I brought a very young stray kitten into my home at about 6 weeks.  His initial 
test was negative and he was vaccinated even though he was a bit too young for 
it.  I am in Japan and they have very different beliefs.  (Their first vaccine 
is a 5 in one and includes it.)  Anyway, I kept the kitten separate from my 
positive cat for about a week.  They continued to have separate bowls and 
litter pans and the kitten hid most of the time.  My vet believed that 
prolonged exposure was necessary and after vaccination he should be OK.

4 weeks later, he went to get his booster and retested a very faint positive.  

My Fuji, another stray who also tested negative initially was diagnosed when 
she was one year old.  I do not believe she got it from exposure as she stayed 
inside until she was 8 months old.  Then her outside time was extremely 
limited.  She did not have prolonged exposure to any other cats and did not get 
into any fights. It is my belief she got it from her mom and simply suppressed 
it until it came out later in life.  She was pretty sickly when we got her and 
we managed to almost entirely suppress her secondary virus issue.

To make a very long story even longer, I actually believe that the kitten was 
probably also from a positive mother.  Here in Japan, people buy pets from 
shops at a very high price!  Strays tend to be very common and are very sickly. 
 It is possible they pay so much for their pets in order to get healthy ones.  
While I could blame myself for making the baby sick, I try not to.  I know that 
as far as love, affection and vet care he is better off than he would have been 
with another family.  His mom and sister are still lose and homeless. 

All of this being said, everything that I read indicated that older cats tend 
to have a natural immunity.  If your other cats are older and you vaccinate 
them, it seems as though they would be OK.  

The bottom line is, you have to make your own decision and then be prepared to 
deal with the consequences.  We all love our little VooDoo kitten to pieces and 
he loves us right back.  He will have the best and longest life he can possibly 
have!  I do not regret for one minute taking him in, even as he sits in my lap 
with a terrible stuffed up nose and sneezing.  He has been to the vet twice and 
everything is being done to get him healthy!

You will get some very strong opinions on this one and most will actually be 

You do what is best for you:)

Melinda, Fuji and VooDoo
On Dec 7, 2010, at 4:01 AM, Stephanie (Merkel) Sherry wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I am new to this site and new to the world of FELV.  My husband and I 
> recently 
> took in a stray kitten, Magic, who had been coming into our yard and on our 
> porch.  We've had her inside and separated from our FELV negative cats for 
> six 
> weeks now and love her dearly.
> At her first vet appt about five week ago she tested positive on two 
> different 
> snap tests.  She also recently tested positive on the IFA test.  Magic is 
> about 
> five months old and is healthy (other than FELV), active, growing and gaining 
> weight, loves to play and is the sweetest girl.  For now, she lives in our 
> master bedroom separated from our other cats.
> One of the vets at my practice suggested it was possible to integrate her 
> with 
> our other cats if we had them all vaccinated.  She did tell me that the 
> vaccine 
> isn't 100% so there was some risk to our other cats.  Right now, I do not 
> feel 
> like is the option for me as it doesn't seem fair to expose my FELV negative 
> to 
> cats to the risk of the vaccine itself or exposure to her.  However, I 
> thought I 
> would ask if anyone has gone this route and what their experience has been.  
> The 
> vet who suggested this to me isn't the vet I usually see and I am waiting for 
> my 
> regular vet to come back to work later this week.
> Assuming we don't integrate her with the other cats, she is currently living 
> in 
> our bedroom.  She doesn't seem unhappy and while it's not an ideal set-up for 
> us, it is something we could manage long term.  I struggle with what is fair 
> for 
> her - to stay with us where we love her so much, but her space is limited or 
> to 
> find her a home where she can have more space and possibly time with her 
> owners.  If she stays with us in our bedroom, should we still vaccinate our 
> other cats as a precaution?
> Any thoughts or experience anyone has on either of these issues would be 
> greatly 
> appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Stephanie
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