We have vaccinated five groups of cats (n = 25) four times with five preparations of recombinant feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) env gene products; one group (n = 7) served as control. The vaccine formulations were as follows: (1) envelope glycoprotein of FIV Zurich 2 (FIV Z2) expressed in a Baculovirus system and isolated by gel electroelution (denatured form); (2) insect cells expressing FIV Z2 glycoprotein; (3) envelope glycoprotein of a Boston strain (FIV Bangston) expressed in insect cells and isolated by gel electroelution (denatured form); (4) glycosylated Bangston envelope protein made in insect cells and isolated in a native form; (5) non-glycosylated Bangston envelope protein made in Escherichia coli. All cats were challenged with 20 50% cat infective doses (CID50) of FIV Z2 previously titrated in cats. All vaccinated cats developed high enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) antibodies to the homologous antigen; crossreactivity to heterologous antigens was seen at a lower level. Virus neutralizing antibodies (tested with Petaluma virus) reached titers up to 32. After challenge, all cats seroconverted (as judged by anti gag antibodies in Western blot) and became infected (as judged by virus isolation and/or polymerase chain reaction) between 4 and 11 weeks with the exception of one cat. It is concluded that it is relatively easy to induce high ELISA antibody titers using recombinant env gene products, ELISA antibody titers do not correlate with virus neutralization or with protection.