Many years ago, perhaps around 2008, Jan visited my website and posted a request for visitors to give a home to 2 FeLV cats. I am revisiting that page and using it as a base to add more detail and information. Jan’s post is below the introduction. I don’t know if the kittens were adopted.
RELATED: FeLV explained in plain language.
Information about FeLV
Not all cats who test positive for FeLV or are exposed to the feline leukaemia virus become ill. It is a retrovirus. Retroviruses produce an enzyme that enables them to insert copies of their own genetic material into the cells they have infected. It is not a cancer but it can cause many health problems which can be caused indirectly or directly. They can be caused indirectly because the virus lowers the cat’s immunity. The disease is the most common cause of cancer in cats. It causes two types of cancer: acute non-lymphoid leukaemia and acute lymphoid leukaemia. This is cancer of the blood.
People can and should, if they are so minded, adopt a cat with FeLV. They require special considerations. They can live with other animal species because the disease is not zoonotic. However, the disease can be spread through blood, tears, faeces and urine to other cats. Therefore, it is recommended that a FeLV cat lives with other felines who have the disease.
Most cats with FeLV live normal lives but their lifespan is significantly shorter. It is said that around 80% of FeLV kittens do not live past three years and most die within a year.
They deserve a life and one that is as good as possible. They can have a life and a good life. It is a gift that some people can give them. If they do, they deserve praise.
Cats with acute lymphoid leukaemia may do well for a period of time with corticosteroids and immune stimulants. In contrast, the acute non-lymphoid type carries a very bad prognosis. My reference book tells me that many cats with this version of the disease die within two weeks of being diagnosed.
Fortunately, there are many excellent people, often on social media including Facebook, who network to find homes for FeLV cats. One such Facebook group is “FIV and FELV+ cats that need homes”. And another is “FeLV cats need love too”.
There are many special needs Facebook groups as well. For example: Special Needs In Need, Special Needs Cats who Need Special Adoption, FeLV Advocate. You might like to check these out. I cannot guarantee that they are still in existence because things change.
Testing positive once is not enough
There is an interesting article from Austin Pets Alive which asks people to make sure that cats tested positive for FeLV, genuinely have the disease. It seems that some tests produce false positives. Also, if a cat under six-months-of-age tests positive they should be tested again at six months old because kittens have an approximate 30% chance of fighting off the virus. These kittens acquire the disease at birth. They argue that no cat should be declared FeLV positive until tested at six months of age. They should be isolated from other cats during this time.
As for adult cats they should be retested four weeks after the initial test. The test referred to is the Elisa/Snap test. Some adult cats fight off the infection after initial exposure. The disease can be confirmed as truly positive after a positive outcome on the second test. You can also use an IFA laboratory test as this reveals true FeLV infection in the body not just exposure to the virus.
They also have some advice about ensuring that FeLV cats are adopted. I’m going to refer you to their PDF file on this which you can read by clicking on the link below. It is certainly very useful.
RELATED: Helping you help FeLV+ cats
This is Jan’s short post asking for help in finding a home for 2 FeLV cats:
(New York City)
Pie and Puff were pulled out of an animal shelter before they could be euthanized. They are 3-month-old brothers, and they adore each other, people, food, snuggling, napping, wrestling, bath tubs, toilets, ribbons, feathers, dust ruffles, and printers. They are fascinated and entertained by most anything, and they are extremely affectionate and people-friendly.
Currently they are being sheltered in New York City, and they need a permanent home with a loving family who will tend to their medical needs.
My email: jandreams2much at hotmail.com (please substitute the “at” for “@” – this is to avoid email spammers)
Note: Anyone who is prepared to help please contact Jan or leave a comment. Or spread the word. Pie and Puff are great names by the way. I would love for these cats to be homed and loved. This is what it is all about bottom line…Michael (Admin)
Below are some comments at the time the post was first published.
Has anyone adopted these two precious furkids?
I guess that to receive the business loans from creditors you should present a great motivation. But, one time I’ve received a short term loan, because I wanted to buy a house.
Some more on ADOPTABLE FeLV cats
Cat rescue specializes in FeLV positive cats which they adopt out for free and provide financial support