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Adopting A Kitty With Leukemia

July 15 2023

Today, July 15th, is Feline Leukemia Day. As many as three percent of our feline pals are afflicted by this dangerous disease. That, unfortunately, includes many homeless kitties in shelters. It’s often extremely difficult for FeLV cats to get adopted, as many people are wary about their care needs and the associated costs. However, that diagnosis isn’t necessarily a death sentence, and it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. A Cherry Hill, NJ vet discusses caring for an FeLV positive cat in this article.

Keep Up With Veterinary Care

First and foremost, stay up to date with your furry friend’s veterinary care needs. Fluffy will likely need to come in more often than a non-infected cat, so her condition can be monitored.  You’ll also need to bring her in if you notice signs of the disease progressing, such as lethargy or weight loss. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Consider Getting Two

You should always think long and hard about adopting any pet. However, if you have the time, room, and financial means, consider getting two cats. If both are FeLV positive, you don’t have to worry about them infecting each other. Plus, if you do find a bonded pair, you’ll be helping them stay together, which is a wonderful act of kindness.

Consider Other Pets

Hopefully this goes without saying, but if you have a cat who isn’t infected, adopting an FeLV-positive kitty is a huge Don’t, unless you can always keep them separated. The reverse is also true. (If Fluffy is infected, consider adopting another FeLV kitty.)

Keep Kitty In

To be fair, we recommend that all cats be kept indoors. However, this goes double for FeLV-positive kitties. One big concern is the fact that Fluffy could infect other cats. Feline leukemia can be transmitted in several ways. It’s mostly spread through bites and scratches, but can also be transmitted through secondary contact, such as drinking from an infected kitty’s water bowl. That isn’t the only reason to ground your feline pal, though: FeLV-positive cats are immunocompromised, and are therefore very susceptible to things like diseases and parasites.

Be A Clean Freak

You’ll also need to be diligent about cleaning. Make sure Fluffy’s dishes, beds, bowls, and toys are all cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Please contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ pet clinic, for more information about feline leukemia. We’re here to help!

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