Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) is an infectious disease that affects the cat’s immune system and makes it more susceptible to other infections.
The effects are quite similar to AIDS in humans. However, FeLV only affects cats and does not transfer to humans.
What Are The Symptoms?
When a cat is first infected, the virus produces milder symptoms, such as fever and tiredness.
However, over time, more signs of the disease appear and other conditions develop – such as weight loss, anaemia, nerve damage, recurring diarrhoea and frequent infections.
Infected cats are also more likely to develop cancer.
How Does It Spread?
Since the virus is present in their bodily fluids, just like AIDS, infected cats can spread it by sharing food bowls and litter trays – and by sneezing, grooming or biting each other.
The disease can also pass from a mother cat to her kittens.
FeLV is also associated with abortion, stillborn kittens or the birth of very weak kittens.
What Are The Risks?
As many as 1 in 3 cats will become permanently infected, when exposed to the virus.
Cats under 3 years old are at a the highest risk of developing the disease.
Infected cats should be kept separate from other cats to avoid the disease spreading.
Sadly this is an incurable and often fatal condition.
How Can I Prevent It?
Vaccination is still the best way to protect your cat against this very serious disease – it greatly reduces their chances of contracting it.
Please do call us on 01435 864422 if you would like more information about the disease or advice on the ideal vaccination programme for your cat.