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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 23438
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Sadly our four month old kitten died yesterday. He had been

Customer Question

Sadly our four month old kitten died yesterday. He had been in and out of the vets for a couple of weeks. The vet is sending his bloods off, but thinks the under lying problem is feline leukemia, even though he has been vaccinated against it. My concern is that I own the mother and brother and am concerned that they too may be infected? How would I know they are ok, would they need blood tests? They both se absolutely fit and well. Is there any signs I can look out for? My bowls and litter tray are cleaned and disinfected daily
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

I am very sorry to hear your kitten has passed on and that feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is suspected. If that is the case, then we do need to be concerned about the rest of this kitten's family. The reason is because commonly kittens become infected in utero from mom. And if this was the means of how your kitten got to infected, then it would mean that mum could be a carrier and both this lost kitten and his brother could be infected as well. (And this means that vaccination could not have prevented this since the virus would have gotten to them before vaccination had a chance).

As well, even if they were not related, this is a virus that can be easily passed by casual feline contact and would still be a concern for your household.

Therefore, with FeLV suspected for this poor wee one, we do need to know if FeLV is really the culprit and thus whether your remaining kitties are at risk. Therefore, since you noted that bloods were sent off, it is worth seeing what the blood results come back as these kitten. If bloods weren't already submitted from this wee one for FeLV testing or if they do come back positive, then you will want to test your remaining kitties to make sure they aren't infected.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX to watch for, many FeLV kitties will be asymptomatic carriers before developing any active signs. Therefore you may not see any signs to give you a hint of their status. Or the only hint you may see is that they are more at risk to catching, developing, and having recurrent issues with infections due to viral induced immunosuppression. If kitties are actively will with the virus, then this tends to be appreciable as they can develop signs of lethargy, anorexia, fever, weight loss, anemia, tumors, and again recurrent disease as the virus destroys their immune systems.


Overall, this suspicion of FeLV is a serious concern for your remaining kitties. Therefore, it is worth seeing whether the lost kitten's results confirm this suspicion. If his results come back positive for this virus, then the best next step would be to have the other kitties tested to confirm whether they too are carriers of FeLV or are virus-free.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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