• Sep 15, 2018

the Leukosis at cats is the disease caused by the onkogenny FeLV retrovirus (Feline Leukemia Virus). The virus affects the immune system of cats. Has overwhelming effect on the system of blood formation, leads to anemia, cancer tumors, other serious consequences. Whether it is worth being afraid of this disease?

According to veterinary statistics – 85% of animals live no more than 3-4 years after infection. Viral leukemia at cats – heavy pathology with the doubtful forecast, but is not always the death sentence.

What is a viral leukosis of cats

Whether It Is Possible to Define a Leukosis at Your Cat

The cat's leukosis causes the FeLV virus – a virus which leads to development of tumors.

Its danger consists that at the infected cats serious illnesses incompatible with life can develop.


The organism of the majority of cats with strong immunity is capable to resist to a virus and completely to destroy it. Therefore it is so necessary to care for health of the pet, to provide good nutrition and appropriate care, to strengthen cat's immunity.

As works the FeLV virus

Having got to an organism of a cat, the leukemia virus actively breeds. Then it takes root into tissues of marrow and destroys the genetic code of leukocytes – white blood cages. The cages affected with a virus cannot perform the protective function any more.

The destroying action of an infection is shown by the following symptoms:

  • Oppression of immunity. At the infected animals organism resilience sharply falls. They are ill more often. Diseases proceed more hard, there are complications more often.
  • Neoplasia. Probability of oncological diseases increases.
  • Anemia. In blood the number of erythrocytes – red blood cells sharply decreases.
  • Pathological course of pregnancy: abortions, stillborn kittens, rassasyvany fruit.

The main danger of a disease – proceeds asymptomatically, has the long incubatory period.

Exact diagnostics is possible only in the started disease stage.

That occurs in an organism of a cat after the meeting with a virus

The following options of a course of disease are possible:

  1. Temporary. After infection the organism of a cat with strong immunity develops antibodies, suppresses action of a virus. There is a full self-healing within 2-60 days.
  2. Hidden carriage. Arises at animals with strong immunity. The cat feels well. The virus contains in animal tissues, but does not breed and is not activated. The pet constitutes danger to the relatives. Transition to a disease stage as a result of a stress, decrease in protective forces of an organism, deterioration in conditions of food and contents is possible.
  3. Replication form. Leukocytes with the violated genetic code carry a virus on an animal organism. The virus gets into marrow. There are tumors, anemia, cancer of a brain, a gastrointestinal disease, an urinogenital and respiratory system develops.
  4. Atypical answer. Such state arises at cats with quite good immunity. The virus is localized in some one body and does not extend on all organism.

Depending on the place of localization the leukosis happens: multifocal, in an abdominal cavity, in a thorax, in nervous system.


The FeLV virus is active concerning young animals, with age the susceptibility to a virus decreases.

of the Way of infection with a leukosis virus

The disease is infectious, but it is not transmitted to the person, dogs and other pets.

This virus is active only concerning cats. A virus very widespread and infectious, it is steady against factors of the external environment: UV rays, air, water.

Ways of infection:

  1. Contact with relatives. The cat can catch during contact with a sick animal or with the virus carrier. Infection comes through saliva, allocations from a nose and eyes, through stings, during knitting.
  2. Airborne way.
  3. Through objects: ware for food, a cat's toilet, clothes and footwear of the person.
  4. Fecal and oral way.
  5. Pre-natal. The fruit catches through mother's placenta.
  6. Through milk. Kittens catch a virus from the feeding cat.
  7. Via medical tools: injections, fence and blood transfusion.

Risk group

Neglected animals, cats who are in shelters, nurseries, hotels for animals. Dense contents promotes fast spread of an infection.

As is shown a cat's leukosis

Decrease in immunity of the infected animals happens gradually and asymptomatically.

Owners of cats can not guess for years that their favourite is dangerously sick.

Clinical symptoms of a leukosis at cats appear not at once, they are diverse and remind other pathological states.

Symptoms of a viral leukosis:

  • Weakness, increased fatigue, drowsiness;
  • Slackness, refusal of active games with the owner and relatives.
  • Frequent long diseases of the virus and bacterial nature. Recurrence.
  • Loss of appetite, exhaustion, refusal of food.
  • Increase and morbidity of lymph nodes.
  • Frequent alternation of the periods of excitement with depression.
  • Fever. Temperature increase of a body over 40 °C.
  • Anemia.
  • Pale mucous membranes.
  • Jaundice.
  • Disorders of a GIT: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.
  • Deterioration in a condition of wool, loss of gloss.
  • The complicated breath, short wind.
  • Incoordination of movements, muscular spasms.
  • The increased salivation, stomatitis.
  • Purulent allocations from a nose and eyes.
  • Convulsions, spasms, faints.
  • Anizokoriya – the different sizes of pupils.
  • Reproductive problems: infertility, abortions.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Puffiness of extremities.


