In many rescues and shelters a positive test result with Feline Leukemia Virus, or FeLV, is often a reason for immediate euthanasia. The condition impairs immunity over time and is not survivable: the cat will have a short life because of the disease. Cats with even just a positive test result and no symptoms need to be kept separate from other cats because it is transmissible on face-to-face contact or contact with body fluids, but the virus doesn’t live long outside the body and when it dries, it dies.
Cats can be retested at intervals and with different methods, and often they’ll build up an immunity. Pittsburgh C.A.T. will hold these cats in a cat-safe foster until all possible retesting is complete. If the cat still tests positive, it usually shows no symptoms and is often a sweet, playful cuddly kitten and it’s hard not to give them as much of life as they can get before their immunity begins to fail and they develop illnesses because of their impaired immunity.
That’s the story for Jack and Jill. They are affectionate, outgoing, playful and beautiful. They don’t know they’ve tested positive for FeLV multiple times. They may not live long, but they deserve at least that. Here is their story:
We’re seeking a very special adopter for some wonderful special-needs kittens! Jack and Jill are a delightful pair of friendly, playful, affectionate kittens. They are sweet and loving, and will crawl right into your lap for some pets and scratches, purring all the while! But offer up a wand toy or a mousie, and they’re off to play. They are happy, adorable, outgoing kittens who just want to run, play, and love. Plus, Jack, healed up after an eye infection gone amok, is totally rockin’ the pirate look!
But Jack and Jill are positive for FeLV, and are seeking a home where they can either be the only cats, or be with other FeLV+ cats. FeLV, otherwise known as feline leukemia, is a virus that impairs the cat’s immune system and can shorten their lives. During the early stages of infection, cats often exhibit no symptoms and no signs of disease at all. Over time, however, the cat’s health may deteriorate.
We do not recommend that FeLV+ kitties live with FeLV- kitties. Cats infected with FeLV can live for years in relative good health, but their health should be vigorously monitored. Jack and Jill will best thrive in a loving, low-key home where they’re fed a high-quality diet, and, in the best interests of the cat, they should be checked regularly by a veterinarian supportive of maintaining and treating an FeLV+ cat. Controlling secondary infections and treating other illnesses as they arise is key, so they will require a committed and loving adopter. In return, they will give much love and joy, and many snuggles and purrs!
Jack and Jill don’t know they’re FeLV. They feel frisky and happy, and are friends with everyone they meet. They deserve a loving home where they can enjoy their lives as long as possible. If you can offer that, please apply to adopt them today! Otherwise, please share, and let’s help Jack and Jill find the home they deserve.
Note from me: Four friends of mine have kept one or two cats they rescued who tested positive for FeLV over the years. They kept them in a separate room and washed their hands and arms hand gel, washed their dishes separately and kept toys separate. The cats lived four to five years and none of their other cats developed the disease. Adult cats with a normal immunity can generally fight off the infection so slip-ups are not a guarantee that the disease will spread. If you have space and can divide your time, this is something you can do to save lives.
Adopting from Pittsburgh C.A.T.
All Pittsburgh C.A.T. adoptions begin with our application. After it’s reviewed you’ll be contacted about meeting your cat or kitten. All cats have been fostered in homes and are healthy, spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines.
Also look for more adoptable cats on Pittsburgh C.A.T.’s Petfinder page.
Other ways you can help
Amazon Wish Lists
The Amazon Wish List for our group’s foster kittens.
Many rescuers pay out of pocket for veterinary care and food but the costs of raising even the average litter of four healthy kittens is more than many people have, and many rescues have greater needs. Pittsburgh CAT has a number of wish lists that include foods for feeding neo-natal kittens like KMR, and other lists that include the best kitten foods, adult cat foods, food and materials for feral cats, and preferred toys and litter.
2017 Feral Cat Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/10PFDFN1BY55E/ref=cm_go_nav_hz
2017 Foster Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1DJBKJ6Y7IMR8/ref=cm_go_nav_hz
Can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate or volunteer.
There are so many ways you can help cats who need homes and care. You may not have room to adopt another cat, but can foster a cat or kitten for a few weeks. If not that, you can volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue, or donate. You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.
- Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
- Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
- Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
- Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
- Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.
If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.
Need to know more? Read Fostering for Your Shelter and Fostering Saves Lives.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Help us pay the medical expenses for all the cats we rescue!
Calendar is 8.5″ x 11″, 28 pages saddle-stitched and includes information on Pittsburgh C.A.T. and clinics and adoption. Read more and purchase.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!