FIV and FeLV are incurable viruses that only affect cats. Humans cannot catch or transmit these viruses. Not all cats that become infected will develop the disease.
Cats who test positive for FIV often live long, healthy lives. Many veterinary spay and neuter clinics do not test for FeLV or FIV, because most community cats enjoy excellent health and are no more likely to be infected with disease than owned cats. In fact, owned cats and community cats contract FeLV and FIV at an equally low rate (about 4%)*.
The San Francisco SPCA Community Cats Program does not promote the testing community cats for FIV and FeLV for multiple reasons:
The San Francisco SPCA does not support the euthanasia of healthy cats who test positive for FeLV and FIV. The American Association of Feline Practitioners agrees, recommending against routine euthanasia of healthy FeLV- and FIV-positive cats. Cats showing signs of illness or injury should be trapped and taken to a veterinarian for medical treatment.
To expedite the adoption process, please complete the cat or dog adoption form and bring a printed copy with you to the SF SPCA Adoption Center (Hours & Location). This helps us better understand what sort of pet you’re looking for so we can guide you every step of the way! Please bring a valid photo ID and verification that you are allowed to have a pet where you currently live.
First, we’ll meet with you to find out more about you and your pet preferences and answer your questions. Our goal is to help you find the pet that best fits your lifestyle and living situation so we want to make sure you have a realistic understanding of the time and resources necessary to provide training, medical treatment, and proper care for your new pet. This can take time so please allow at least one hour for the adoption process.
Once we have a good understanding of your living situation and the type of pet you’re interested in, we’ll make introductions and let you spend some quality time getting to know each other to see if there’s a love connection. It’s important that all household members take part in this important decision so please make sure everyone is present (including any resident dogs if you’re considering adding a new pooch to your pack).
Once love happens, we’ll complete the paperwork, review all the SF SPCA adoption benefits, provide information on any known medical or behavioral issues, and share tips to make the transition a success for both you and your new pet.
We consider you and your new furry friend a part of the SF SPCA family so please reach out with questions ― and be sure to share your adoption stories and pet photos at sfspca.org/stories
Don’t forget to schedule your first free health exam at the SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital within three days of adopting.