FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
Why we don’t test for FIV
Feline immunodeficiency virus is a rare incurable retrovirus (meaning that the virus replicates in the host cell). The virus is most commonly transmitted through deep bite wounds – although it is possible for cats to test positive and show no signs and indeed lead long healthy happy lives. Under normal conditions, the virus is not transmitted through nursing, grooming, shared food/water or even from mother to kitten. Many cats experience no visible effects.
While there is a vaccine available, it is not recommended, as it only protects kitties from a few strains, and the virus is always changing. Another problem is that a vaccinated cat will test positive because of the antibodies created by the vaccine. That means that should your cat ever end up in a shelter, it would test positive (even though it DOES NOT have the virus) and would likely be put down.
Unless your cat is showing signs of FIV (reduced ability to fight infection/enlarged lymph nodes), we see no reason to test for FIV.