Facts about Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
(FeLV and FIV, also known as Feline AIDS)
FeLV and FIV affect your cat in a similar way. Both viruses attack the immune system. Both can "hide" within the bone marrow of your cat for a long time. Both can kill.
Spread of disease:
FeLV is spread in the saliva of infected cats. This typically occurs through cat bites, mutual grooming of infected cats, or eating out of the same food bowls as infected cats. Transmission may also occur between a pregnant female and her unborn kittens if the mother cat is harboring the virus. Less common modes of transmission may be through infected urine or feces. FIV is more difficult to transmit. It appears that transmission generally occurs through deep puncture wounds. Therefore, outdoor cats that fight frequently are most at risk for contracting FIV.
Signs to watch for:
There is no cure for FeLV or FIV. Treatment is supportive in nature. Most cats will eventually die or be humanely euthanized due to the severe nature of these diseases.
Cats Most at Risk:
Blood test your cat to screen for these serious diseases- recommended for all kittens!
If your cat goes outdoors, vaccinate against FeLV
Keep your cat indoors to prevent exposure
Spay and Neuter cats to prevent fighting and mating
NEVER introduce a new cat into a house without testing first.