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Feline leukemia contagious?

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed
Age: 5-8 years
I'm feeding a neighbor's cat that has feline leukemia. I have cats of my own. Is it possible that I will infect my cats after having contact with the sick cat? Thank you




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for an excellent question!

Feline leukemia can be transmitted in three ways:
  • saliva

  • blood

  • through the placenta (to kittens from mom)



  • As long as you are keeping this cat in a separate area from your cats you should be fine. I would advise washing your hands after touching the visiting cat just to be sure.

    In theory if the leukemia positive cat drooled on you and then you immediately touched one of your other cats and they licked the drool they could get the disease, but that is quite unlikely!

    This is probably obvious, but be sure not to let them share any food dishes.

    I hope that answers your question!

    Dr. Marie.


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    Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.