fight with my DH about it. (I told him I was going to get advice here, and he pretty much agreed to go with the majority! What a guy!)
post #2 of 13
How long was she on her own? Was she an indoor/outdoor cat before? Do you have a lot of strays in your area?

I also am divided about the testing, I have not had any of my babies tested at all. I give them their shots here, getting the vaccines from UPCO a reputable company.

None of my ferals have their shots because they won't stand still long enough for me to give them to them. However, all of my ferals are spayed and are very, very healthy.

I guess it is a decision for each of us to make, but those tests are expensive and sometimes give false readings. Whatever you do however, DO NOT give your cats the Feline Leukemia vaccination. That will produce a result of positive on the leukemia test because the antibodies will be in their system and if they are ever picked up by animal control and checked, they will be put down.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
This lovely girl was an indoor/outdoor cat (her former owner had a doggy-door that she used whenever), she has always spent more time in my yard than anywhere else. In fact, about 2 months ago I put a lost&found ad in the paper regarding her. I could tell she was newly spayed and assumed she'd gotten out of her owner's house & they couldn't find her. Her owner called me & told me he hadn't seen her days; he never did come to get her.
There are a couple of stray males that hang around the neighborhood, but they don't bother her (good thing she's spayed).
I would estimate her age to be 8 or 9 months. I've given her the first dose of wormer and Revolution, and just got her a lovely collar today. All that's left to do now is either take her to the vet then bring her in, or just bring her in without the vet.
post #4 of 13
I get all new ones tested because I get them all the shots when taken in and I understand that if they have FIV or FeLuk getting the vaccination could be disastrous if they have the disease.

I also get them micro-chipped so that if they are picked up, the information is available that they've been vaccinated and not mistakenly believed to have the disease.
post #5 of 13
Well, really the choice is yours. I checked Tammy-Timmy out visually and then ran her down to the vets just for a quick check up. No tests....just a quick look see and she just blended in with the group. Because I thought she was pregnant, I have not given her any shots yet, but all the others in the house had theirs, so I just crossed my fingers and let her in. I was very fortunate. Once she has these kits (if ever) and they get about 9 to 10 weeks, I will order 4-in-1, enough for everyone, and give them their shots. Of course, the kittens will need a 2nd shot in about two weeks.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
Whatever you do however, DO NOT give your cats the Feline Leukemia vaccination. That will produce a result of positive on the leukemia test because the antibodies will be in their system and if they are ever picked up by animal control and checked, they will be put down.
Actually, it is the FIV vaccine that causes the false positive result, NOT the FeLV vaccine. FIV is the one with the less reliable tests as well, from my understanding. If you are only going to do one test, definitely do the Feline Leukemia (FeLV) test, because FeLV is much more contagious than FIV.
post #7 of 13
I would get her the vaccinations. Unless you can call the local vets and have them look her up under the neighbors name, to be sure she already had vaccinations. If you bring distemper or some other disease into your home, it will be devastating!

I'm not so sure about the testing...I think those illnesses are only passed on by fighting. If so, and the kitties don't fight, you should be ok.
post #8 of 13
I would have her tested for FeLV. FIV is hard to spread and if she was already vaccianted, she would have a false positive anyways. FeLV tests are more accurate and that would be what you need to worry about her having because it is transferred very easily, even through human contact between cats I believe. FIV is not as important because FIV positive cats can coexist with FIV negative cats and share food and litter and everything.
post #9 of 13
You definately want her to receive up to date shots.

Katie
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Unless you can call the local vets and have them look her up under the neighbors name,
Unfortunately, I don't know what that guy's name was. He lived in a rental property, and people come & go really quickly. Our vet is 99% sure this kitty would have had at least rabies & distemper vaccinations before her spaying. I think I'll go ahead with the FeLV test (& vaccination).
post #11 of 13
Apologies for my mis-information. Sorry about that.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
This little lady made her trip to the vet this morning, and tested neg. for FeLV and FIV. She's been vaccinated and at this moment is hiding under a bookcase, growling at her new brother, Jack. The vet put her age at 7 months, and said she was absolutely unconcerned about all the temp. taking & vaccinating that they did. Hopefully, in a couple of days she & the rest of my tribe will be on speaking (not growling) terms.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
I would have her tested for FeLV. FIV is hard to spread and if she was already vaccianted, she would have a false positive anyways. FeLV tests are more accurate and that would be what you need to worry about her having because it is transferred very easily, even through human contact between cats I believe.
Just an FYI, the leukemia virus does not survive very long at all outside of the body so passing the disease through human contact is extremely unlikely, so unless you petted a positive cat and got slobber all over your hand, then petted a healthy cat and the cat then immediately cleaned themselves, ingesting the slobber, and even with that scenario there is about a .00000001% of passing it through human contact
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