FeLv in feral cats - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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FeLv in feral cats

Interesting article from Neighborhood Cats about FeLv..
NC is a very active TNR group I know a large TNR
group in Phoenix feels the same way. I was wondering
what the active TNRer on this forum feel about this and
what they do?

Neighborhood Cats / Releasing FIV/FeLV Positive Cats
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 02:14 PM
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It's a tough call... but I think letting them back out with other cats if they do test positive is wrong, endangering many cats for the sake of one.

I volunteer in an area with FIV and FeLV cats, every few months there's a new cat in the room I work in, there's two other rooms that I don't work dedicated to them as well so there's more testing positive than I see entering. The reason is because in the population of healthy cats (~700) there are a few cats that show no outward signs of sickness and continue mingling with healthy cats... it seems to be a never-ending issue. Every time a cat goes to the vet it is tested but testing all the cats would be a major and costly undertaking. Of course every cat that comes to the sanctuary is also tested, but all it takes is one to slip under the radar testing negative...

FeLV in particular seems to be more debilitating, the cats live about three years it seems and they aren't always a healthy three years. There's a few cats with FeLV I know of that have lived pretty asymptomatic lives for several years (besides a few mouth/gum issues) but that seems to be on the rare side.


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Last edited by Carmel; 10-22-2011 at 02:17 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 02:15 PM
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Personally, I find it irresponsible. I understand not wanting to euthanize, but feel there has to be a middle ground somewhere instead of releasing these cats to infect other ferals and peoples indoor/outdoor pet cats. Those of us who allow our cats to go outside are taking certain risks, but there is no need to increase the risk. If at any point, despite vaccination - because we all know that no vaccine is 100% - I was at the vet getting the girls a check up and the vet discovered FIV+ status, as much as it would hurt us both the affected cat would become an indoor only cat so fast it's head would spin. They release the feral without even testing because it's asymptomatic, what about the cat it infects that isn't asymptomatic and gets very sick very quickly only to die a miserable death? If TNR is going to be done without considering future consequences, then what's the point in speutering? You're subjecting the cat to the trauma of trapping and the risks of anesthesia which is even worse for ferals as a lot of vets won't do a pre-op physical to determine safety of anesthsia on them to avoid future suffering. The way I see it is you take the cat of the street - it's now your responsibility. If you aren't going to take responsibility, then leave the cat alone.

*I fully believe in speutering these cats. I am trying to make a point regarding the wording in the link about "future consequences."
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 10:30 PM
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Squiggy tested positive . .

for FeLv when he was TNRd. He was/is a stray. The vet recommended "putting him down" for the good of the local ferals/strays.

I couldn't/wouldn't do it for many reasons, some of which were listed in the Phoenix article. That was about 2 years ago. He is about 7 years old now. He is well taken care of (food, shelter, etc) by several people in the neighborhood and looks as good or better than many indoor pets.

I hold the same position as the Phoenix group. As far as a conflict in actions exists, when you "play god" you place yourself in a position of doing things as you believe are the correct, legal, moral, compassionate, most beneficial to the greatest number, on and on. I hate having to make the calls, particularly the ones that are lose-lose. Bless and guide us all in our decisions.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 10:53 PM
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But what about taking the extra steps to make him an indoor cat? Or finding a nice closed barn for him to live in. May be it irks me more because my girls are going to be indoor/outdoor cats, and it bothers me to think that if I lived in Phoenix there would be people knowingly releasing sick cats (symptomatic or not) out there to potentially infect my cats. If this were a private owner allowing cats out with FeLv and/or FIV people would be nailing the owner to the wall. Being a rescue/TNR group does not absolve people from responsibility. The moment one chooses to take responsibility for an animal, they need to take full responsibility for said animal. I have spent the last three years trying to spay the feral that keeps having kittens and having them eaten preweaning by rats and opossums under my outdoor shed. Finally, the girls are getting her to where I may be able to trap her. If I do, she's my responsibility. She'll be spayed, tested and vaccinated - along with fed, watered, and sheltered.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 01:15 AM
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I agree with Miss M. It is not something I want to do or think about, but when I do the TNR for my colony I know I am going to have difficult decisions to make. There are only two options I would forgive myself for taking in the event of a positive test result. The first would be an attempt to socialize and adopt to an indoor home with no other cats or with other positive cats. The other option is of course, euthing them.

