When a cat has Feline Leukemia, his immune system will be compromised. Apart from this, he also develops anemia and the growth of abnormal tumors. He develops other diseases such as cancer. He will most likely live around 3.5 more years, as a majority of FeLV-infected cats do.
If you are a cat care giver, it is essential for you to know how you can prevent the spread of the disease among cats in your foster cat home. Knowledge and understanding of the disease, as well as other contagious diseases, can certainly be a big factor in lengthening the lives of cats.
Licking is one of the common forms of transmission as FeLV can be acquired through licking. Moreover, placenta-transmission (i.e. mother to baby) is also another common form. Kittens are more vulnerable to the condition because their immune system are still weak until they reach 4 months old, thus resistance to the disease is also not that strong.
The sad truth is that it takes awhile for symptoms to become evident. In fact, it could take months, or even years, before the symptoms show. Unless you get your cat tested, it is unlikely that you will find out if he has FeLV during the first few months that he has it.
How can you keep your cats safe from this rather deadly disease?
Below are some of the things that you can do. Actually, these are what you SHOULD do, if you want to keep your cats free from FeLV, and this is particularly important if you have a foster cat home.
- First, keep your infected cats separate from healthy ones.
- Second, have your cats vaccinated. But before you do so, please bear in mind that the vaccines do not work for all cats.
- Third, test your cats, especially those that you own (if you have a foster cat home).
- Fourth, do not get more cats until the preceding fostered cats already have new owners.
- Fifth, make sure feeding plates are separated and always disinfected.
- Sixth, clean and disinfect their litter box at least two times a week.
- Lastly, if an FeLV-infected cat gets a new home, see to it that you inform the new owner of the cat’s condition and educate him on how he can take care of the cat.
If you are a foster cat caregiver, you are taking on a huge responsibility of ensuring that the cats are kept healthy. This is particularly important if you also have your own cats, on top of the foster cats. Always see to it that you have your cats tested for FeLV and other transmittable diseases.
You run the risk of spreading diseases if you have many cats in your home but if you have a good understanding on the dos and don’ts, then you should not have a problem keeping every cat safe and healthy. Additionally, you might also want to consider getting cat health insurance plan as the management of feline cancer or other diseases brought about by Feline Leukemia entails costs that may really hurt your budget.