These Cat Viruses Aren’t Kitten Around!

It’s kitten season and it seems like we have a bumper crop of cute furballs needing homes this year! It’s a good time to remind those of you with feline friends—or anyone considering getting a new cat companion—about why getting your cat vaccinated is so important. Even if your pet lives indoors, it’s easier than you might think for them to be exposed to viruses.

Both feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are contagious, untreatable illnesses. It’s believed that up to 4% of the cats in the U.S. have one or both viruses.

These viruses are primarily spread by bite wounds, although FeLV can also be transmitted through casual contact such as mutual grooming or even from shared litterboxes and food dishes.

FIV causes progressive destruction of a cat’s immune system and eventually animals show a variety of symptoms such as diarrhea, gum inflammation, weight loss, and skin and respiratory infections.

Cats suffering from FeLV will often be diagnosed with cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia or anemia first. It may take years before a cat with one of these viruses to become symptomatic, but during that time they can spread the disease to other felines. Have questions about how to protect your favorite feline? Make an appointment online or call us at (703) 956-1522!