Feline Leukemia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention


Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is the second leading cause of death in cats, killing 85% of infected cats within three years of diagnosis. The virus affects the cat’s blood, causing various blood diseases.  It also suppresses the cat’s immune system, making it harder to protect against infection by bacteria, viruses or fungi found in our everyday environment that wouldn’t affect healthy cats.

However, feline leukemia does not have to be a death sentence; about 70% of cats who encounter the virus are able to resist infection or eliminate the virus on their own.

In a recent article on Answers.com, I explained the symptoms of FeLV, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how it can be prevented.

Click here to read the full article.

5 Comments on Feline Leukemia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

  1. LEM
    October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm (2 years ago)

    I adopted the most extraordinary cat I’ve ever had — or vice versa, actually — in Nova Scotia and he was tested as Feline Leukemia. We had almost a decade together and though he had a few health issues, I got back from him more love and spirit than any cat I’ve ever had. I also adopted two kittens who were about to be cast out/killed and they all lived together and they never got the disease and are very healthy today. I would not consider this a death sentence at all.

  2. Sue Brandes
    October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

    I had a kitten many years ago whom I lost at 6 months to this. Back then there was not much they could do. He had many blood transfusions before I had to say goodbye. Very good article Ingrid.

    • Ingrid
      October 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m sorry about your kitten, Sue. That must have been heartbreaking.

  3. Marie
    October 7, 2013 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

    I have five beautiful cats of various ages. In 2008, I found a little out door kitten. He appeared to be completely healthy. Before bringing him in to join our family, we found out that he had feline leukemia. The vet said he wouldn’t make it through the week. Hooked up to IV’s, I couldn’t figure out what to do. I took him home. That was 5 years ago. As I am writing this, Tigger is laying on my lap. My other 4 cats are also happy and healthy. I have to keep Tigger away from them, keep his things separate, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He is alone since he can’t play with the other cats, so I take him to work with me where I teach children. The kids love spending time with Tigger. I have an 8th grade student that says she is going to be a vet and find a cure for feline leukemia.

    • Ingrid
      October 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Tigger was clearly meant to be with you, Marie! What a wonderful life you’re giving him. I love that he’s inspiring your students.


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