Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Testing kittens for FIV/FeLV before adoption

    Posted 04-16-2019 09:19 AM

    Hello! I would like some advice about testing kittens younger than 6 months for FIV/FeLV before adoption. I have heard a lot of shelters have stopped testing kittens. Is this true? We want to start doing that as well but I know some of our local veterinarians will have a problem with it (actually we already had one call the shelter very concerned that we might be sending out infected kittens). Are there any links to studies or information about this that I can show to these veterinarians and our public (adopters)? Thank you in advance!


  • 2.  RE: Testing kittens for FIV/FeLV before adoption

  • 3.  RE: Testing kittens for FIV/FeLV before adoption

  • 4.  RE: Testing kittens for FIV/FeLV before adoption

    Posted 04-17-2019 12:32 PM

    We test at 8 weeks and if there is an issue again at 12 weeks, then if positive every 2 week till 5-6 months old. We never send a cat out that is felv positive unless it goes to a home that have felv cats already.


  • 5.  RE: Testing kittens for FIV/FeLV before adoption

    Posted 04-18-2019 09:08 AM


    We have individual condos and then also a free-roaming kitten room (once healthy, dewormed, vaccinated, tested, etc).  We historically wait to test kittens until 12 weeks of age for FeLV/FIV and they are not available for adoption until that is done and also fixed at 3lbs (10-12 weeks of age).  I have gone to the links below but with a community kitten room, I'm wondering if it would still be okay to test at 8 weeks and then just instruct our adopters to follow up with their vet for any subsequent testing as recommended?  In the past, we were told this was too early to test but it shows that FeLV can be detected within 30 days after exposure and FIV 60 days so I feel 8 weeks of age is sufficient since exposure would likely be through mom?  Of course, we are not as concerned for the FIV as the FeLV infection due to the implications and affect if the adopter has other cats in the home.  If this is possible, we could possibly switch to spay/neuter at 2lbs as well for healthy kittens and get them home faster.

    Thank you, 

    Sally Hubbard


    Grayslake, IL