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Double tested for FIV when negative?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm adopting a cat from a rescue who advises to retest my 4 month old kitty for FIV even though his first test came back negative. The rescue people didn't really stress it nor did they know much about it. I read online that it isn't necessary to retest if the initial test was negative - is this true? For what it's worth, the kitten's mother didn't have FIV and the kittens haven't been outside, so the chances are extremely slim.
post #2 of 8
Never heard of that... Often times they'll double test positive kittens because it's easy for them to get false positives (due to their mothers colustrum I think).
post #3 of 8
I have been told by many people on here as well as my vet that the tests aren't always accurate when the cat is still a kitten. They can get falso negatives and false positives.

Also there is the fact that FeLV and FIV take a month to show up on tests. So if your cat was infected 2 weeks ago, and you just tested today, it wouldn't show up as a positive.
post #4 of 8
There are false positives and false negatives - both sides, in a kitten or jr cat. Freddie tested positive, then negative, then positive - it was all heartbreaking to us, really. The reason is because a developing cat's immunity system goes through so many changes and growth that FIV can be enigmatic at least until 18 mos of age. Our vet, who happened to be an FeLV specialist, recommended re-testing at 6 mos intervals. The snap test is inexpensive and should be a good indicator. Hugs!
post #5 of 8
I have read studies that say kittens shouldn't be tested under 16 weeks as it can show a false result due to the mum's antibodies, so that could be why. And in the UK, not sure about the US, the in house test shows both false positives and false negatives - if that is the case in the US, I wouldn't bother with it.
post #6 of 8
I don't see why they say retest. I had a 6 week old come up positive for FELV and they said to retest in 4 months. Your cat is already 4 months old so I don't know.

Do you have multiple cats? If so I suppose I would, if you don't, I wouldn't worry about it. Out of three cats I got ahold of only one tested positive for FELV, and my current cat still doesn't have it [neither did his litter mate]. So I really wouldn't be too concerned, but that's just me.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a 2 year-old cat at home now. I had never heard about getting a cat retested and my current guy was tested at 8 week and never tested again - he was negative. I am going to get this cat's complete story about if he was born in a home/has he ever been outside before testing him again (he currently is at a foster home until I pick him up next week). If his mom's negative, he initially tested negative, and hasn't been outside in his entire life, then I'm not worried.

But on a lighter note, I can't wait to get my new guy!
post #8 of 8
As stated upwards, :P, if the cat is old enough for its first test, 8 weeks+, then the only real reason to retest if neg. initially is in the off chance the cat was exposed in the 2+weeks prior to testing.

Every cat who tests positive should be retested in case of false positive or:
- some cats with a "light positive" FIV test will beat it and retest neg later.
- Around 40% of FeLV pos cats will beat it and it will go into remission and will re-test neg later. When it goes into remission the virus basically hides in the bone marrow (where blood production occurs) and this fact led to the misnomer "feline leukemia" when it has nothing to do with leukemia at all.

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