First of all, thank you for fostering!  You and your daughters provided an
invaluable service for your local HS.

I'm sorry your first fostering experience has been tainted by FeLV.  Please
understand that FeLV isn't an automatic death sentence though cats and
kittens who are positive usually have a shorter life span.  However, it
doesn't mean their quality of life is horrible the entire time they are
alive.  Whether they live for days or months or years, FeLV+ cats and
kittens can have fun, be crazy, play like there is no tomorrow and give
tons of love.

Testing kittens for FeLV can be troublesome, especially if they've been
exposed to the virus.  I work with several different rescues in the Los
Angeles area and also have a FeLV+ cat and have had them in the past.  Most
rescues and vets will recommend testing the kittens once they have reached
six months of age OR have been separated from an FeLV carrier for six
months.  False positives happen more frequently in kittens under 6 months
of age so that is why they suggest testing when they hit the six month

As far as their chances of having FeLV, no one can say with certainty or
give you probabilities.  Some kittens get it while others don't.  For
instance, I've had a kitten that was rescued from a hoarder.  This kitten
was around three other litters for two months and around the mama cats.
 The kitten I brought home was FeLV+ but no other kittens ever tested
positive nor did their mamas.  As you can see, FeLV is a real crapshoot.  I
apologize I can't give you a more definitive answer.

Most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, is how important
fostering is.  I know your current experience is rough and you may feel you
are not up to it.  Whether these kittens end up with FeLV or not, your
fostering them most likely saved their lives. Even if their lives are cut
short by a FeLV related illness, they knew love and care and that is the
most important part of fostering; every animal deserves to know love and
safety and somebody has to love those FeLV kitties!  Hopefully, they stay
negative, find great homes and you choose to keep fostering.

Once again, thanks for fostering.


On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Deborah Adams <> wrote:

> Hi all,** <>
> I'm a new member of this group hoping to better understand FeLv and the
> situation that I'm in.  Last month, I decided to foster kittens for my
> local humane society as a summer project with my 2 girls (age 7 and 10
> years).  We were given a momma cat and her 3 kittens who were about 4-5
> weeks old, found as strays. All were initially tested for FeLv and came
> back negative (I don't know which test HS used.)  After helping momma wean
> her kittens, I returned her to the shelter this past weekend.  Yesterday
> she was retested for FeLV before her spay surgery and was positive. (HS
> checked both her blood and serum.)  Today, I took the kittens back to HS
> for testing and they are negative for FeLV.  I agreed to continue fostering
> them for 30 days and then they will be retested.
> How much hope do these kittens have? Is there any chance that they will
> continue to be negative for FeLV? I'm so stressed about all this.  My kids
> are heart-broken.  I feel like everything is going all wrong.  First, they
> all got URI and one kitten got a persistent eye infection that took three
> different antibiotics until it finally cleared up.  But her eye is all
> clouded over and she is probably blind in that eye.  And now this FeLV
> scare.  I don't know if I can handle fostering.
> Deborah Adams
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