Highly contagious and deadly, this virus can be passed from cat to cat by saliva, urine, feces, or blood. Drinking from the same bowl or playing with an infected cat can place a healthy cat at risk. A few cats infected with FeLV do not actually become ill but remain carriers of the virus for the rest their lives.
"The decision to vaccinate an individual cat against FeLV infection should be based on the cat's age and its risk of exposure," says the report. Vaccination is recommended for cats at risk, such as those allowed to roam outdoors, cats in shelters, and cats that live in households with many other cats or where new cats are introduced frequently. However, it is not recommended for cats that have little or no risk of being exposed to infected cats. FeLV vaccines also do not induce protection against the disease in all cats, so preventing exposure to infected cats is still the best way to prevent FeLV. If vaccination is deemed appropriate, annual revaccination is recommended.
Excerpted from The K.I.S.S. Guide to Cat Care by Steve Duno
Copyright 2001 by Steve Duno.
Excerpted by permission of Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.