Monoclonal antibodies were generated against the feline homologue of CD4 (fCD4) by immunisation of mice with solid matrix antigen-antibody complexes of monoclonal antibody Fel7 (anti-fCD4) and formalin-fixed Staphylococcus A (SMAA-fCD4). The resulting fusion produced nine monoclonal antibodies each of which recognised a major population of feline lymphocytes and which immunoprecipitated a 55 kDa ligand from the feline T lymphosarcoma cell line 3201. Epitope mapping of the antibodies against soluble fCD4 by surface plasmon resonance indicated that the antibodies recognised five separate epitopes distinct from that defined by the Fel7 antibody used to prepare the SMAA-fCD4. These data demonstrate that SMAA complexes are an efficient means of generating monoclonal antibodies recognising novel epitopes on an antigen. One monoclonal antibody (vpg39) recognised an epitope that was expressed variably between cats, being either present or completely absent. Analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes from specific pathogen free cats suggested that failure to react with the vpg39 antibody was an inherited trait.