Cape Flats cat owners warned of rise in incurable Feline Leukaemia Virus
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Cape Town – THE Animal Welfare Society of SA has issued a warning to cat owners that they have noticed a worrying rise in the number of unvaccinated cats testing positive for Feline Leukaemia Virus.
The organisation said that Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) is one of the leading causes of death in cats and over the past few weeks they’ve noticed the increase of cases on the Cape Flats.
“There is sadly no cure for FeLV, but this can be preventable. FeLV only affects cats and cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals.
“It is passed from one cat to another through saliva, blood, and to some extent, urine and faeces and kittens can contract the disease in utero or through an infected mother’s milk,” they said.
“To minimise the risk of healthy felines contracting this highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, cat owners must not skimp on vaccinating and treating their pets for parasites and ideally take their pets to their veterinarian for annual check-ups.”
Cats or kittens who exhibit any of the following symptoms should be tested for FeLV as soon as possible.
- Pale gums
- Jaundiced colour in the mouth and whites of eyes
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Bladder, skin, or upper respiratory infections
- Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
- Poor coat condition
- Progressive lethargy
- Breathing difficulty
- Stomatitis – An oral disease
To have your cat or kitten tested at the Animal Welfare Society of SA (based in Philippi) costs R270.00 per test.
“The cost of a test compared to the suffering and loss of a beloved pet is minimal and it is quick and painless,” they said.