I mentioned earlier than Grayson was chosen for adoption, pending his vet visit. We take all of our longer-term cats to our veterinarian for a pre-adoption check-up since we do offer as much of a guarantee as is possible that our cats are healthy, or health issues are known.
Corky and Grayson went in the same day. While waiting the 10 minutes for the combo test to run, I borrowed a comb and went at Grayson's gorgeous coat. He is a sweetheart about tolerating the fur-pulling involved and purred at the attention. I heard the beeper go off signalling that the test was done, in the other room, and then heard the veterinarian say: "What's that?" Then "Well, nothing is ever simple, is it."
Well, crap. Someone clearly had a positive test. First a kitten with one kidney, and now an FIV positive cat. I assumed it was FIV and not FeLV, because FeLV probably would have elicited a more strongly worded private reaction from the veterinarian. Sure enough, when she came in, it was to announce that Grayson was FIV positive.
FIV is not a death sentence by any means. It does mean the cat is more susceptible to illness and dental issues (Grayson has great teeth at this time). It is passed from cat to cat by bite wounds, so average contact with other cats is not much of a risk if the cats aren't fighters. It does mean the adopter needs to have the financial resources for regular vet exams, possible future dental care, and the emotional ability to accept that the cat might not live to an incredibly old age. So it's best to go into an FIV adoption with a little money in the bank and the fortitude to be vigilant.
I went ahead and had Grayson microchipped and vaccines boosted, because even if his current adoptable status changed, FIV cats often are adopted into homes that have other FIV cats (indeed, I've already had one inquiry on him from a home with an FIV cat). Our last FIV cat was here for three years. Luckily we get very few, since we handle mostly isolated rural colonies
Grayson was a grand big tom from the Fast Food Feral colony in the city of Ithaca, and was in fact stalking another male cat who I had already trapped when I first saw him. Grayson then went into a second trap I had set. He turned out to be friendly, so we kept him. It's no surprise his second test was positive.
We will have a Western blot test done when I have some extra money (it runs about $100, and probably more with the vet visit and blood draw) to be sure his regular test wasn't a false positive. Standard FIV tests can show positive for a variety of reasons.
Here is good page on FIV:
And here is the scary one from Cornell University:
Grayson is back here and is his normal sweet self. I'm keeping him with his usual bunk-mate, Fern, since they like one another but don't cuddle or co-groom, and of course he has never had access to any of the other cats, because they all get separate "liberty" time for precisely this reason.