Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a slow-acting retrovirus that affects 2-3% of cats in the US. There is no cure and little treatment, but the virus can remain dormant inside a cat’s body for years. When it does flare up, it can cause cancer, blood disorders and other serious diseases. FeLV is VERY contagious among cats and is spread from saliva contact (such as mutual grooming). Humans cannot catch leukemia from a FeLV+ cat.
Cats that test positive should not live with non-affected cats, but they may live with each other. They make great companions; they act and play just like any other cat! Many cats infected FeLV live long, symptom-free lives. Regular veterinary care and a healthy, indoor lifestyle are important.