What is Feline Leukemia Virus?

What is Feline Leukemia Virus?

Feline Leukemia Virus, or FeLV, is a retrovirus that causes cats to have a weaker immune system. It is a contagious virus, and is spread from cat to cat through saliva and other bodily secretions. However, it is not a highly contagious disease, and usually requires a prolonged period of close contact between an infected cat and susceptible cats. Many people will never consider adopting an FeLV positive cat because it sounds scary or expensive to care for. We’re here to give you all the facts, and therefore improve the chances of these cats finding forever homes.

If you’re looking to adopt a shelter cat, want to know how to protect your cats, or have no idea what FeLV is, this video is for you!

Now you know all about FeLV!

Please share this video with your friends, and remember to keep your cat up to date on their vaccinations, especially the one that protects against FeLV!

Come to The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA)’s Main CampusΒ and meet our adoptable FeLV positive cats.

Scroll to watch videos of Crystal, Midnight and Jade.

Did you know that large felines like tigers and lions can contract FeLV too?

Share this post with your friends to help spread the knowledge about FeLV.

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11 Comments

    1. Hi Sue! At HSSA we do isolate cats infected with FeLV to ensure the disease is not spread to other cats.
      We actually have an FeLV only cat habitat called Meowtropolis for adoptable FeLV positive cats. Thanks for your comment!

  1. Thank you for sharing this information about Felv and for giving the Felv cats a chance at forever, loving homes!

  2. Absolutely love this. Very well done, thank you for being pioneers and paving the way for others to follow in suit. πŸ™‚ positive thoughts for these positive cats!!

  3. I absolutely believe that FeLV+ (and FIV+) kitties deserve loving homes just as much as any other kitties, and that people should not be afraid of adopting them. So this is very exciting but I’d like to know more about your stance on adopting them into homes that will be shared with – kitties. Because the literature/studies done on the efficacy of the FeLV vaccine are confusing and all over the place :/ What vaccine will you be using in your program (to vaccinate – kitties in shared environments)? What studies did you base your decision on to adopt them out to homes shared with – kitties? Will you be monitoring the results of your program with ongoing monitoring of the – kitties you vaccinate in the adoptive homes? Because that would be wonderful and potentially groundbreaking info. to have for clearing up some of the confusion. And help to promote additional programs like this in other shelters. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Kira! Thanks for your comment. We are passionate about educating the public on this issue and helping these cats find forever homes because, as you know, they are just as deserving! We use the Merck FeLV vaccine that is effective for two years after the initial series is properly administered. We looked at a number of studies that are available and based our decision on the studies we examined. We advise anyone/other shelters to come to their own decision based on their own research. We are hoping that videos like this will inspire adopters and other shelters to research and determine if they can fit FeLV kitties into their lives! Thanks again Kira.

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