Did you know your kitten or cat could be at risk for a chronic and life threatening virus called Feline Leukemia (FeLV)?

Contrary to what the name implies, leukemia is not a blood cancer and yet it can cause cancers in cats. Sound complicated? It is!

FeLV is a viral infection that can “set up shop” anywhere in a cat’s body. The virus can suppress the immune system and leave cats vulnerable to bacterial, viral, fungal, and other infections. And, as we mentioned, FeLV can even cause certain types of cancers in cats.

Feline Leukemia is a contagious disease, generally transmitted when a cat comes into contact with saliva from an infected cat. This viral transmission can occur during normal kitty social behaviors such as grooming or sharing food and water bowls. A momma cat can also pass FeLV to her kittens and the kittens can be born with the viral infection. FeLV can also be found in lesser amounts in tears, urine, and feces. Thus litter boxes could be a source of infection in multi-cat households or catteries.

Once a cat contracts the virus, it cannot be cured. Keeping a cat current on vaccinations will prevent disease associated with FELV. VIP PetCare can test your cat for FELV with a simple blood test. VIP PetCare recommends vaccination with FELV for all kittens and adult cats. The good news is that FeLV is not transmittable to humans. Protect your cat annually at VIP Petcare.

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