Enfield Community Cat Project Policy Regarding Testing
Currently ECCP does not routinely test or vaccinate for FeLV, FIP, or FIV. There are several reasons why this is not done:
1. The Sheer Number of Cats, Kittens Cost If we were to test and vaccinate all these cats, the cost incurred would certainly reduce the number of cats that we could sterilize and adopt. We encourage adopters to speak with their veterinarian to make the best decision for your pet.
2. Known facts The three major feline viral diseases are feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). These viruses are specific to cats and cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals. The occurrence of FeLV and FIV and the rate of transmission of these diseases in cats is very low. Large epidemiologic studies “indicate FeLV and FIV are present in approximately 1 to 1.5% of cats FIP in symptomatic cats is not highly contagious, because by the time a kitty shows clinical signs of the infection, he is shedding only a small amount of the virus FIP is relatively rare in the general cat population
3. Recommendation is that kittens should be tested at 6 months and older. It is recommended to test kittens after the age of 6 months because there is the risk of false positives any time prior to that. Most kittens that test positive are not truly infected and will test negative when re-evaluated at 6 months of age or older. Talk to your veteririan.
In conclusion, we feel that our primary objective has always been to eliminate the incredible surplus of unwanted cats and kittens through humane trap/sterilize/release adopt. The numbers so far indicate that this program is working very well.