Many new diagnostic in-house tests for identification of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infection have been licensed for use in veterinary practice, and the question of the relative merits of these kits has prompted comparative studies. This study was designed to define the strengths and weaknesses of seven FIV and eight FeLV tests that are commercially available. In this study, 536 serum samples from randomly selected cats were tested. Those samples reacting FIV-positive in at least one of the tests were confirmed by Western blot, and those reacting FeLV-positive were confirmed by virus isolation. In addition, a random selection of samples testing negative in all test systems was re-tested by Western blot (100 samples) and by virus isolation (81 samples). Specificity, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values of each test and the quality of the results were compared.