Laurie, thank you for giving this overview of these two viruses.

I wish so much I had educated myself prior to owning a Felv positive cat.
Of course it helps to know ahead of time what you're dealing with.  I swear
we'd still have BooBoo with us if I had only known.  I honestly believe now
that we contributed to his demise by having him groomed, bathed (he was
loaded with fleas, mites and horribly matted fur when we got him) and then
the neutering a week later.  I think we caused him so much distress that his
immune system totally failed him.  I also have this horrible guilt that if I
hadn't been so insistent on owning him, he may have survived in his own
enviromnent longer.  When he was diagnosed with FIV on top of everything, he
went downhill immediately.  He had already lived 5 years and died within a
month of us getting him and learning of his diagnosis.  We did everything
the vet told us to do and more and in the end I'm now thinking we should
have left things well enough alone.  It was a hard lesson to learn and I'm
paying dearly for it.  There isn't a day goes by that I don't miss him
terribly.  Getting Snowy the rescued cat has helped tremendously but still,
BooBoo can never be replaced.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurieskatz" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:59 PM
Subject: FIV/FeLV info

> FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
> Both FIV and FeLV are called "retroviruses" because of the way that they
> replicate, or multiply, inside the cat's body.  FIV is further classified
> a lentivirus, or "slow virus."
> An FIV-positive cat may live for many years.  However, the virus
> weakens the immune system, which limits the cat's ability to protect
> against other infections or illnesses.  Periods of relatively good health
> may be interspersed with recurrent illnesses.
> FIV is spread primarily through bite wounds.  The virus is transmitted via
> the saliva of an FIV-positive cat when it bites deep into the tissue of
> another cat.  It is therefore commonly found in tomcats as they fight for
> territory and mates.  Casual, non-aggressive contact does NOT spread the
> virus.  The virus cannot survive for more than a few hours when exposed to
> air.  Therefore, an FIV-positive cat CAN live in a house with non-infected
> cats if they are all on friendly terms and don't fight with each other.
> Sharing food and water bowls, litter pans, and even grooming each other
> NOT spread the virus.
> If acquired during adulthood, a cat with FIV can live a long, full life,
> many do.  However, the weakened immune system can lead to recurrent or
> chronic conditions such as inflammation of the gums and mouth, skin,
> urinary, or upper respiratory infections, weight loss, anemia, persistent
> diarrhea, and cancer.
> For additional information, please see:
>, or contact us!
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)
> FeLV is also a retrovirus, but it differs in many ways from FIV, including
> its shape and genetic makeup.   And although many of the diseases caused
> the two viruses are similar, the specific way those diseases are caused is
> different.
> About 65% of cats with FeLV will live a full life.  Unfortunately, the
> remaining 35% will probably die within three years.  Just like FIV, FeLV
> cause a weakened immune system that limits the cat's ability to fight off
> other infections.  Periods of relatively good health may be interspersed
> with recurrent illnesses.
> An FeLV-positive cat "sheds" high quantities of the virus in its saliva
> nasal secretions.  Therefore, the virus can be spread from cat to cat
> through mutual grooming and, more rarely, by sharing food bowls and litter
> boxes, as well as through bite wounds.  An infected mother can also
> the virus to her kittens before birth or while nursing.
> FeLV is the most common cause of cancer in cats, and it may cause various
> blood disorders.  As with FIV, FeLV can weaken the immune system so that
> same bacteria and viruses that usually do not affect a healthy animal can
> cause serious illness in a cat with FeLV.  Common secondary infections
> include inflammation of the gums and mouth, skin, urinary, or upper
> respiratory infections, and persistent diarrhea.
> For additional information, please see:
>, or contact us!
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