Understanding Feline Leukemia

How do you know if a cat is FeLV positive?

Prior to being made available for adoption, each cat at Homeward Animal Shelter has a blood test, called an ELISA test, ran to ensure they are negative for FeLV. Cats that test positive do not necessarily have Feline Leukemia, but may have been exposed to the virus and their body may still be in the process of fighting it off. To determine if a cat is truly positive, a specific test, call an IFA, is performed. If the IFA is positive, it means that the virus has moved into the cat’s bone marrow and their body will be unlikely to fight off the virus at this stage, and the cat is considered positive/infected with FeLV. Even if the virus has moved into the bone marrow, as long as the cat is not showing any other type of illness, they may still live several years with proper care.

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