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Cat Care – Caring For Cats With Feline Leukemia

Alana asks…

Does anyone know a rescue that will take cats with feline leukemia?

My friend has been a saint taking care of a kitten that has had her first test for feline leukemia and it came backpositive. At the risk ofinfecting her three other cats she has managed to take care of it in her room and providing her with a good life. However being stuck ina room is no fun after you have completely investigated everything. So Sheneeds to find it another home that has no other cats where she can be kept inside for the rest of her life. Her prognosis was good a full life anywhere from 3 to 20 years but sheneeds to be alone. If there is a rescue that can help her please contact me.

Cat Coach answers:

Let me second the opinion of using Petfinder.com. I work with a company that supports them, & they are GREAT. They take virtually all animals, regardless of condition or special needs, & they use the foster parent system.

Go to their website & check them out. I wish your friends kitty lots of luck. Feline leukemia is a sad disease to watch, but there is no reason that the little kitty could have a good life until the symptoms kick in later.

I wish you & the little cat all the best in the world!

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Caroline asks…

Caring for a cat with feline leukemia?

My boyfriends mother is no longer able to care for her cat, and so the cat is now living full time with him. The cat first tested positive to feline leukemia in 2008, but you’d never know she was sick if not for the test results.

Anyway, I’m just wondering, does she need anything special?

My experience with cats with feline leukemia has always been that they pass in months… but this cat is 15 years old, and has had the disease for at least two years now, and seems to be still be going strong. From what I have been told, it’s pretty rare for a cat to survive for that long with it — what could be the reasoning behind her survival thus far? Is it simply luck?

Cat Coach answers:

FLV is NOT a death sentence. Like human AIDS, it is an immune deficiency.

So, basically ensure she gets to the vet whenever she is not feeling well. Prevention is the key. Make sure the vet knows that she is FLV+ so they take special measures to ensure the exam room place is sterilized for the next cat.

Avoid exposure to other cats, as not to get them sick. Don’t bring anymore cats into your home unless they are also FLV+.

David asks…

How long will my cats live if the have Feline HIV or leukemia?

So over the years we have taken in homeless cats, friends cats who are moving and can no longer care for them, and some we adopted. We have opened our home to the sweetest group of 16 cats. They are ALL indoors and never go outdoors they have the whole 2 story house to roam and they love it. They do however have an outdoor enclose they have access to 24/7 but its is right out our window and they cannot leave the deck area. Somewhere along the way I think we may have adopted a cat with Feline HIV or leukemia, the reason i think that is because we lost 2 cats in the last year out of nowhere. I mean yeah with all those cats you lose 1 here and there maybe but usually you know why. these cats got sick out of nowhere and just died very rapidly with not much of a warning. How long can cats live if they have HIV and what can we do to help them live longer?

Cat Coach answers:

Let me tell you a story about a cat and some evil humans…

There once was a cat who lived with owners who should never have been allowed near animals. These owners were too negligent to get their cat spayed, and let her go outside whenever she wanted. The cat became pregnant, and the owners (because of this or something else, I don’t know) were angry. They decided that it would be appropriate to set the poor kitten on fire. A few day later, a poor burned, barely alive cat was found by the humane society and brought to a clinic to be euthanised. The vet saw that despite 3rd degree burns over 1/3 of the cats body and lots of pain, the kitty was purring. The vet decided to treat her. After 3 months, the burns were starting to heal, fur was buy Daily Best Puppies online starting to grow back, and even though she was missing one ear and half a tail, Toast (as the vet had named her) was loveable and on her way to recovery. Then came the FIV/FeLV test. Toast was positive for FeLV. Despite poor Toast’s horrible bad luck so far, she then met Johanna, an assistant at the clinic, who fell madly in love with her and took her home.

This tragic tale took place just over a year ago, and Toast (now quite fluffy, healthy and wonderful) is lying beside me purring. Moral of the story? FeLV is not a death sentance. As long as you keep your cats vaccinated and healthy, they can live for a few (sometimes more) healthy years. FeLV cats have an increased susceptibility to infection and other diseases, so you have to be extra careful that they don’t come in contact with any.

As for FIV, cats often live long apparently healthy lives without showing signs of the disease. Again, be extra careful as they have compromised immune systems. However, you seem like somebody who really cares about your cats’ wellbeing, so I’m sure you’ll give them excellent care. Good luck!

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