Chooch and Mayberry are two siblings from a litter of four at Tabby’s Place (two other siblings, Cole and Chase, have already been adopted, as has Momcat Halladay). We know that these kittens were born on or about 3/26/13. Chooch is a buff tabby and white male, with a white tummy, four white legs and paws, and buff tabby patches over his head and on his back (he has a buff tabby tail, too). Chooch’s fur has an unusual, almost woolly, texture.
Here’s where things get challenging. Halladay, the mother of these kittens, is FIV+. The standard test for whether a cat is FIV+ involves antibodies, but kittens are rarely tested this way. Why? Because Mothers pass antibodies to their kittens when the little ones are developing in the womb, so any cat under the age of six months tested by this old method is likely to come up with a positive reading, even if the cat isn’t really FIV+. However, there is now a very new test that looks for the presence of the virus itself—antigens, not antibodies. Antigens are not usually passed from Momcats to their kittens, though it is possible. So a kitten who tests positive for FIV under the new test is very likely to be FIV+. The system isn’t foolproof; both Chooch and Mayberry MUST be tested again at around six months of age. Given the current results from this newer test, we think it very likely that neither kitten is FIV+, but we cannot be absolutely sure until the re-test.
While there’s some lack of certainty with both kittens, we are sure that both are delightful. If you’ve been thinking of adding to your menagerie, do come in to meet them.