How To Test for FeLV and FIV in Cats

Community cats are roughly equally susceptible to the feline leukemia virus and the feline immunodeficiency virus as are cats that are owned. Others insist on testing and euthanizing any cats who test positive, even if they are currently healthy.


Some private veterinarians only screen community animals for these infections if the carer wants it. Various TNR programs test all cats, sick cats only, adoptable cats exclusively, and all other cats. Cost is undoubtedly significant, but there are other variables that should also be taken into account.

Numerous factors prevent organizations from regularly testing healthy colony cats. Logistics is the first. To eliminate false positives and false negatives, two tests must be performed at least one month apart in order to get an accurate diagnosis.

Additionally, a cat’s immune response to the first infection increases the likelihood that he will test negative later on if he initially tests positive for feline leukemia by roughly 30%. What should one do with a feral cat that is expecting his second litter?

Should I release him and try to catch him again after a month in a test cage? Returning a healthy cat to the colony after TNR makes reasonable because most other healthy colony members have likely previously been exposed to diseases carried by the members and have developed immunity. This is because cats live in colonies in close quarters.

FeLV is highly shed in saliva, nasal secretions, milk from infected cats, as well as in urine, feces, and urine. The virus can spread from cat to cat by bites, sharing grooming tools, shared dishes, and transmission from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before or after delivery.


Community cat spaying and neutering will stop cat breeding and the transmission of FeLV from mother cats to kittens. Aggression and the transmission of FeLV through bite wounds will decline as a result of spaying and neutering.

FeLV is typically asymptomatic in cats. The owner should make every effort to re-trap the cat if it displays disease symptoms including a bad coat, weakness, or weight loss. A FeLV/FIV test in this case would assist determine whether the cat has end-stage feline leukemia or something else, like a severe upper respiratory infection that may be treated with medication for a week or two. You may choose to treat the cat, depending on the ailment and your level of expertise.

However, euthanasia should be thought about if the cat’s quality of life is low.
FIV is typically transmitted by deep bites and is not particularly infectious. Once cats are spayed and neutered, transmission is significantly less likely to occur. The majority of transmission is linked to mating behaviors (males fighting with other males or males biting females while mating).


Most FIV-positive cats exhibit no symptoms. The carer should attempt to re-trap the cat for veterinarian treatment if symptoms like non-healing wounds and an increased propensity to other illnesses start to manifest.


Housing and Subsistence

TNR is the first step in keeping neighborhood cats healthy, but it’s not the end of it. In the event of chilly, rainy, or windy weather, neighborhood cats will welcome a warm, dry shelter. By inquiring about scrap lumber at building supply stores or contractors, you might obtain low-cost or free materials. Hosting a party to build a shelter is a good time.

You can also inquire about used dog homes from friends, neighbors, and coworkers, which can be converted to make excellent shelters. To ask if they would participate in constructing shelters as a volunteer project, speak with nearby youth organizations. There is a ton of useful information here.

on the website of Neighborhood Cats, providing suggestions for building shelters and preventing water from freezing.

Put the food bowl inside of a larger container to make a little moat if you want to prevent ants and other insects from getting into the cats’ food. The bigger bowl should then have about a half inch of water added.


Ants won’t be able to get to the food in the smaller dish because of the water surrounding it, but the cats can still eat while leaning over. Provide enough dishes if you are feeding a lot of cats so that multiple cats can eat at once. Having many bowls available may also make it easier for cats who may be last to the food bowl to grab their share.

Keep the feeding area tidy and trash-free because wildlife can be attracted to the food. Ask the individual who is now feeding the cats to continue doing so. Remember to reduce the amount of food you leave as the colony size shrinks and to avoid leaving more food than the cats can consume to prevent the excess food from luring wildlife. Due to the nocturnal nature of many wild animals drawn to cat food, it is best to feed during the day and remove the food by dusk.

Despite the fact that no repellents have been approved for use on coyotes, coyotes have been successfully controlled with some of the dogs’ and cats’ repellents. Ranchers also employ a climbing pole that allows cats to flee when a coyote surprises them in the open as a method of protecting their cats.


Cats may have access to hiding spots and escape routes if they are fed close to an area with lots of trees. You might want to think about giving the cats a safe haven in an enclosure if you can. Search the Internet

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