Help your cat maintain quality of life in spite of immune system ills

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- If you own a cat then you may know about some immune diseases they can get.

The Nebraska Humane Society's Pam Wiese has some more information on the different kinds of illnesses and how to care your pet.

As any animal agency the NHS gets different types of animals with different types of ailments. Sometimes they can't cure them but they do want to be able to give those with a good quality of life a second chance.

Chaz and Charlese are FeLV positive. FeLV is leukemia, a disease that when active destroys a cat's immune system and bone marrow and other tissues. And makes them unable to fight off infections.

So FeLV cats usually don't succumb to the leukemia. It's the secondary infections that might shorten their lives.

Chaz and Charlese will need to be indoor only cats to keep them from being exposed to other cats and what they may carry.

Because FeLV is contagious to other felines in close contact Chaz and Charlese shouldn't live with other kitties. However, they love each other and can go together so they'll always have a buddy.

Buddy in the meantime has FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus that affects the white blood cells so they can't protect the body from infection. He too will be an indoor only cat and should only be paired with other FIV positive cats.

The good news? Chaz, Charlese and Buddy are currently healthy and have a great quality of life. They can live years after their diagnosis until the virus becomes active.

These diseases aren't contagious to other species so they can live with dogs, bunnies and people - just no other cats.

Cats with immune diseases don't live as long as other cats and owners should be prepared to give them extra attention and care later in their life.