Cat leukemia is entirely different from human leukemia and they are highly contagious and can be easily spread through bodily contacts. If you have multiple cats in your household and if one cat is infected with FeLV then it is really going to get worse as other cats may also acquire the infection.
This ailment is found worldwide and seen less among cats in the rural areas compared to urban dwellers. FeLV can easily spread through saliva, nasal droplets, excreta, urine, breast milk, wounds and by sharing same food plates. It is very important to diagnose and treat the problem as soon as possible so that it doesn’t spread to other cats and wipe out the whole clan.
Symptoms that FeLV shows
- Laziness: Cats suffering from leukemia show a lack of interest towards being wishy-washy and they just tend to be depressed all the time. Such cats prefer to stay low somewhere and spend most of the time sleeping.
- Inflamed and pale gums: Cats that have contracted this infection will exhibit pale gums which are inflamed. They will become pale due to blood loss and it is serious sign that should not be ignored. If left unnoticed the cat will turn highly anemic and finally lead to sudden death.
- Breathing problems: Since FeLV infected cats have a weakened immune system they are at high risk of contracting respiratory infections. If your cat is breathing heavily or shows breathlessness then it is high time to take her to the vet specialist.
- Swollen lymph: Usually lymph nodes swell as an after effect of an infection. It is a retort of the immune system which is shown as an enlarged lymph node. Lymph nodes might also swell due to other reasons but still it would be a good idea to take the cat to a vet for examination.
- Weight loss: Cats infected with FeLV usually eat less or have a problem with loss of appetite. Such cases may lead to loss of weight and other problems like fatty liver. So if you notice that your cat isn’t eating or skipping meals then seek immediate vet intervention.
- Deteriorating coat: If your cats coat is not showing up well then it is a signal that the cat is suffering from a serious health problem. If you habitually groom your cats coat and still find it in shoddier condition then it simply means that your cat’s health is not doing well and needs a vet’s intervention.
- Liver damage and jaundice: Cats infected with FeLV are highly prone to liver damage and finally lead to yellowing of the skin and tissues. When this condition occurs the cats will become totally weak and unable to lead a normal life.
- Seizures: This is common symptom of FeLV infection and it occurs repeatedly in most of the cases. Recurrent seizures can lead to untimely death so take immediate action and consult a vet for further treatment.
- Abscesses: FeLV infected cats are prone this problem where painful wounds get filled with pus and further worsens. This happens due to the weak immune system and its slow response to such problems. So always make sure that the cat doesn’t get even a minor scratch.
- Fever: Fever frequently occurs in a cat infected with FeLV. Since the immune system is compromised the cat’s body will be unable to fight fever and commonly acquired infections.
Conclusion: FeLV is a serious condition and if left untreated can lead to death. Multiple cat owners should be more cautious as this ailment is highly contagious. Check you kitty for such symptoms and if you find any get it treated under a vet’s consultation.
Originally posted 2016-03-17 00:00:03.