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Cat Leukemia - Keep Your Kitty Safe!
Cats, just like any other animal and their caretakers, can get sick. If you love cats and own them, there are some things you should know about the illnesses that can affect your feline friend.
Feline leukemia virus falls into the category of retroviruses because of the way infected cells behave. The virus produces an enzyme that inserts copies of the virusís own genetic material into the infected cells.
It doesn't matter where you are, your cat can be infected with this disease. The best prevention is to keep your cat healthy by maintaining its diet and seeing the vet regularly for any and all shots.
How Do Cats Become Infected?
Feline leukemia spreads from cat to cat. There is no limit to the ways it can be spread. Even just sharing a litter box with an infected cat might be enough to spread the disease. Unborn kittens aren't safe from this disease since mother cats can pass feline leukemia off to their unborn offspring.
What type of cats have a greater risk of being infected?
Any cat is at risk of being infected, although some cats are at a greater risk than most. If a cat is living with other cats that are infected or it is unknown whether they are infected with feline leukemia virus, risks of the cat becoming infected are very high.
If you allow your cats to roam free out of doors then their chances of contracting this disease increases. They run a greater risk of coming in contact with infected cats and being bitten or scratched, allowing the virus to transfer itself. Kittens have a greater risk of becoming infected, especially when they are nursing since the virus can be transmitted through the mother's milk. Also, they have weaker immune systems.
Feline Leukemia: How to spot the symptoms and what it does to your feline
Feline Leukemia works very much like HIV in humans. It attacks the immune system of your cat, making it difficult for your cat to fight off even the most minor of illnesses. It can cause other health problems for your cat as well, such as blood disorders and has been linked as being a source of cancer in cats.
At first, your cat may show no signs of the virus at all. But over time, your catís health will begin to deteriorate or he may suffer from re-occurring illnesses. Some of the main signs that you may notice are loss of appetite and weight-loss. At first, weight-loss will be minimal, but late in the disease, you may notice your cat wasting away.
Poor coat condition and a persistent fever, along with enlarged lymph nodes, and persistent diarrhea, are also telltale signs. You may also notice your cat has pale, inflamed gums, infections such as urinary, repertory or skin and eye conditions. Mother cats that have become infected will also have reproductive problems such as aborting kittens.
By paying attention to your cats health and following these tips, you may be able to avoid this dangerous cat illness.
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