My cat is feluk positive, now what

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sancraft, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Georgia
    My sister hates cats and I had 7 when we had to move in here with her. My kitten who has special needs because her mouth was injured with lye is allowed to stay in the room that my daughters and I share, but my other cats, mostly indoor cats, were relagated to outside. Two of my cats ran away. One of the other four outdoor cats tested positive for Feline Leukemia, but it is not active. When we move, I wanted the cats to be able to come back inside. I had the others tested. The results for the indoor kitty is negative. The other results won't be in until tomorrow. I'm pretty sure all the outdoor cats will test positive, as they all share feeding dishes, water dishes and huts. I don't want to expose the indoor kitty, but she misses having her playmates. She sits in the window and they come to the outside window and talk to her. Keeping them outside at the farm will be risky too. There are lots of coyotes up there. What should I do?
     
  2. Sarah K.

    Sarah K. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Location:
    Central NYS
    I would think if the indoor cat was vaccinated and kept up to date on her shots the risk involved would be minimal. We had this exact situation- we brought in a stray who turned out to test positive for leukemia. Actually our indoor cat was not vaccinated at the time, since she never went out, and she never caught it, although of course we had her vaccinated ASAP when we found out the other cat was positive! I think a lot depends on the interaction between the cats- from what I understand it is spread through close contact such as fighting or mating. Your vet could probably give you a better idea of the risks involved. If you decide not to bring them in, maybe you could build a large outdoor enclosure for them to protect them from the coyotes?
     

  3. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

    Messages:
    44,854
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    If the outside kitties are ill, it would not be good to let inside kitty catch it.

    But since you are missing two kitties, why could you not get a new little kitty that is not ill and let it become another indoor kitty.

    Angie
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    I wouldn't have any problems having the infected and non-infected cats together IF the non-infected cat was properly vaccinated (2 boosters 3 weeks apart if the cat hasn't been vaccinated for FeLV before). I definately wouldn't do it if your non-infected cat isn't vaccinated! There are studies that show that a healthy adult cat (over about 6 months) only has a 15% chance of infection when exposed to FeLV, but I wouldn't take that chance with ANY of my kitties! A kitten (especially under 12 weeks) has a MUCH GREATER chance of picking up the virus, so I would be very careful adding new kitties to the household.

    FeLV is called "the friendly cat disease" because it is commonly transmitted by close contact, mutual grooming, sharing food bowls, etc. A "healthy" infected cat can live for a few years before the virus either causes a type of cancer or lowers the immune system so much that something else takes the cat's life. A "sick" infected cat probably won't live for more than a few months and often it is kinder to euthanize that animal to prevent suffering (I am in no way recommending euthanizing a "healthy" infected cat!).

    Getting your infected cats back indoors would be the best thing for them! They will not be constantly exposed to dangers and diseases that their compromised immune systems may not be prepared to handle. If at all possible I would recommend making them TOTALLY INDOOR kitties, not just to protect themselves, but to protect any other cats they may come in contact with.

    BTW did your vet do the combination test that also checks for FIV. Several years ago I had a couple of cats that were positive for both FeLV and FIV-NOT PRETTY.

    Good luck with your kitties!

    Sarah
     
  5. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    777
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    If your cat tested positive shortly after it was exposed, it may not indicate acute or chronic infection, but just exposure. All cats exposed to FELV will test positive for a time. About 1/3 will then become negative (immune), 1/3 will become acutely ill and die, and 1/3 will become chronic carriers. Any healthy looking cat that tests positive should be retested in 4 months. They may test negative at that time if their immune system has overcome the virus.
     
  6. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Georgia
    All my cats are vaccinated, so it may be a false positive. I have to have them re-checked in 6 months. They are all very healthy looking. Vet says they may not be really positive, just showing positive. I feel better about it now. My indoor kitty is actually over a year old now. The movers dropped my soap making supplies and spilled lye on the floor which Hope walked in and tried to like it off her paws and now, she has a vey interesting looking mouth and tongue. She can never go outside. Several of her teeth had to be pulled and she can drink on her own, she has to use a bottle. I can't wait to move and get my babies back inside where I can look after them.