A conversation about FeLV vaccination

By Connie Orcutt • Published: August 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

There’s a lot of buzz these days about pet vaccinations. Take feline leukemia virus, or FeLV [spell out letters: “F” “E” “L” “V”].

Infection with FeLV is the most common cause of feline lymphoma and certain blood abnormalities. Some veterinary researchers believe every cat should be given lifelong immunity to FeLV by receiving the vaccine as a kitten and a booster at 1 year of age. However, the virus doesn’t normally infect indoor cats who don’t come in contact with other cats. So why would they need to be vaccinated against FeLV? Proponents counter by saying that cats might get out or find new homes, where they’ll rub shoulders with other felines. And so the conversation goes …

Vaccination won’t help cats already infected with FeLV. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if this vaccination is right for your feline friend.