The feline leukemia virus, also known as FeLV, causes leukemia and other conditions, with kittens acquiring it far more often than adult cats. Infected cats have FeLV virus in their saliva and can spread it to other cats through mutual grooming, shared food and water bowls, contact with urine or feces, bites and nose-to-nose contact. FeLV can be transmitted through the placenta of an infected mother cat and passed along to her offspring. The kittens may also pick up the virus when nursing.
Besides cancer, FeLV causes health issues such as:
At Blackhawk Veterinary Hospital, we diagnose FeLV through a series of blood tests. With good management by owners, cats with FeLV can live for many years. They should be kept indoors for their protection as well as that of other cats. If you suspect that your cat has contracted this virus, please contact our Danville clinic at 925-736-7440 to schedule an appointment for testing.