I would not be able to release a cat, no matter how cute, that I knew had the potential to kill so many others. I just couldn't do it.

For the record, the same goes for Tucker and Sasha. I love them and am terribly attached, But I could not live with myself if they got Kyra sick. When they go in for their shots/whenever I think about doing introductions between them and Kyra they will be tested, and appropriate actions will be taken. For them, it will be rehoming.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 07:39 AM
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At the considerable risk of . .

alienating some and making enemies of some I'd just say in reply that your points are exactly my point. To one degree or another many of us that visit the feral sub-forum have taken on the responsibility of "managing" a feral cat/cats.
What I loosely refer to as "playing god".

I, for one, did not understand what I was getting into. "Trap 'em, fix 'em, let 'em go, leave a little food out". How easy is that? I never really considered that I'd be in the middle of life and death decisions regarding creatures who I had assumed responsibility for. Who lives, who doesn't. Who is cared for, who isn't. I've said it all before.

It truly bothers me though. It makes my "soul" sick and I'm an atheist. I'm an old man now (64) who spent some years in the Marines, some of it behind a machine-gun. Killing things can be easy and the rationalization can be just as easy. Call it atonement or whatever, but at this stage in my life it's hard for me to have any part, directly or indirectly, in ending a life under my care/influence for "practical" reasons regardless of good intentions. Been there, done that, didn't like it, won't do it again easily. But that's a personal position.

I've have no problem with the (hopefully) well considered decisions that others make. We're all there and we all deal with it as best we can guided by the compassion that is surely in us all.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyle View Post
alienating some and making enemies of some I'd just say in reply that your points are exactly my point. To one degree or another many of us that visit the feral sub-forum have taken on the responsibility of "managing" a feral cat/cats.
What I loosely refer to as "playing god".

I, for one, did not understand what I was getting into. "Trap 'em, fix 'em, let 'em go, leave a little food out". How easy is that? I never really considered that I'd be in the middle of life and death decisions regarding creatures who I had assumed responsibility for. Who lives, who doesn't. Who is cared for, who isn't. I've said it all before.

It truly bothers me though. It makes my "soul" sick and I'm an atheist. I'm an old man now (64) who spent some years in the Marines, some of it behind a machine-gun. Killing things can be easy and the rationalization can be just as easy. Call it atonement or whatever, but at this stage in my life it's hard for me to have any part, directly or indirectly, in ending a life under my care/influence for "practical" reasons regardless of good intentions. Been there, done that, didn't like it, won't do it again easily. But that's a personal position.

I've have no problem with the (hopefully) well considered decisions that others make. We're all there and we all deal with it as best we can guided by the compassion that is surely in us all.
I've read your post now 3 times thru, and I have so many things in my heart that need to be said but the most important is thank you.

Thank you for your service in the Marines, the cost to those who serve is often high and overlooked, the benefit to the rest of us is often taken for granted, neither is ok, thank you.

For the compassion and balance that you present in this post as well as others in terms of taking on the feral responsibility - if there really was just one correct right and true answer it would be easy and 'everyone would do it'.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 08:26 PM
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after nearly 6 months of trying to catch the last of my guys i was finally able to get him this past friday.

since none of the low cost clinics were open this weekend i brought him to my regular vet. even though he shows no signs of any health issues i did have them do the test for fiv/felv, i just wanted to know. well, that and since i was going all out; de-worm, de-flea, distemper as well as rabies, i figured whats a few more dollars.

well, he did come back negative. if he were fiv+ i would have no problem letting him come back, seeing as how i already have one that is fiv+. i didn't really have a plan as far as what i would do if he came back positive for felv. i had thought that perhaps i would just cage him and see if i could socialize another one.

all i know is that i am so glad that he was negative. now all i worry about is that he isn't so mad at me that he comes back soon after his release.

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 02:04 AM
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Good on ya Whaler

it's quite an accomplishment to have a local population under at least some type of temp control. Glad everyone is healthy.
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