They can be free of symptoms, still be carriers that can pass it on, unfortunately!
From: felvtalk-boun...@felineleukemia.org [mailto:felvtalk-boun...@felineleukemia.org] On Behalf Of Lee Evans Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2012 5:51 PM To: felvtalk Subject: [Felvtalk] Feline Leukemia, how contagious is it? There are cats who test positive who are not and cats who test negative who are not. The tests in general are not very reliable. However, I have had quite a lot of experience with cats who tested positive for FeLV. Taco and Smooch were two who tested positive for both FeLv and FIV. They lived together in good health for almost three years. Taco developed lymphoma and passed away quickly at home. Smooch developed a non-specific illness, never really stopped eating but suffered from non-absorption. He passed away a couple of months after his roommate. I had kept them both isolated from the rest of my group. I miss them both terribly but I gave them the best chance they could get to live the longest that they were meant to live. I have one more who tested positive for both. I'm going to retest him this week, finally get him neutered now that he is fat and healthy (street rescue). If he's still positive for FeLv I will try to find him a roommate. If he's negative for FeLv he will go with my FIV+ cats. In the past, I have had a group of cats living with one who tested false negative for feline leukemia. All lived together for about 7 years. When Tiger became ill, he was about 13, never having been outside or exposed to any cats not in his family for all those years. Aside from the fact that he developed renal failure, he tested positive for feline leukemia. His 8 housemates were tested some time after he passed. All were negative and remained negative for the rest of their lives. The last of his mates passed two years ago at the age of 16. I don't recommend mixing FeLV+ cats with others but it's also not a death sentence and not as contagious as the vets will make you think, unless the cat is actually showing symptoms of the illness. However, everyone needs to use her/his own judgment.
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