Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease affecting cats only and is transmitted from cat to cat through saliva, blood, urine and feces. The Virus causes anemia or lymphoma and can suppress the immune system and lead to deadly infection.
Exposure to the virus isn’t always deadly, as many cats are resistant or eliminate the virus on their own. And there’s more good news as there has been a 25% decline in FeLV over the last 25 years because of vaccines and preventative testing.
Who’s at Risk?
- Multi-cat homes that share food, water and litter boxes
- Outdoor cats
- Shelter cats
- Kittens born to infected cats or those living near outdoor cats
- Feral cats
How to recognize symptoms of FeLV:
- Pale Gums
- Yellow color in the mouth and eyes
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Infection: Eye, Skin or Bladder
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Weakness and lethargy
- Breathing problems
It can take up to 60 days for a Cat to be infected once exposed to the virus. Some cats can clear the virus if they have a strong immune system. Testing may need to be done more than once to confirm the infection due to the opportunity to surpress the infection.
How to prevent infection:
- Keep your cat indoors if possible
- Preventative Care Vet Visits twice a year for exam and lab testing and parasite control
- Annual Vaccinations
Treating your infected FeLV feline:
- Keep your cat indoors and spay/neutered
- Keep your cat away from other cats to prevent transmission
- Regular Vet Visits to monitor your cat’s health to help prevent secondary infections and treat any ongoing symptoms