What is Feline Leukaemia Virus?
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) is a virus that attacks the immune system and causes cancers such as lymphoma and leukaemia. Cats with FeLV have an increased risk of developing other infections and diseases.
FeLV is most common among young, unvaccinated, un-neutered, outdoor cats.
FeLV spreads in the bodily fluids of infected cats, i.e. their saliva (dribble), snot, urine and poo. It can be spread via sneezing, licking and biting, and by sharing food bowls or litter trays with an infected cat. Kittens can catch FeLV inside the womb, and from their mother’s milk.
A small proportion of cats manage to fight FeLV and recover (usually vaccinated cats) but sadly, most cats can’t fight it, and become very poorly. In some rare cases, cats with FeLV carry the virus but appear healthy; these cats are at risk of becoming poorly at any time and can spread FeLV to others.