Skip to Primary Content

Memorial Road Pet Hospital

Black cat sitting on a rock

Feline Leukemia

close up of a cat looking up

What is Feline Leukemia?

Feline leukemia virus, FeLV, is a common infection among cats and is a leading cause of death in the cat population.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Diarrhea

  • Pale gums

  • Lethargy

  • Chronic infections

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Cat sitting outdoors in the sun


FeLV is passed through bodily fluid. Exposure to FeLV doesn't always mean that a cat will become positive and some cats are able to fight the virus off on their own.

Unfortunately, this virus has a concentrated presence in the saliva of infected cats.

Mutual grooming between cats and fighting are the most common ways that this virus is spread.

Cat laying on floor


Both adults and kittens can be tested for FeLV and then vaccinated if negative.

Cats at the highest risk for this disease are those that are outdoor or living in large groups.

There is very little treatment available for cats infected with this disease so prevention is very important.