Should a cat with feline leukemia be put to sleep?
I look out for the strays in my neighborhood. A young male was recently injured so I captured him and am treating his eye. I feel like he's never had anyone to love him. I don't know if I can keep him because I seem allergic to this one. Plus I have two other males in the house. If I take him to the ASPCA he could get a home, but if he has leukemia, I'm sure he'll get put to sleep without option of taking him back. It's so sad that animals who haven't been loved have such a fate. Should I pay the vet bills myself and just try to get him a home?
- Elaine MLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Feline leukemia can be managed, it depends on how the cat is handling it, if he's got it. There are several very good feline leukemia lists on yahoogroups that you can join, who can give you good answers to all your questions.
The blood test the shelters use is the Elisha test, which is accurate for feline leukemia, BUT it's known for false positives for FIV. If it comes up FIV positive on the test, treat that as a maybe and have the vet do a Western Blot test on the cat. The results from the Western Blot will be accurate.
HOWEVER if the cat has been vaccinated at any point in his life for FIV, he'll have the antibodies in his system for his lifetime--and that will always show as a 'positive' on tests even though he won't have the disease.
FIV cats live long lives, over 15 years in many cases. Feline Leukemia isn't as nice on them and they have shorter lives,but the time you do get with a leukemia cat can be quite long. It's not something that kills in a few months--you do get years.
Your vet can give the Elisha test, I think it costs $30. The Western Blot is $90. A checkup around here is about $35 for a cat.
- DorothyLv 44 years ago
Well Leukemia means the red blood cells are being destroyed by the disease, just like in humans, that is why your cat is anemic. The only way your cat would feel better is if it had blood transfusions and that would only last a short time until the disease once again destroys the new red blood cells. I'm sorry to say but you need to show some mercy for your animal and a decision needs to be made.
- SusieQLv 61 decade ago
Take him and get him tested first. The test only takes a few minutes, and is inhouse at most vets. If he is negative, then go ahead and treat him. If he is positive, then you have a tougher decision to make. If your cats are both vaccinated, and you would like to give this little boy a home, then I see no reason why you can't take him in. Many cats live years and years with Felk living dormant in their bloodstream. You can also keep him on a more temporary basis and try to find him a loving home with a person who is educated in feline health. Best of luck!!
- Connie SLv 71 decade ago
if you can not keep him inside and away from other non FELV positive cats, then - as much as I hate to say it - yes, he should be put to sleep.
Cats with FELV can live long healthy lives but they can infect any other cat they come in contact with. Even if the other cats are vaccinated, there is a chance - since no vaccine is 100%
Most people won't want to take in an FELV positive cat, wtih so many healthy cats out there needing homes, they don't want to risk the potential health issues nor risk losing the cat earlier. While adopting a healthy cat is no guaruntee that issues won't come up, they seem pretty much assured if you adopt one that has known issues.
If he tests negative for felv, you might be able to keep him if you have him neutered and bathe him a few times. In tact cats have strong hormones, and that might be what you are reacting to.
I wish both of you all the best, and I hope he is in good health!
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- TessaLv 51 decade ago
It is very sad that an animal that has not been loved have something like leukemia and have to be put to sleep. Leukemia is very contagious and you will be putting your males at risk having him around them. It would not be fair to the person and their pet s if you adopted him out without getting him tested.
- JessLv 41 decade ago
If this cat has Leukemia and your cats aren't vaccinated against it your cats would get it unless they are separated. I surely hope they are.
What makes you think this cat has Leukemia?
And if he does you don't have to only resort to the SPCA. I'm sure there is a rescue group that would be willing to put some time and effort into this cat if he is friendly and adoptable. Look into it a little more and try www.Petfinder.com
- 1 decade ago
Of course not! So if a human get's leukemia they'll be put to sleep too? Find a good-neighborhood veterinarian in your area, I’ am sure if you explain this situation to them about saving the feline or others. Maybe, work up a fair price with your pet doctor? To help you and your feline family. I just wished there would be some type of Free-Medicaid program for animals in case of financial disturbances. 'Though there is animal insurances that I know of, which helps cover big medical finances.'
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- 1 decade ago
Like Chris said, it depends on your financial situation.
If you are okay financially, you can take him to a vet to have him check it out as soon as possible.
I have heard people that has cats with leukemia lived quite long with the proper care, of course.
It would be nice to have more people like you with compassion in this world.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
That is obviously up to you and your financial situation....
No one can answer that question, but obviously if the at has cancer, you will have to think about the QUALITY of life.. If it will be beneficial to save the cat from lots of medications and pain, then I would say it would be more HUMANE to have the cat put to sleep.. IF it is EASILY controlled, and the cat is not suffering, then sure, I think keeping the cat alive is a good decision.
- BONNILv 51 decade ago
I'd say yes if it was me. I wouldn't want my cat to suffer and I can't imagine that if a person suffers from cancer that a cat wouldn't also suffer. Putting them to sleep would be hard but at least they wouldn't suffer.Source(s): It would be a hard decision for anyone who loves their pet.