Adopting a cat who tests positive for Feline Leukemia and why it is important
What is Feline Leukemia?
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that causes a variety of diseases in cats by invading and replicating itself inside of living cells, making it impossible to cure. In most infected cats, FeLV results in a weaker immune system, making them more vulnerable against common infections.
Feline Leukemia positive (FeLV+) cats can live a happy life just like any other cat, and deserve just as much love, if not more. Many people who adopt and care for FeLV+ cats find it to be their personal mission and an incredibly positive and rewarding experience. They often only adopt FeLV+ cats for this reason. And providing a home for a FeLV+ cat is easy if you can answer these few questions.
Do you have a home without any other cats? If you have another cat, is it also FeLV+?
Feline Leukemia is exclusive to cats and does not pose a risk to other types of animals or people. The most common transmission is from mom to kittens and from deep, penetrating bite wounds from other cats (hence only having FeLV+ cats in your home to mitigate any risks to FeLV- cats). Outdoor cats tend to be at a greater risk of exposure due to their lifestyle.
Can you support regular vet visits and bills?
FeLV+ cat owners will need to be able to support regular vet visits and bills in order to maintain a good preventative healthcare routine and keep any potential illnesses at bay. At least two vet visits per year is recommended for vaccinations, regular deworming, and the ability to catch and treat any potential infections. All FeLV+ cats should be spayed or neutered.
Can you access and provide a nutritionally balanced diet?
Maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet is essential for FeLV+ cats. Ideally, an FeLV+ cat will be fed a high quality canned food diet, because of the higher water content. Raw diets should be avoided due to the increased risk of foodborne bacterial and parasitic diseases.
Are you able to provide an indoor-only, clean environment?
The best situation for an FeLV infected cat is to live in a clean, indoor-only environment. You can, however, easily enjoy a multi-pet household since FeLV+ cats can live with other FeLV+ cats and other species – so no worries if you have a home with dogs, bunnies, birds and so on because they are not susceptible to the FeLV virus.
Are you willing to make time for play and affection?
Cats with FeLV will live normal, healthy and active lives for prolonged periods of time, living up to 4 years or more after diagnosis. They will have their own unique personality for you to learn all about, and want to play, snuggle, eat and sleep just like any other cat.
If you answered yes to the above questions, then you are someone who should consider adopting an FeLV+ cat! Despite how scary FeLV may sound, these cats can and deserve to live a normal, happy, affection filled lives.
Check out these beautiful cats who deserve You!!