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Unread 06-24-2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default FeLV cat to live together with other cats


I'd like to hear from anyone with direct experience, or experience via a family or close friend, on having a cat with FeLV (not active in my cat's case) together with one or more cats that are not infected by FeLV.
- How has it worked out?
- Have your non-infected cats in time BEEN infected?
- How have you handled this issue? How do they live together?
- How old is your FeLV infected cat?
- How long did your FeLV cat live?

I would appreciate only getting answers from TRUE animal lovers. No ridiculous answers about the solution being to kill, or similar answers.

I have read all sorts of Swedish, English and Spanish veterinary medical publications. I have also read several research papers on the subject. I know where the veterinary community stands on this issue, and their suggestions.
These suggestions and recommendations are therefore not what I am after with my post. I am looking for real cases. The reality is often not the same. I have a friend who has this relationship with an FeLV cat living together with other cats and none of the other cats have become infected. But I need to hear from a lot more cases.

I want to do everything possible for this to work out for the best for all three of us.

(Need not be read) This is my cats background / history:
I have my beloved Snow White that I saved from a Swedish animal shelter and she is just wonderful in every way, and in perfect health in all respects. About a month ago I rescued a stray female cat that was very close to death. She would not have survived more than a few days on her own. She was emaciated and had a broken paw. In her weak condition she came walking up to me like asking for help. I noticed that she was just bones, a walking skeleton. I was horrified at her state. I have had many tests done on her and given her all the care that can be given. It has cost me a large amount of money, and I'm not a rich man. I work for a charity organization so the pay is minimal. But it has been worth every penny. She is a wonderful, charming cat that I love dearly and she deserves a chance to live as good and long life as possible.
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Unread 06-27-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Poor kitty, she knew just who to approach for help, didn't she?

My opinion is that a FeLV positive cat and a non FeLV positive cat can live together safely. It is actually now thought that after the first year or so a cat's immune system is strong enough to fight off casual contact with the virus.

You could of course keep Snow White vaccinated.

My mother, a rescuer of cats, has had several instances of a FeLV+ kitty living with other cats, and none of the other cats ever contracted the disease. The cat who sticks in my mind the most was her beloved Sunny, even among all the cats she's ever had, that cat was her favorite. he lived with her from his kittenhood until he succumbed to a respiratory infection when he was 12 years old. None of her other (many) cats caught the infection from Sunny.

She took some special precautions, keeping litter boxes scrupulously clean, washing all dishes with a bleach solution, changing out water bowls frequently.

Sunny did get sick more often and of course he was always kept inside.

Would I do it? I don't know. In your circumstances, probably I would. YOu were so obviously Chosen by this needy little cat.. In my own current situation, probably not, but I have vulnerable, special needs cats who may have compromised immune systems.

Remember that diet is extremely important. Feed a good high quality canned diet. No kibble junk.

I think you are wonderful to answer this cat's plea. Good luck to you all.

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Unread 02-03-2015   #3 (permalink)
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Hi, I rescued a stray and he was tested positive for FeLV in September 2012.

I decided to keep him, acting on the vet's advice to keep him away from my own adult cat. The FeLV cat was kept in a room of his own, and was occasionally released into a common area for a run. Both cats did not contact and did not share any thing. I tried to disinfect the common area as much as I could, but, my mission failed.

My cat was initially tested negative in Jan 2013.

The FeLV cat passed away in Dec 2013. On that same month, my cat was tested positive when he showed signs of low wbc and rbc.

My advice: do not keep FeLV cat and healthy cat together because it is not worth the risk. Unless you have the healthy one vaccinated though it is not 100% effective.

Fortunately, my vet is willing to let me use an experimental drug, which control the viral load very well. My cat is currently relatively stable and healthy (though he has other non related issues).
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