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Should I adopt cat with feline leukemia?
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k_gaertner posted:
I need some advice...

So I have a cat named Teeka and have had her for a little over 2 years now. She lives with my boyfriend, his brother and I. About a year ago my boyfriend's brother rescued a stray kitten which also came to live with us. About 6 months later we learned she had feline leukemia and she passed away. After learning more about the illness, I had Teeka tested, and she was positive. It has been about 9 months since her diagnoses and she is as healthy as ever. Not a single sign of anything wrong.

So my boyfriend and I are getting ready to move into a place of our own, and his brother now wants to adopt another kitten (since Teeka will be out of the house and it will be safe for him to get one). We all went to the Humane Society to look at the kittens. While we were there we told the employees about Teeka's story. After hearing about her, they told us that they have a 1 year old cat there named Willow who has feline leukemia as well. They asked us if we would be interested in adopting her since she can only live alone or with other FeLV positive cats. They told us she would be euthanized soon since they can't place her for regular adoption since she has the illness.

We are definitely open to having another cat but just never thought it would be possible because of Teeka's condition. But would it really be a good idea to get this cat? First of all I feel like it will just be so emotional to be attached to two cats that I know may not have a full life. But also, could adopting her put Teeka in any danger at all? In other words, I know she already has FeLV, but could her condition spiral downward at all being around another FeLV cat? Like what if the new cat has a weaker immune system and contracts an illness easier, couldn't she then give it to Teeka?

Sorry for such a long post, but I want some advice on this. I obviously feel compassionate towards this cat especially knowing she will be put down if we don't get her! I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place!
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
If you are open to having another cat with Feline Leukemia, this is an excellent solution for the cat at the shelter. While it's hard to know how long either of these cats will live (and you're right, that is the hard part) they'll have a great home in the meantime. The risk to Teeka is minimal, and she'll have the benefit of a companion.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


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