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View Full Version : Our New Cat has Feline Leukemia



cumberlandreds
07-08-2011, 09:56 AM
Last Saturday me and wife got a new cat from the local animal shelter. Its a pure bred Bengal Cat. Our last cat died on Halloween of last year due to complications from kidney renal failure and diabetes. He was 18 1/2 years old. We had him since we were newlyweds. So he was like our child.

Back to the new cat. When you get an animal from the shelter you get a free exam from a participating vet. So last night we took her and they did a feline leukemia check as part of it. The phone was ringing as soon as we got in the door coming back. It was the vet with the bad news. By looking at our cat you would never thing anything is wrong with her. Very playful,especially for about a 9 year old cat, and very loving. She jumps into your lap everytime you sit down. Never had cat that liked their belly rubbed like she does.
There doesn't seem to be a lot you can do except for giving them supplements to try keep the immune system up to full strength as possible.
Just wondering if anyone in the Redszone world has ever had to deal with this? How long do they normally live? The vet said about 3 or 4 years. Do they go downhill rapidly once the disease kicks in? Or really anything you know at all would be appreciated. We aren't going to give her up or back to the shelter. She is so sweet we could never do that. I suspect this disease was the reason she was given to animal control. The previous owner just didn't want to deal with it.

IslandRed
07-08-2011, 10:12 AM
I suppose we're fortunate none of our cats have had it for real. The missus' first cat was a rare case -- she tested positive (twice) for feline leukemia as a kitten, but the disease never developed or progressed. She lived a well-loved 18 years.

Johnny Footstool
07-08-2011, 10:55 AM
We adopted a cat from a local shelter about 10 years ago, and I remember that after we paid for her, they ran a feline leukemia test there at the shelter. It was negative, but they told us that if if would have been positive, they wouldn't have let us take her home.

I think you should call your shelter back and let them know. It was very irresponsible of them to let you take the cat home without knowing. Feline leukemia is very contagious. If you would have had another cat at home, he or she could have contracted the disease very easily.

cumberlandreds
07-08-2011, 11:16 AM
We adopted a cat from a local shelter about 10 years ago, and I remember that after we paid for her, they ran a feline leukemia test there at the shelter. It was negative, but they told us that if if would have been positive, they wouldn't have let us take her home.

I think you should call your shelter back and let them know. It was very irresponsible of them to let you take the cat home without knowing. Feline leukemia is very contagious. If you would have had another cat at home, he or she could have contracted the disease very easily.

My wife called them this morning to let them know. They don't test for that at that shelter. I agree they should. But I suspect they just don't have the funds to do it. Yea if we had another cat at home we would have been upset. I hadn't really thought about that until you mentioned it.

Sea Ray
07-08-2011, 01:36 PM
From one cat lover to another, I feel your pain. That's everyone's worst nightmare. I recall worrying about the test results after I adopted a kitten once; luckily it came fine.

The only advice I can pass along is to be judicious about doing chemo. I had a cat that got lymphoma and we decided to do chemo (which isn't a big deal for cats. It was just a few shots at the vet and pills) and $1200 later he died anyway and I don't think it extended his life. If I had it to do all over again I would not have done that.

LoganBuck
07-08-2011, 02:54 PM
My parents had a three year old cat, that developed it. He went downhill quickly before he was put down. He wasn't tested for it until they suspected he had a problem.

SunDeck
07-08-2011, 08:09 PM
Sad story. Sorry to hear the bad news, but at least she's going to spend her remaining time with someone who will take good care of her.

blumj
07-08-2011, 09:56 PM
I've lost 2 cats to feline leukemia virus, both were quite a long time ago, more than 20 and 30 years ago. But, like Island Red said, if your cat isn't sick now, she might never get sick from it at all, so, if there are no symptoms yet, it sounds like you may need to clarify the situation with that vet or a different one.

cumberlandreds
07-09-2011, 02:34 PM
Thanks to all for the responses. The vet did tell my wife they could do another test. It could have been a false positive. I also read like isaland said, they canbe carriers of this but never actually have the full blown disease. We are at least hoping for that.
The animal shelter did confirm they don't test for FL because they just don't have the funds to do it. That will be a big consideration for the next cat we have and if we adopt after getting another one. But we will give her a good home for no matter how long she lives. That much we do know.

Sea Ray
07-09-2011, 05:16 PM
Thanks to all for the responses. The vet did tell my wife they could do another test. It could have been a false positive. I also read like isaland said, they canbe carriers of this but never actually have the full blown disease. We are at least hoping for that.
The animal shelter did confirm they don't test for FL because they just don't have the funds to do it. That will be a big consideration for the next cat we have and if we adopt after getting another one. But we will give her a good home for no matter how long she lives. That much we do know.

:thumbup:

I think that's pretty standard for most humane societies as it is not a cheap test. I think it is a blood test. Not every Dick and Jane is trained to find a vein on a kitten.Please keep us posted. With the kind of year our Reds are having we need "kitty" diversions...

cumberlandreds
07-11-2011, 08:31 AM
:thumbup:

I think that's pretty standard for most humane societies as it is not a cheap test. I think it is a blood test. Not every Dick and Jane is trained to find a vein on a kitten.Please keep us posted. With the kind of year our Reds are having we need "kitty" diversions...


Yes it is a blood test. So I can see why a shelter may not do this. I'm sure they can't pay a vet or a vet tech to do this type of procedure either.
I'll keep you posted. Right now she seems like a normal cat. Playing and eating normally. You wouldn't think a thing in the world was wrong with her. Hopefully it will be like that for a long time yet.

Johnny Footstool
07-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Our shelter didn't do it for free. We had to pay for the test before they would let us adopt the cat.

cumberlandreds
10-07-2011, 11:16 AM
Just wanted update you on our cat. We got some real good news when we took her to out regular vet a couple of weeks ago. They did the blood work for feline lukemia and it came back negative. So it looks like the first test was a false positive. I was just guessing her immune system may have been down a bit while being cooped up in a shelter for six weeks before got her. Maybe that's why the first test showed feline lukemia? Anyway we were very happy to say the least. She's abut the most loving cat Ihave ever had. Yuo can hardly sit down without her jumping in your lap and she can never get eough belly rubbing. Just a very sweet cat. I don't why anyone could give her up but we are glad they did.

pedro
10-07-2011, 11:42 AM
That's great.

I have two cats and they're great little buddies.

reds1869
10-07-2011, 02:14 PM
That is wonderful news!

blumj
10-07-2011, 11:51 PM
Really glad to hear that. I'm jealous, my cat barely tolerates my company most of the time.

Sea Ray
10-08-2011, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the update and even better that it was good news. Interesting that these do turn out to be false positives from time to time.

Cats are cool...:cool: