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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