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FeLV question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a couple new arrivals I've been trying to trap and have fixed. I notice that one of them has become very thin the past couple of weeks and he/she has also become friendly we me all of a sudden. I've had FelV show up in my colony before so I was wondering if I have them tested and it comes back positive what should I do? I have 5 outside and 8 mostly indoor cats. The indoor cats have been vacatinate for FeLV and I understand it is only 80% effective.
post #2 of 10
I had FeLV hit my fully vaccinated indoor boy last summer. Vaccinations are only about 60% effective and 25% of exposed cats can contract the disease. If you do the math, that makes it a 1 in 10 chance of a vaccinated cat catching the disease. I had 11 vaccinated cats and 1 caught it - the odds were against him.

At the time this hit, we lost a total of 8 feral cats to FeLV, and 3 disappeared about the same time so we assumed it hit them also. The colony dwindled down to 4.

You face the tragic dilemna of "Individual Cat versus Cat Nation" with FeLV in a feral colony. FeLV doesn't usually pass thru casual contact. It takes a fight, a mating (which is violent), or prolonged interaction for it to transmit. Some cats are simply more prone to catch it than others. If any of the colony is unneutered, you are at risk. If any of the colony members are bonded with each other, you are at risk. If any of the colony interacts on a regular basis with your indoor/outdoor cats, you are at risk.

Last summer was absolutely tragic for me. After months of agonizing over it, I personally chose Cat Nation, but you need to do what you are comfortable doing. No one can tell you what to do here - you need to go with your heart.

Please feel free to PM or e-mail me if you need to bend an ear!!
post #3 of 10
This is such a horrible position to be in. I have had only one feral test positive for FeLV so far (thank goodness). Because he was healthy and mostly socialized, I was able to take him to a sanctuary for cats in Tennessee.

If your newly skinny cat does test positive for FeLV, my guess is that the disease is progressing. If so, this may make the decision to have her put down a tad easier. Having to make the decision of what to do in these cases is so difficult and so painful. I wish there were easy answers to this dilemma; but alas there really aren't.

I am sending my thoughts your way.
post #4 of 10
Agree with everyone else....please have him tested if you think he is sick.

post #5 of 10

I went through the same thing recently so if u need to talk about it, feel free to pm me. Do have him tested then see what the results are then go from there.. Sigh..

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

If I can catch them this weekend I'll have them tested. two years ago I had two ferals put down because of FeLV and I still wonder if I did the right the right thing. I didn't know the vaccine was only 60% effective. The new cats are fighting with my some of my other cats. A couple weeks ago sweet little Robbie was bitten on his back and the Vet said he had 4 puncture wounds.

Thanks for replying and I'll let you know what happens.

post #7 of 10
Ellen...there is soo much debate over the effectiveness of testing...both for felv and fiv....so the only time I recommend it is if the cat looks to be advanced.

post #8 of 10
Katie is right. The Elisa test (sometimes called the stick test) shows exposure to the virus but not necessarily validates that they have the disease. To have better confidence, you repeat the Elisa test in 60-90 days. The IFA test will test for the disease in their bloodstream and if IFA positive, they definitely have the disease. The only problem is that the IFA test is expensive, and has to be sent out to a lab so you don't find out for days to a week. So, also judge by the health of the cat. If positive and looking deathly ill, your decision is easier to make.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
HI Katey and Amy,

After thinking it over I think I'll hold off on the testing and see how he does. I going to try to trap him and another cat tomorrow night for the S/N clinic at Petworth on Sunday.

Katie, I hope everything goes well at your clinic on Sunday.

post #10 of 10
Thanks Ellen...I am concerned given that it is raining up a storm tonight...not sure when everyone does their trapping..but I do hope we have lots of kitties to fix.

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