Bunny asked in PetsCats · 8 years ago

Question about feline leukemia virus?

I'm fostering a cat who has FeLV for a local animal shelter. They desperately needed a volunteer to house her for a couple of weeks. I have another cat who is healthy and the vet told me that he would be fine as long as I keep them separated.

They've been in separate rooms but today the FeLV+ cat got out of her quarantine room and she was face-to-face with my healthy cat for a few minutes. They didn't fight but they did hiss at each other (with about a foot or two of space between them) and she sneezed one time. I got her back to the other room for quarantine immediately but I'm wondering how likely it is that he caught FeLV through this brief interaction.

My cat has not been vaccinated, since he's an indoor-only cat. He's three years old and has no major health problems. I'm really worried that he might have gotten sick, but I'm hoping that just a couple of minutes of contact won't hurt him.

Serious/informed answers only, please! I'm specifically hoping for feedback from vets, vet tech, animal shelter workers, etc.

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Honestly, your cat is probably okay. Feline leukemia is (thankfully) difficult to transmit from one cat to another and they typically get it through prolonged contact. Very young, very old, or immuno-suppressed cats are more likely to contract it. As long as your cat is healthy and active he'll probably be fine, especially if he's vaccinated.

    I've added a website you can go to that will answer lots of your questions about feline leukemia.


    It's wonderful you decided to take in this kitty that needs as much help as she can get. I wish you luck with find her a forever home!

    Source(s): 10 years as a veterinary technician 15 years as a cat owner.
  • 8 years ago

    The current thinking is that the FeLV cat has to be in constant contact for several weeks at least, with another cat, to spread it. However if you want to talk to knowledgeable people who own FeLV and non-FeLV cats together, go over to the YahooGroups section and search on Feline Leukemia cats. You can check the postings, or join the board and talk with them.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    If you get no good answers here, try over on the cat site, in the forums. My understanding is that cats are by far most vulnerable as kittens. Some vet who says we are vastly overvaccinating cats (too often, according to titer studies) has a website, and she said it's not worth bothering vaccinating for Feline Leukemia Virus in most cases, cuz they get it as kittens, or not likely at all. Now, that's my very HAZY recollection.

    PS I read that it's true it has to be a bite, and also that adults have natural immunity, usually try vetsnyc.com/apage/84457.php

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Not really sure - IMO you should have your cat tested in about 6 months to find out.

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