FeLV & FIV Adoption
Have you ever heard of Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids?
FeLV and FIV are two different viruses that can suppress a cat’s immune system. Though both viruses are contagious to other cats, they cannot be spread to any other species-including dogs and humans. Some cats that have either virus can live normal and healthy lives when provided with quality care such as a balanced diet and yearly wellness exam.
If you currently do not have any other cats or already have a cat with FeLV or FIV, you could be a perfect home for one of the cats in our FeLV/FIV adoption program! Because of the contagious nature of the disease, it is critical that these cats are kept indoors at all times. We may require a vet reference to ensure the match works for both your and the cat’s best interests. We also look forward to having an open conversation with any adopter that is interested in the program. If you think that adopting a cat with FeLV or FIV is the right fit for you, talk to a staff member today.
What you need to know about adopting a FeLV or FIV cat?
All adopters who are interested in a cat with Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids will need to meet BHS’ adoption policies and procedures. Additionally, we ask that adopters of cats who have FeLV or FIV have no other cats in the home, or cats that have the virus as well. Unfortunately a cat with FeLV and a cat with FIV cannot go home with each other, as FeLV and FIV are two different viruses. We also require all cats with FeLV or FIV to be strictly indoor cats only due to the contagious nature of the disease! Adoption policies & fees can be found here.
Caring for a Cat with FeLV*
- Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced diet, one free of raw meat, eggs and unpasteurized dairy products, which can harbor bacteria and parasites and lead to infection.
- Provide a quiet place for your cat to rest indoors and away from other cats who could promote disease.
- Bring your cat to the vet every six months—at the very least—for a wellness checkup and blood tests.
- During the early stages of infection, a cat may not show any clinical signs, but he can still pass the virus to other cats. It’s not advisable to introduce a new uninfected cat into the household, even one who has been properly vaccinated against FeLV. Those living in close quarters with infected cats are most at risk for infection, and should be tested for the virus and, if negative, be housed separately.
- FeLV is contagious to other cats, but not to humans or other species. Other cats in the house can acquire the virus from an infected cat. Though the virus doesn’t live long outside of the body, and is easily inactivated with common disinfectants, it can be passed through mutual grooming, shared food and water as well as common litter boxes.
- Sadly there is no cure for FeLV, and it is estimated that less than 20% of clinically infected cats survive more than three years of active infection. In the case of those cats who develop cancer, chemotherapy can help prolong life, but treatment often focuses on providing the best quality of life.
*Taken from the ASPCA’s Website
Caring for a cat with FIV*
- Keep your cat indoors. This will protect him from contact with disease-causing agents to which he may be susceptible. By bringing your cat indoors, you’re also protecting the uninfected cats in your community.
- Watch for changes—-even seemingly minor—-in your cat’s health and behavior. Immediately report any health concerns to your vet.
- Bring your cat to your vet at least twice per year for a wellness checkup, blood count and urine analysis.
- Feed your cat nutritionally balanced food —- no raw food diets, please, as bacteria and parasites in uncooked meat and eggs can be dangerous to immunocompromised pets.
- Be sure your cat is spayed or neutered.
- Sadly, there is no treatment for FIV. Cats can carry the virus for a long time before symptoms appear. Therefore, treatment focuses mainly on extending the asymptomatic period or, if symptoms have set in, on easing the secondary effects of the virus.
*Taken from the ASPCA’s website