How feline leukemia virus is transmitted

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is primarily spread from infected cats to non-infected cats through close personal contact. Here are the main modes of transmission:

  1. Saliva: Cats can transmit FeLV through mutual grooming, bite wounds, or sharing feeding dishes. The virus is present in the saliva of persistently infected cats, and close contact facilitates its spread¹³.
  2. Blood: FeLV can be transmitted through blood, especially during fights or other aggressive interactions between cats.
  3. Urine and Feces: Although less common, FeLV can also be spread through urine and feces. Cats that share litter boxes may be at risk.
  4. In Utero and via Milk: FeLV can be transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens during pregnancy (in utero) or through her milk while nursing.

It’s important to note that FeLV is specific to cats and cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals. The virus does not survive long outside a cat’s body, typically lasting only a few hours². Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive measures can help manage FeLV and reduce its spread among feline populations. 🐾

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(1) Feline Leukemia Virus – Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
(2) Feline leukemia virus – Wikipedia.
(3) Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Symptoms, Vaccine, Treatment – WebMD.
(4) Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) | Best Friends Animal Society.

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