Feline Leukemia Day is July 16th. This is a very important topic! The feline leukemia virus, or FeLV, is the second leading cause of death in cats. However, that doesn’t mean that Fluffy can’t still have a happy life. A Seminole, FL vet offers more information in this article.
One reason that FeLV is so concerning is because it is extremely contagious. Kitties that are infected shed the virus in their blood, saliva, and waste, and can get infected through even brief or indirect contact, such as sharing bowls. It can also pass to kittens via their mothers. The odds go up in multi-cat households and animal shelters. (It’s worth noting that kittens are at higher risk: the older Fluffy gets, the lower her odds of contracting the disease.)
Being diagnosed FeLV positive isn’t a death sentence for Fluffy, though she will need some extra care. You’ll need to watch for signs that the disease is becoming active. Some of these include respiratory issues, fever, diarrhea, weight loss, reduced appetite, poor fur condition, weakness, and lethargy. Regular veterinary care is also a must. Your kitty may be prone to getting chilly when it’s cold out, though of course that isn’t ususally an issue in these parts. You’ll also need to give your pet a good, high-quality food, and take care to keep her dishes and litterbox clean. Ask your vet for more information.
Don’t assume that adopting an FeLV positive kitty is a bad idea. Many of them just need a little extra TLC. Of course, if you have another furball who isn’t positive, then it wouldn’t be safe for your resident kitty. However, if you don’t already have a cat, and plan to keep Fluffy inside, you may find that adopting one of these felines is a very rewarding experience. In fact, you may even want to adopt two!
There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of your feline buddy contracting FeLV. Vaccines are of course your best option here. Ask your vet for specific advice. Keeping your pet indoors also will help protect her. If Fluffy is an only cat that stays in, she only has about a 3 percent chance of contracting the virus.
As your Seminole, FL animal clinic, we’re here to help you keep your cat happy and purring. Call us anytime!