March 1, 2011 "Ask Seth"
There is a homeless cat hanging around my house. I want to take him in, but I already have two cats. What tests should I get for him?
A cat has been coming around the house lately and I would like to take this cat in. I have put up posters and have not been able to find his family. I would like to bring him into my home, but I want to make sure he doesn’t give my two healthy cats anything. What tests or vaccines should I get completed before introducing him to my family?
I recommend that you take the cat to your veterinarian and have him tested for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and also Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) feline - AIDS. These are the two most prevalent and transmittable viruses among stray cats. Testing will allow you to ensure that your cats will not get these diseases from the new addition to your family. Vaccines should be given as if this cat was a young kitten. This will allow him the chance to build up immunity to the viruses that he may not have been exposed to yet. A rabies vaccination is an absolute requirement. I also highly recommend having the cat neutered in the very near future. As always, it's best to consult your veterinarian before introducing this cat to your two cats.
Seth Mayersohn, CVT