If your cat has frequent contact with other cats or kittens,you should be informed about feline leukemia virus. The presence of this viruscauses major problems with the cat or kitten’s immune system and other organs,and may even cause cancer. Research indicates that feline leukemia virus is highly contagious among cats of all ages. Current research indicates that itdoes not affect humans or other species. Among cats, it is spread by saliva,urine, and blood. A cat can also pass the virus along to its kittens in anumber of ways before they are born.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Anemia, lack of pink or red color in the gums
  • Weight loss
  • Recurring or chronic illness
  • A progressive weakness
  • Lethargy, fever, diarrhea
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Yellow color in the mouth and/or the white of the eyes

Remember, avoiding exposure with infected cats and updatingvaccinations are the best tools of preventive medicine. Your veterinarian candetermine the best program for your cat.

Copyright © 2009, American Animal Hospital Association

Reprinted with permission from the American Animal Hospital Association.