It is possible to diagnose this dangerous disease only in clinic on the basis of results of laboratory researches. Do not postpone a visit to the veterinarian!

Diagnosis of a leukosis

For detection of a cat's leukosis the following methods of diagnostics are used:

  1. Immunofermental blood test (IFA, ELISA). Reveals existence and type of a virus and its quantity in blood serum. The test allows to reveal infection at early stages. For informational content the analysis is repeated in 3 months.
  2. Clinical blood test. Reveals anemia, the raised SOE.
  3. PTsR diagnostics. Reveals antigens.
  4. Ultrasonography. Allows to find new growths, the increased lymph nodes, diffusion educations on intestines walls.
  5. X-ray analysis.

In certain cases the veterinarian can appoint: laparoscopy, biopsy, kolonoskopiya, gastroscopy.


At suspicion of a viral leukosis the cat needs to be isolated.


Is treated a leukosis at cats

Unfortunately, of specific treatment of a leukosis does not exist .

There is no medicine which is capable to destroy completely a virus and consequences of its action.

85% of cats to whom this diagnosis is made die within three years after an onset of the illness.

All medical appointments for such animals are directed to improvement of their state, strengthening of immunity and protection against a recurrence of secondary infections.

The infected animals need to be sterilized and castrated, transferred to a lifelong quarantine. In certain cases veterinarians advise to lull the sick pet.

Treatment of a leukosis comes down to removal of symptoms of secondary diseases, providing qualitative food, the immunostimulating therapy. For this purpose use antibiotics, anticarcinogenic medicines, immunostimulators.

Usual immunostimulators (Interferon, Raltegravir) in a case with a leukosis do not give the expected effect therefore veterinarians do not use them in the practice.

Well proved import medicine of new generation Virbagen Omega which significantly reduces cat's mortality.

In difficult cases blood transfusion and surgical intervention can be required. A blood cancer at cats, limfosarkoma are treated with use of chemotherapy that allows to suspend the course of a disease.

Unfortunately, the remission periods after the sessions short, will be required to cats repeated procedures.

Preventive actions

The main prophylactic of a disease is a vaccination.

The scheme of inoculations is appointed by the veterinarian.

Before vaccine injection IFA needs to make blood test and to repeat it in 12 weeks.

It is possible to impart only pets with double negative result. Usually primary vaccination is carried out with an interval no more than 4 weeks twice.

The efficiency of vaccine remains up to 12-14 months. The revaccination is appointed annually with simultaneous carrying out rapid tests for the FeLV virus.

In domestic veterinary science the following medicines are used: "Leykotsel 2", "Purevax FeLV", Leominor, Leykofeligen.

At the heart of all vaccines – the killed leukosis virus strain. Kittens receive immunity with mother's milk from the imparted cats. But this effect of short-term action therefore all posterity is more senior than 8 months it is necessary to impart.

Except inoculations it is necessary to pay attention to a food allowance and conditions of keeping of the pet.

It is recommended to erase often a laying of a cat in hot water with detergents, to carry out cleaning of rooms with use of disinfecting solutions, not to allow contact of an animal with street footwear and the owner's clothes.

Veterinarians advise to have a replaceable set of clothes if you regularly visit places with other animals: shelters, hotels, nurseries.

It is also necessary to wash carefully hands with soap and to disinfect them after contact with foreign and street animals. It is so possible to protect the favourite from a dangerous disease.

Councils from professional veterinarians:

  • Do not take the new pet in the house in which already there live cats, without test for the FeLV virus.
  • Annually do to the imparted cats rapid tests and a revaccination.
  • In areas with an adverse epidemic situation – limit access of an animal to the street.
  • Get to each pet the tray for a toilet, a stove bench and bowls for a forage and water.
  • If your cat died of a leukosis, carry out full disinfection in the house before bringing the new pet.
  • Do not allow to contact to the cat to street animals and isolate him from relatives on reception at the veterinarian – use for this purpose bags carryings and cages.
  • Demand from manufacturers results of tests for viruses before getting from them the pet.
  • If you picked up a cat on the street or took in a shelter, immediately show it to the veterinarian and take a blood test on presence of viruses.
  • Observe the schedule of inoculations, do not forget about an annual revaccination.

Follow this advice and you will save the favourite from a horrible and artful disease, and he will give for many years to you joy.




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