Iowa Pet Adoptions performs limited, targeted testing of cats and kittens for FeLV and FIV before they are adopted to new owners - we do not test all cats and kittens. Currently, we base our decision to test or not test based on the policy statements of UK based The Cat Group and resources listed below.
We test higher risk cats, including those which appear sick. Kittens which are believed to have exclusively spent time with their mother and siblings are generally not tested, when the mother tests negative.
Our decision to not test all cats and kittens is in part because the initial test performed in veterinary clinics generates false positives:
The second problem is that even with a very accurate test, when an infection is of low prevalence (as with FeLV in healthy cats), an appreciable number of false positive results will be obtained. It is widely agreed, therefore, that a single positive result in a healthy cat should not be considered to be indicative of persistent infection and should be confirmed by a more specialised test such as virus isolation or immunofluorescence. While the status of such cats is being confirmed, they should be maintained in isolation to avoid any possible risk of transmission to other cats.
IPA notifies adopters whether testing has been performed, and the results of any tests. If a cat or kitten is adopted and not tested prior to adoption, if the pet is found to be positive within 2 weeks after adoption, the adoption fee is refunded, and the pet may either be kept or returned to IPA.