As a cat caretaker you will not be able to self-diagnose FeLV. It is a complicated disease made more complicated by the fact that it suppresses the cat’s immune system, thereby increasing the effect of other illnesses that are allowed to develop and which have their own symptoms.

However, it is said by vets that about 25% of all sick cats seen by vets have FeLV. That information is a diagnostic tool. FeLV is reponsible for other cat diseases. It is the 2nd most common cause of cat deaths after injury (trauma).

The first signs occur 2-6 weeks after exposure. The initial illness last from 2-16 weeks.

The difficulty is that the signs of FeLV initially are “non-specific”. In layman’s language they are unclear and don’t point to this disease.

Signs include fever, apathy, loss of appetite and a loss of weight.

The cat might vomit.

There may be diarrhea or constipation.

The cat’s mucous membranes might be pale indicating anemia. Mucous membranes can be seen in the mouth.

The disease developes in various ways. Cats with “persistent viremia” (the virus is in the bloodstream) allow other diseases to develop with a wide range of symptoms causing a complexity that requires the attentions of a good vet.

I am sure vets may misdiagnose! If the initial signs as metioned are present this has to be a visit to the vet as soon as possible.

Vets employ two types of blood test to diagnose FeLV.

Sources

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

5000 cats, dogs and other animals die in shipping boxes

There will be no pictures (there are pictures but I won't publish them) and before…

59 mins ago

Amazing video: cat copies her owner’s complex movements

Although we know that cats can be trained to do things, in this video you…

2 hours ago

Pet savings account to pay for self-insurance

A designated pet savings account at your bank is a good way to manage self-insurance…

3 hours ago

How to better protect your companion animal on your death

In the immediate aftermath of your perhaps untimely and unforeseen death, you would like your…

7 hours ago

Are packing peanuts safe for cats?

It is difficult to provide a straightforward answer to the question in the title. However,…

11 hours ago

Do cats’ paws fall asleep?

In other words, do cats get pins-and-needles in their feet? We don't know the answer…

12 hours ago