Tuesday, July 16, 2024
adopting a catcats for adoptionDaily FeatureFeLVfostering petsMonday

Cats for Foster or Adoption, With Feline Leukemia Virus

Meet Walnut.

Pittsburgh CAT is looking for some fosters or adopters for very special cats with special needs. Several recently rescued cats tested positive for feline leukemia virus, or FeLV, like Walnut, above, and while they need to be quarantined from other cats, they are some of the sweetest, friendliest cats you could meet. Though they can’t be fostered in or adopted to a home that has other cats unless those cats are also FeLV-positive, they deserve some home life.

About FeLV, fostering or adopting

Pittsburgh CAT always tests each rescue for both Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), because they are contagious illnesses and affect a cat’s immunity, influencing how it’s cared for and if it’s housed with other cats.

FeLV is a chronic illness, but the way it acts can vary widely depending on the cat. The disease attacks the cat’s immune system in the way that leukemia does and in time, months to years, the cat’s health will deteriorate, but many cats with positive tests are asymptomatic for years. The disease doesn’t have any really specific symptoms, mostly lethargy and a poor appetite. Kittens and young cats without a mature immune system will succumb more quickly, sometimes shortly after they’ve been diagnosed. But the older a cat is when it comes in contact with FeLV, the more its immune system can put up a fight. An adult cat will carry the disease, but with a good diet and vigilant health checks could live for years with no problems. Some secondary conditions might arise, like dental issues or frequent upper respiratory issues, but as long as they are treated as they come up they are just like any other cat.

It’s a cat-only illness, though, and won’t affect humans or dogs or any other animal in any way.

Quarantined from other cats

The main reason these cats have to live away from non-infected cats is that FeLV is spread easily by sharing food and toys, and can infect another cat whose immune system might not be so robust. To keep FeLV+ cats as healthy as possible they best thrive in a loving, low-key foster or adoptive home where they are fed a high-quality diet and are 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.

In many shelters and even in some rescues, a positive test for FeLV is an immediate euthanasia because of the risks to other cats. But that’s not so with Pittsburgh C.A.T. Walnut and all the others deserve a loving home for as long as they can have one.

Interested in fostering?

If you would choose to foster, all food and litter, and of course any medical care, will be provided. They don’t require special care at this time other than a nice home that will give them love and affection.

If you are interested, send a message through Pittsburgh C.A.T.’s Facebook page and someone will be thrilled to get back to you.

Help Pittsburgh C.A.T. with kitten season!

You know that Pittsburgh C.A.T. is the rescue I volunteer with, but even when I’m rescuing cats and kittens for others they still provide support to me in the form of traps and transport, fostering, food, kitten formula, and low-cost clinic and surgery appointments. I couldn’t help anyone without their support. Rescuing adult cats to foster and adopt to a forever home can be expensive depending on their condition, but rescuing kittens is always expensive because they need complete vetting, often they are orphaned and need formula and bottle feeding for weeks, they often develop illnesses or conditions specific to young kittens and they eat A LOT. We don’t adopt kittens out until they are spayed and neutered and have all age-appropriate vaccines, so we make a substantial investment in their future.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Donate Amazon gift cards to [email protected]. Because our cats are fostered in homes all around the Pittsburgh area, gift cards enable us to send supplies directly to fosters!
  • You can also buy supplies through our Amazon wishlist
  • Or donate cash through Paypal ([email protected]) or Venmo (Pittsburghcat).

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

On Mondays I publish articles featuring Adoptable Cats and TNR.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book

day book with cat portraits
Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Read more and order.


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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© 2022 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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!





From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

One thought on “Cats for Foster or Adoption, With Feline Leukemia Virus

  • 15andmeowing

    It breaks my heart to know many get euthanized.


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