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Before Bringing in new pets or strays

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
hi all I know I have written about this many years ago but I just wnat to let anyone who brings ina stray or new cat to have them tested for FELINE LUKEMIA!!!! this disease is spread easily 1/3 of them infected will not make it. It is passed through food bowls, litter and scratching, and saliva, humans can not get this but PLEASE have you new additions tested. As i have myself lost 2 cats to this one had it then passed it on to another when i offered to cat sit , so even when pet sitting ask if they have been tested, it will save you a lot of trouble and even save your cats life!
post #2 of 5
Thanks for the advice. It's something to think about that I would never have thought of.
post #3 of 5
You are absolutely right about having new additions tested for FeLV. I lost one of my beloved cats to the disease when I brought in kittens who were supposedly tested for it. He was an adult and had been vaccinated for the disease. I lost all 3 of those cats.

But you need to be aware of the chances for spreading it. It is not spread through casual contact. Cats typically get it through fighting or mating. If they get it through casual contact (mutual grooming, shared food and litterboxes), it is after prolonged contact. My boy got it from the kittens after 6 months of very close interaction. I don't think there has ever been a confirmed case of a cat picking it up by a human carrying the disease from household to household.

If you cat has been vaccinated, the odds that they will contract it will go down, and studies indicate that about 10% of these cats in constant contact with FeLV cats will contract the disease. Cats that have not been vaccinated have somewhere between a 25% and 33% chance of catching the disease. In my case, I had 13 cats in the house. 2 of them (the kittens) came into the house with the disease. Of the other 11 cats in the house (all vaccinated), only 1 picked it up, even after living together for 6 months.

You said that 1/3 of all cats will die from the disease. I'm not sure I follow you on this. Once a cat is exposed, they can test positive on the Elisa test. This does not mean that they have the disease, it only means that they were exposed and they are trying to fight it off. If they can't fight it off (the odds above), then it goes into their bloodstream and the only way to validate this is through a more invasive IFA blood test (full vial sent to a lab). All cats that contract it will die. Kittens usually by the time they are 18 months old and adults can live longer, sometimes years. It will shorten their lives, but all eventually succumb to the disease. It is 100% fatal.

You need to take FeLV very seriously. But also be aware of how it is transmitted and don't expose your cats to those situations.
post #4 of 5
I'm sure costs vary from area to area...but just wanted to post that it only cost $30 to have my newly-adopted-formerly-stray cat tested for feline leukemia / hiv recently. For those who don't know (which was me, before this incident ) - it involves a small blood test. The doc took the blood sample and had the results back before we left the office that day. So it's quick, relatively easy, and not that expensive, and well worth the cost, in my humble opinion.
post #5 of 5
Amen to that! A friend of mine had taken in an orange tabby male from the streets. He had the disease, but she didn't know until he presented with symptoms - didn't get him tested. He suffered terribly. I guess it destroys the internal organs? She had to have him PTS. And she cried and cried.

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