Tips To Keep Your Cat From Contracting Feline Leukemia

Posted on: 3 March 2015

If you have a cat, then it is extremely important to schedule regular yearly check ups at your local vet clinic. Veterinarians can make sure your cat is properly vaccinated and free of chronic disorders. You also must do your part at home to keep your feline as healthy as possible. One thing you need to do is protect your cat from feline leukemia. Feline leukemia is a virus that is spread through the saliva, nasal mucus, and blood of infected cats. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to prevent infections, and the following tips can help you with this.

Keep Your Cat Inside

If you live in a quiet country area or if you reside in a community with very little vehicle traffic, then you may think that it is safe to allow your cat to roam outside. This is not true, because your cat is likely to come into contact with a variety of stray, feral, or homeless cats. There are hundreds of thousands of stray cats living all over Canada. In fact, reports indicate that there are over 100,000 homeless felines in the city of Toronto alone.  

Stray cats are much more likely to contract feline leukemia. These felines are highly territorial as well, and they will fight aggressively to protect their food, water, and shelter sources. A small bite or scratch from a leukemia infected feline can easily cause a virus transmission.

Consider a Leash

If your cat is used to going outside, then you may want to consider walking him on a leash instead of allowing him to roam outside alone. It can be challenging to leash train a cat, but with time and patience your feline will likely come to love leash walks. If you want to start leash training your cat, then make sure to purchase a harness or walking vest for both comfort and security. Torso attached harnesses are best to reduce pressure from the neck.

Once you purchase the harness, leave it near your cat's food bowl for several days until he gets used to it. Place the harness on your cat inside your home afterwards and attach the leash if your feline is comfortable with the device. Lead your cat with the leash several minutes a day for a week or more. Start going for outside adventures afterwards and use treats to coax your cat to explore.

Encourage Immune Health

Find the Right Foods

If your cat is regularly taken to a cattery, a grooming salon, or to another facility with a great deal of cats, then he may be exposed to the feline leukemia virus. Many cats can actually fight the virus on their own, but the immune system must be in optimal health. One of the best ways to keep your cat's immune system strong is to make sure that you feed him the right foods.  

Cats need a great deal of animal based proteins to stay healthy. Cats do not require vegetables or carbohydrates, so stay away from foods that contain these fillers. Wet foods generally contain more protein than dry varieties, so look for these foods that list turkey, beef, fish, or poultry as the main ingredient.

Exercise Your Cat

Keeping your cat active is another good way to encourage immune health. It is wise to exercise with your cat two or three times a day for 10 or 15 minutes. During exercise sessions, tap into your feline's natural hunting instincts by using a feather adorned or fur lined toy that looks similar to bird and rodent types of prey. Move the toy along the floor in long sweeping motions so your cat can chase it. 

Paper bags and toys that move on their own are good options for cats as well. Just make sure to stay away from laser pointers or light toys. These items do not allow your feline to catch the prey, and this can cause frustration.

If you want to keep your cat healthy, then make sure that check ups are scheduled on time. Also, try to prevent your cat from contracting feline leukemia by keeping him indoors and by supporting a healthy immune system.