Feline leukemia is the most common fatal viral infection in cats. The virus is able to cause cancer in cats, as well as suppress a cat’s immune system thereby leaving it at risk for other infections. The virus is spread by bite wounds or by contact with an infected cat. The virus may also be passed from a cat to her kittens. Outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats will be at highest risk for acquiring this infection. Kittens are also particularly susceptible to this virus.
A feline leukemia test should be performed on all new kittens and on any adult cat entering a new household. It is also wise to test any ill cat when their leukemia status is unknown. Vaccines are frequently recommended for all kittens and are subsequently lifestyle dependent as a cat ages.