FeLV & FIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. Learn more how to help below.

Facts and Stats about
​FeLV Cats

(And why you should consider adopting us!)
FeLV (feline leukemia virus) is a viral infection of cats that affects the cat’s immune system and bone marrow. The virus is spread from cat to cat via saliva (grooming, shared food/water bowls, etc.) or kittens born to an FeLV+ mother are at risk for the disease as well.

While the virus itself cannot be treated,
an FeLV+ cat can live a perfectly happy life, although may have a shorter lifespan then of a negative cat. This is not to say that an FeLV+ cat will require more medical care than a cat who does not have FeLV. They just need to be monitored and treated quickly if a secondary infection should arise.
Also, FeLV can only be passed to other cats, not any other animals or humans so it is perfectly safe to adopt a positive cat into a home with dogs, rabbits or any other animals.

We have several families that only adopt from the FeLV population and we are so grateful to them! While we do not have a lot of cats that are FeLV+ at The Center, the few we 
have need loving homes just like any other cat. They tend to be harder to place as potential adopters sometimes think these cats will be a financial burden but in reality, we never know what a new animal in our home will require in the future.


What is FeLV?
FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus. It is a viral infection of cats that affects the cat’s immune system and bone marrow. FeLV ONLY affects cats (humans, 
dogs, and other animals cannot be infected).

How do cats get FeLV?
The virus is spread from cat to cat via saliva (grooming, shared food/water bowls, bites).
The virus does NOT live long outside of a cat host, so spreading the virus to other cats via human hands or clothing is very unlikely. It also does not spread very easily, so just because a cat comes in contact with
an FeLV+ cat does not mean the disease will automatically be spread.

How is FeLV diagnosed?
A blood test is required by your vet to determine if a cat is FeLV+.

Can FeLV be treated?
While the virus itself cannot be treated, 
an FeLV+ cat requires supportive care because of having a weaker immune system.

 FeLV+ cat have a good life?
FeLV+ cats can live perfectly happy lives. People that have FeLV+ cats just need to be aware that they MAY have a shorter 
lifespan than a FeLV- cat.

Can I adopt a FeLV+ cat if I already have a “regular” cat?
If you chose to bring a FeLV+ cat into your home, you would want to vaccinate your other cat(s) against the disease. Most vet offices have the FeLV vaccine. It is a
two step vaccine the first year (meaning your cat would get one vaccine and return to the vet about 4 weeks later for the booster) and any year after would be one vaccine. It is important to remember that no vaccine is 100% however, studies have shown that as cats get older they grow a more natural immunity to catching the disease. Kittens, with immature immune systems, are more susceptible to catching the disease so we would not recommend mixing an FeLV+
cat with a negative kitten.

I found a stray cat that I want to keep but it tested positive for FeLV. What should I do?
Remember that FeLV is not a quick death sentence. You may have years with your cat, or it may be months. We have no way of predicting the future for any animal. Read all the information above and if you still have questions/concerns, please reach out to Leah.

Our goal at The Center is to find homes for every animal, including FeLV+ cats!

Please contact Leah at mamaleahnorton@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns.