Living with Felv+ and Felv- kitties

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
Hi everyone! My name is Francesca, I am writing from Italy... I came here for some moral support and advice...

In June, my beloved Puccio crossed the rainbow, after having spent 18 beautiful years together. Later in the summer, I adopted 4 kitties (two calico sisters, now 7 months old, and two first cousins, born one day apart from two sisters, who turn 6 months today). They are all beautiful and in great form. They are mainly indoor cats, got their core shots done and all of them got spayed. Now, here it is routine to get cats tested for Felv when you bring them to get neutered, so then you can proceed with vaccination, so I got them tested: three of them are negative, one is positive (ELISA test). We started the vaccination protocol for the negative ones straight away, and we are now waiting 20 days to get the booster. Yesterday, Virginia (the little positive one) got her blood taken to do a PCR and have a definitive answer. I have already put my heart at rest that she is positive... And that we may not have many years together, but ...I had considered, when Puccio left me, to adopt a sick or elderly cat, so Let's say I am "ready" for shorter lifespans and vet care. Plus Puccio himself had heart and kidney issues so I am used to care for sick kitties. And I do it with all the love I have.

I just feel very low, that's it. And I came here to see if there is anyone who had similar experiences. I decided to keep all the kitties, because they bonded and they love each other. I feed them separately and, because I work from home, i can change their water and clean their litter boxes several times a day. The vet said it's fine doing like this and that the vaccine should give the extra protection, even if it isn't 100 per cent effective.

Virginia is, right now, doing very well. She is lively, energetic and has a super appetite. The vet saw her yesterday and found her in great form. I still hold a tiny thread of hope that maybe she has a regressive form of Felv...I don't know. I am just wondering if there is anyone who had the same experience and who could share it with me.

Thank you all in advance!! 🐱🐱🐱🐱
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
5,275
Purraise
7,961
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Hi Francesca, and welcome to TCS.
As you can read, my name is Antonio and I write from Italy too.

It is unclear who is the positive one. Is it one of the two older sisters, or one of two cousins? Are the two cousins siblings to each other? Do you know all moms?
It could be interesting to test their moms too, to see if the FeLV was passed onto one of them by her mother. If both moms test negative, then it is possible that even Virginia could be negative too, or test negative later in her life.

Unfortunately, FeLV is bad disease, and as far as I know, cats who are born with it might have a shorter lifespan compared to those who get infected with it in their adult life.
At the shelter where I am giving a hand, two FeLV cats were brought in, in the summer of 2020, brother and sister. The girl left us last year, due to FIP (yes, she developed that evil disease too!), the boy is still doing great, and is now turning 3 years.
Some cats are luckier than others.

A person that I know told me of a vet who is treating sick cats (with FIV and FeLV) with the homeopathy, with excellent results. If I do not go wrong, it seems that some of these cats had a complete recovery. If you are interested, I might gather more info on this.
I understand if you don't want to publicly disclose your location, you can PM me, if you want.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
Hi Antonio,
Thanks for your answer!
First things first: Virginia is one of the two cousins. Herself and Mina were born from two sisters, one day apart. They got nursed by both queens. Mina is negative, just like the other two, Lilibet and Contessina, who are blood sisters but are not related to Virginia and Mina: they are "sisters" now, here with me! :) They have been living together since July.
I would be interested in the homeopathy thing...I'll write you later in the day privately!

My vet told me exactly what you said. Basically, with Felv you don't know.... It's a Russian roulette, basically... I grew up in the countryside and we always had cats, both indoors and outdoors, and they could fall victim to foxes. I feel it's almost the same, just with Felv I know there is a disease, but i dont know when it strikes.

I hope the vaccine will protect the other girls, who in any case didn't catch it in four months of living together with her or, if they did, they apparently got rid of it.

In any case...i wouldn't have it any other way. They are special and precious and, if she is positive, I'm glad she is with me because I'll take care of her.

I'll DM you once I finish work about the homeopathy! Thanks for your answer!

Frà
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
So, I am apparently unable to send DMs here because my brain is special, but there is nothing I can't ask publicly really! I am from the Cuneo province in Piemonte. My vets are great and I trust them wholeheartedly, as they have taken great care of Puccio, my 18-year-old boy who passed away last summer. I would be interested to know more, however, about the homeopathic solutions your friend mentioned, so that I could perhaps contact the veterinarian who is providing the care or do some research myself and discuss it with my own vet. Thank you! :)
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
15,290
Purraise
20,072
Location
Nebraska, USA
My cats have FeLV. One was diagnosed positive when he was very, very sick, the other two were never tested but my vet said to 'presume' they are. I never had them tested because I would never separate them as they are mother and two sons. The one I brought in was 'days from death' the vet said. He had lost over half his body weight and couldn't walk. I did some research, and started them all on LifeGold, a supplement for cancers, and DMG, an immune system supplement. Both found on Amazon, Walmart, online. But first, while it was coming, I got some Delectable Lickables in the stew flavors(they won't eat the bisque) to temp my little one into eating. He did take a few licks a day, and somehow pulled through! The vet had said if you can keep them alive for thirty days, the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph glands will make more cells. This was three years ago! My cats were six years old when I finally brought him in, he had been sick a few times before that. Under a year is real touch and go, but if she hasn't been really sick, there is a chance! I will pray for your little one. New research has indicted that it may not be as communicable as they thought, passed on through injury, such as fighting, mating and maybe from mom at birth. Deep bites and tissue damage. I have never took any extra steps in keeping them apart, eating separate, etc. Of course since their immune systems are basically shot, i keep them strictly indoors and wash my hands after any contact with my outside cats. I keep the Delectables around in case one gets sick, and give their DMG and LifeGold in it every morning. One pack divided in three. All the luck, just take one day at a time and just love that little girl as much as you can! I got three more years with my little ones and am so grateful for every one of them......
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
My cats have FeLV. One was diagnosed positive when he was very, very sick, the other two were never tested but my vet said to 'presume' they are. I never had them tested because I would never separate them as they are mother and two sons. The one I brought in was 'days from death' the vet said. He had lost over half his body weight and couldn't walk. I did some research, and started them all on LifeGold, a supplement for cancers, and DMG, an immune system supplement. Both found on Amazon, Walmart, online. But first, while it was coming, I got some Delectable Lickables in the stew flavors(they won't eat the bisque) to temp my little one into eating. He did take a few licks a day, and somehow pulled through! The vet had said if you can keep them alive for thirty days, the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph glands will make more cells. This was three years ago! My cats were three years old when I finally brought him in, he had been sick a few times before that. Under a year is real touch and go, but if she hasn't been really sick, there is a chance! I will pray for your little one. New research has indicted that it may not be as communicable as they thought, passed on through injury, such as fighting, mating and maybe from mom at birth. I have never took any extra steps in keeping them apart, eating separate, etc. Of course since their immune systems are basically shot, i keep them strictly indoors and wash my hands after any contact with my outside cats. I keep the Delectables around in case one gets sick, and give their DMG and LifeGold in it every morning. One pack divided in three. All the luck, just take one day at a time and just love that little girl as much as you can! I got three more years with my little ones and am so grateful for every one of them......

Thanks so much for your answer. I will look into the supplement you mentioned, too. So far, little Virginia is doing well, and the other three are negative. Let's hope. Having others telling me about their experiences helps! Was your kitty, the one who tested positive, very young when he was diagnosed?

I also hope the vaccine will protect the other three...
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
15,290
Purraise
20,072
Location
Nebraska, USA
Well he had been sick like two times before he was diagnosed, but never tested. The third time he was, All three were survivors of distemper when they were young too, under a year old. so we don't know when he got it, he was a stray living with his mom and brothers and sisters at the neighbors house, but came to mine to eat. He was diagnosed when he was 6 he is almost ten now. They all received the leukemia vaccine, but I have a feeling it was too late, they already had it. They all lived outside and got into fights that developed into abscesses. So deep bites.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
Well he had been sick like two times before he was diagnosed, but never tested. The third time he was, All three were survivors of distemper when they were young too, under a year old. so we don't know when he got it, he was a stray living with his mom and brothers and sisters at the neighbors house, but came to mine to eat. He was diagnosed when he was 6 he is almost ten now. They all received the leukemia vaccine, but I have a feeling it was too late, they already had it. They all lived outside and got into fights that developed into abscesses. So deep bites.
It's hard to understand where and when they got it when they lived outside... it's so true. They are lucky they found you though! :)
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
5,275
Purraise
7,961
Location
Orbassano - Italy
So, I am apparently unable to send DMs here because my brain is special, but there is nothing I can't ask publicly really! I am from the Cuneo province in Piemonte. My vets are great and I trust them wholeheartedly, as they have taken great care of Puccio, my 18-year-old boy who passed away last summer. I would be interested to know more, however, about the homeopathic solutions your friend mentioned, so that I could perhaps contact the veterinarian who is providing the care or do some research myself and discuss it with my own vet. Thank you! :)
I might be wrong, but private messages are enabled after a certain number of active posts on your account.
You are not far from me, Turin, so this vet might be handy.
I'll try sending you a PM, maybe you are able to reply to that.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
I might be wrong, but private messages are enabled after a certain number of active posts on your account.
You are not far from me, Turin, so this vet might be handy.
I'll try sending you a PM, maybe you are able to reply to that.
Thank you!
 

Cat.mama

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
110
Purraise
87
Hello! One of my cats was a shelter kitty I adopted very young. For whatever reason she was never tested until 4 or 5 and tested positive. I was devastated. For many years I thought the test was a fluke. She is almost 17 now. Other than some issues with her teeth she had lived a great life. I have other cats in the household that share water litter boxes toys and fights. I have slipped badly one year on keeping vax on time. They are still negative thankfully. Try to keep hope. Try not to be sad, instead look to the time you will get to spend with her and making the best of it. My heart is with you.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
Hello! One of my cats was a shelter kitty I adopted very young. For whatever reason she was never tested until 4 or 5 and tested positive. I was devastated. For many years I thought the test was a fluke. She is almost 17 now. Other than some issues with her teeth she had lived a great life. I have other cats in the household that share water litter boxes toys and fights. I have slipped badly one year on keeping vax on time. They are still negative thankfully. Try to keep hope. Try not to be sad, instead look to the time you will get to spend with her and making the best of it. My heart is with you.
Your words give me hope! I know it won't be easy but you are right: I have to treasure the time I have with her and keep in mind I am not alone, her sisters are with me! Thanks so much!
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
34,139
Purraise
45,540
Location
Colorado US
Hi
In case the private message from Antonio doesn't work, here's a brief guide (--I could be wrong but I don't think there's a length of time or number of posts requirement to be fulfilled. That's only for being able to edit posts);
So, I am apparently unable to send DMs here because my brain is special, but there is nothing I can't ask publicly really!
I wanted first to say you yourself are incredibly special, not only because you're willing to handle kitties with extra needs but also because you have such an open heart for sick and elderly cats :redheartpump::heartshape::redheartpump:

How To Have A Private Conversation With Someone (aka Private Messaging Or Pm) – TheCatSite Articles
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
Hi
In case the private message from Antonio doesn't work, here's a brief guide (--I could be wrong but I don't think there's a length of time or number of posts requirement to be fulfilled. That's only for being able to edit posts);

I wanted first to say you yourself are incredibly special, not only because you're willing to handle kitties with extra needs but also because you have such an open heart for sick and elderly cats :redheartpump::heartshape::redheartpump:

How To Have A Private Conversation With Someone (aka Private Messaging Or Pm) – TheCatSite Articles
Thanks or the info! Antonio DMed me and we managed to start a conversation that way, but I'll read through the article, it'll come handy I am sure! Thanks also for your kind words: elderly cats are very very special, just like elderly people are: they have so much to give and we can learn a lot from their tender, quiet love. The same for sick cats: I will cherish every second I have with my Virginia. Hopefully we'll have plenty of time in spite of her illness, but even if it's only a month ... She is special and I want to give her the best I can. The idea that someone may have just surrendered her or even worse because she is ill makes me cry. But she is with me and her sisters and she will be ok :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

Francesca78

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
18
Location
Cuneo
So, today was a bad day for me: I was very down, thinking of Virginia and fearing for her sisters (who are negative and have received already one of the two felv vaccine shots). Then I started contextualizing it all... Virginia is healthy now, and may be for months or years to come. Her sisters ARE NEGATIVE. I should focus on that and on the fact they haven't contracted it (and now are boosted by the vaccine) rather than seeing all dark. It's important to stay positive for them, too, because they sense our feelings.

My plan of action, now, is the following: I'll wait for the CPR results, which I should get Monday or Tuesday, even though I am already in the frame of mind that little Virginia is positive. Then, I will discuss potential supplements etc with the vet and I think I will look into those you guys suggested here ( Mighty Orange Mighty Orange suggested colloidal silver and di and bob di and bob suggested DMG and LifeGold) so I can see what they say. I am also going to contact the vet Antonio65 Antonio65 mentioned. Of course, I am not expecting miracles, but anything that can help Virginia remain healthy and her sisters strong is good.

Of course, the idea that she may have a shorter life is painful. But then I think about how beautiful and full of love and fun the last year Puccio and I had together was, after he was diagnosed with heart disease: he was 17, I knew he wasn't going to be with me for long, but we had a fantastic year. Plus, it's always only goodbye. There is a place on the other side of the rainbow they cross, and we'll meet there again.

I am just writing down what I am thinking, in pure James Joyce-like stream of consciousness (with some commas here and there!), so I apologize if it doesn't make sense... Thanks for listening and for all the support! :)
 
Top