You are wise to not bring Grace home in fear of exposing your other cat. You could get your other cat vaccinated for FeLV. However, the FeLV vaccine has only 80% to 85% protection, but it's better than zero. This is one option if nothing else.

As you know, there is a chance that she clears the virus. It's good that Grace is IFA negative!! This disease is not black & white. There are too many "if's" for me to ever take a chance in mixing positives with negatives. In fact, I'm in the same boat. I adopted a 3 mos. old kitten last year in Sept. He was neutered in Nov & was born with coccidia along with the rest of his litter ( the Humane Society tested him for FeLV the day he was neutered). The HS vet said he was negative. On March 10th of this year I had to put him to sleep. He had a faint positive on the FeLV test. He was not himself the day prior. When I took him in he was anemic, had a heart murmur and his blood oxygen level was very low. My vet said their was a very slim chance that he would survive even with a blood transfusion. He had too many health issues which compromised his immune system.

I also have a 2 yr old male cat at home that has always been an indoor cat. I never knew of this disease, therefore, he was not vaccinated against it. Having fostered then adopting my HS kitten, my adult cat was probably exposed to this virus for the 6 mos that I had my kitten (of course we don't know exactly when he was shedding the virus). So far, my adult cat, Sugar, has tested ELISA negative. I had Sugar tested the day I put the kitten to sleep, then again 30 days later, and again this month. I'm going to test him next month as well. Since all the ELISA tests have been negative, we did not do an IFA test.

Every cat's immune system is different. I know people do mix, but I hope at least they are mixing with negatives that have been vaccinated. This is just my opinion. I'm sure that this may work for some, but for newbies like myself experiencing this for the first time, I proceed with much caution. I will not bring home another cat or kitten until I know Sugar is in the clear. He so wants another companion to play with!

I will keep Grace in my thoughts and prayers and please keep me posted. I hope she clears the virus so that your cat at home has a new purrfect companion!

Best wishes and the best of luck to you!!
----- Original Message ----- From: "Kasie Maxwell, Rara Avis | SFRAW" <ka...@sonic.net>
To: <felvtalk@felineleukemia.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:14 PM
Subject: [Felvtalk] Discordant Results (ELISA+/IFA-)


We recently adopted a spayed female adult cat (2-3 years of age), Grace,
that was tested for FeLV/FIP (neg. results) upon intake in Oct 2009 by the
rescue. She was retested the morning we took her home by the rescue's local
vet with a "low positive" ELISA for FeLV (FIV still neg.).  The rescue
allowed me to take her on a foster agreement because of my dedication and
experience level, not with this disease in particular, but with caring for
animals in general (former vet tech, former assistant to a veterinary
homeopath, past pet sitter, herbalist for animals and founder of a large raw
feeders co-op).

We drove a long distance to meet her (from San Francisco to the Oregon
border) - requiring a stay in a pet-friendly hotel. She seemed healthy when
we met her (we spent a few hours at the rescue, then stayed overnight and
picked her up the next morning) but she sneezed a few times and had a tiny
bit of snot while we drove away from the rescue in her crate, and had a few
fairly dramatic sneezing fits overnight in the hotel, but seemed otherwise
healthy and has a wonderful, strong appetite and normal elimination.

She developed a full blown URI in the days following and we had her retested
by a local feline specialist.  She had a positive FeLV ELISA and negative

We have not brought her home yet as I have one very healthy 4 yr old male
neutered cat at home that has never been exposed to any cat illnesses. I am
keeping the new kitty, Grace, at my work office and warehouse (it's my own
business and while not a home environment, I'm there twice daily and spend
hours with her every day) and changing clothes/shoes, etc. and doing a lot
of laundry to ensure I don't bring anything home to my cat.

She's finally getting over her URI and will be retested for FeLV again on
May 26th (30 days after the first time I tested her at the local feline
specialist vet).  I know the odds are not in our favor, but I am hoping
she'll be part of that 30% that clear the disease from their systems and are no longer considered persistently infected. The reason why she's at my work is that was the only safe place to keep her in isolation because we live in
the city, in a tiny studio, so we do not have a separate room to keep her
in. We decided this while we drove home and I discussed the situation with
my own vet (who is also a dear friend).  We even considered renting an
apartment for her and my partner to live in for the next 60 days while we
test her every 30 days - that would be really expensive though and she's
doing okay so far at my warehouse/office.

I just wonder what other's experiences have been with discordant tests in
adult cats (not kittens). IMO, it would not be ethical to expose my healthy
cat to a positive FeLV cat.  But we are totally in love with Grace -- we
have been actively looking at cats to adopt since we lost our two Great
Danes to senescence last year (in June and in Oct - both were aged 12).
Since Nov, we've gone to so many shelters and rescues looking for just the
right kitty, with the perfect temperament, to be a companion to our kitty
that really misses his beloved elder dog pack. We knew Grace was "the one"
the minute we met her.  We adore her and hope to spend the next 20+ years
with her as part of our family.  We hope she will test double negative and
can come home where we can then start a proper, slow introduction to our
feisty resident kitty.

Has anyone had this experience? If she tests positive for both or continues
to remain discordant, we'll need to find her another home - breaking our
hearts. She's getting a lot of special care, homeopathy and supplements in
addition to her species appropriate diet, which we feel will support her
towards the best possible outcome (the rescue feeds raw only to all her
animals and I've fed raw exclusively since 1989).

Thanks in advance!


PS - I noticed today she has also cutaneous horn growth on her paw pads -
one resembles a toenail, but the others are just short little tips/horns. I
know this condition may be related to FeLV infection, but it may also be
found in FeLV negative cats. I've never seen them before - sort of neat to
see something so unusual/uncommon.

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