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.


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

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

One cat and three dogs feed in perfect synchronization

This must be all about patient training and it sort of proves that cats can…

2 hours ago

Difference between Bambino and Sphynx

The difference between the Bambino and the Sphynx is that the former has short legs…

4 hours ago

Is it OK to feed feral cats during the coronavirus crisis?

Yes, of course it is. However it is a question worth asking if for no…

8 hours ago

How do I stop my cat from waking me up at 4 am?

Don't stop her. Let her do it and learn to enjoy it but read on...The…

12 hours ago

How do I stop my cat attacking me?

When in play this is a common problem because it is normal cat behaviour. Not…

14 hours ago

Cartoon Animals Complete List

This is a complete list of cartoon animals. They are listed alphabetically. This is a…

14 hours ago