We took the kitten to the vet today to get checked over and get all his shots. Our vet thinks he (yes! it’s a he!) is 10-12 weeks old, and that he looks healthy. The kitten is really warming up to us – loves to be held and purrs really loudly – and didn’t even put up a fuss when he was getting his shots (we went ahead and got him his feline leukemia shot too) *or* when they took a blood sample to check for diseases.
The only thing that came back that isn’t great news is that he tested positive for FIV – it’s the cat version of HIV. The vet explained that it may mean that these antibodies showed up because his mommy had FIV -or- because it really was passed to him. They won’t be able to know for sure until he comes in at his six month appointment for his next checkup and neutering.
Either way, FIV isn’t dangerous to humans, but it means that he will need to be an indoor-only kitty and that he will likely do best in a one-cat home. FIV spreads through body fluids, so casual contact with another cat wouldn’t spread it, but if he got into a fight with another cat, the other cat could possibly come down with it. The vet said that really he could still expect the kitty to live a normal life span, just that he might be a little more susceptible to colds, etc.
I got the impression that if he were taken care of like most of us take care of our indoor kitties, it really wouldn’t be a big deal.
Since we already have Tchotchke, we’re going to be asking friends who don’t already have an indoor cat to think about giving the kitten a home (and I think I may have already found him a home with someone at Av’s office). I know that noone that meets him will even be able to *think* about turning him down!