What Is Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)?

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a common infectious disease in cats. It can cause many kinds of illness as well as death in infected cats. This disease does not infect humans or other animals.

Feline leukemia virus infection is more commonly spread among cats living together. The virus can also spread from mother to kittens, and among the cats that fight. It is spread mainly through saliva when cats groom each other, and when food and water bowls are shared.

How Is FeLV Spread?

The virus is mainly transmitted through cat fights. Because large quantities of FeLV are shed in cat saliva, puncture wounds associated with the fight, result in the virus being injected into other cats. Other less common routes of viral dissemination include sharing food and water bowls, cats grooming each other, and mother-to – child transmission before birth.

How Can Pet Owners Protect Their Cats Against FeLV?

Because there is no cure for this contagious disease, the safest thing you can do for your cat is to prevent them from being exposed to FeLV. It’s critical that your cat be kept away from FeLV-positive cats, both inside and outside of your home.

It’s unwise to introduce new cats to your home if you already have FeLV infected cats. If you do, you should separate the FeLV-positive and FeLV-negative cats. FeLV-positive cats should also be spayed or neutered to prevent them from passing the infection on to a new litter. In addition, it is generally recommended that cats must be vaccinated against FeLV, especially if they go outside unsupervised.

By staying informed about FeLV and actively working to protect your cat from being exposed, you can shield their health and give them the greatest chance of a long, healthy and happy life.

What are the Symptoms of FeLV?

There are various symptoms of FeLV you need to watch out for. These include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chronic or recurrent infections
  • Regular issues with diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Low levels of energy
  • Anemia
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Fever

Any or all of these symptoms could be present in a cat with this virus.

Can FeLV be treated?

There is no cure for FeLV, so most treatment for FeLV-positive cats involves supportive care. Because FeLV-positive cats have weaker immune systems, they need to be treated more often than FeLV-negative cats for upper respiratory infections; however, they tend to need dental patients younger than other cats.

How Does FeLV Testing Work?

A few drops of the blood, serum, or plasma of a cat are placed on the paper. A change in the color of the different dots-or no change at all indicates whether or not the animal contains one or both of the viruses. Several other commercial kit tests are also available to diagnose FeLV and FIV.

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