The Purr-fect Cat Shelter, Inc.
Post Office Box 548, Medway, MA 02053
a no kill, non-profit, all volunteer organization

What you need to know about FeLV

  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a virus that may eventually suppress the immune system of the carrier animal. The most common secondary disease that affects the cat is cancer.
  • The FeLV virus is present in the saliva, blood, urine and feces in an infected cat. For the virus to spread to another cat, prolonged contact is most likely necessary. Mutual grooming is the most common means of transmission.
  • Between 60-70% of the adult cat community has a natural immunity to the virus.
  • There is a vaccine for FeLV, but it is only reported as being 60-90% effective.
  • The life expectancy of an adult cat with FeLV varies tremendously, given that there are several strains of the virus, some being more debilitating to the cats than others. With a less aggressive infection, the cat could live many happy years.