More Cat Care Information:
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a viral disease that cats of any age can acquire. Your cat can get this through:
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
- Birth (mother to offspring transmission)
- Cat to cat transmission through saliva, feces, and urine
When an infected cat comes in contact with healthy one, he could transmit it to the other.
Cure: none at this time. Feline Leukemia can trigger the onset of other deadly diseases such as blood disorders, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Anemia and bone complications will eventually take place, and these conditions lead to a cat's death. Take note too that a cat with FeLV may die within 3 years, as is the case for 80% of all FeLV-infected cats.
While there is no known cure, we can do something to prevent our cats from getting FeLV. Here are some things you can do.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
- The first and foremost thing you need to do is to have your new pet tested for this condition. If results show he has LeLV, you have two options: keep him apart from other cats, or you many decide not to keep him at all.
- Second, as much as possible, keep you cat inside your house. If you let him free to mingle with neighborhood cats, chances are he will acquire FeLV from them.
- Third, make sure to give your cat FeLV shots. You can check with your cat's vet regarding this. However you need to remember that vaccines for FeLV may not be as effective for all cats. For some reason, there are cats that do not become immune to the disease even after vaccination.
What to Do If Your Cat has FeLV
Once you discover your cat has FeLV, you need to have the rest of the cats tested too. Then, separate the infected ones from the healthy ones so as not to have all of them infected.
You will not become infected to FeLV so no need for you to worry, however, if you pet infected cats, make sure to wash your hands with soap before spending time with those who are not infected. Utensils should also be kept separated. If you only have one cat at home, then you should not have to face this problem.
Another important thing you need to do is to ensure your infected cat has a healthy diet, because when he has leukemia, his immune system is compromised.
In the instance that your cat dies from the condition and you decide to adopt a new cat, see to it that you have your house cleaned and sanitized, especially the areas that your sick cat frequented. Though the virus dies in just a matter of hours, you can never be too sure of secondary diseases.
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|