Kitty Post: Life with Feline Leukemia
Updated: Nov 21
The September 2023 Kitty Post provided information on Feline Leukemia (FeLV), a condition which has no definitive cure. While evidence of benefits of homeopathic treatments and lifestyle changes are anecdotal in nature, one recent adopter of a cat with FeLV has made changes to her kitty’s diet and routine that seem to be improving her cat’s quality of life. It should be noted that it is important to consult with your veterinarian before making broad changes to your pet’s care and nutrition.
Again, anecdotal evidence indicates that a caregiver can ease the immune challenges associated with FeLV by following a holistic approach. Key components of one holistic therapy approach are providing: 1) a balanced diet that boosts the immune system; 2) a stress-free home environment; and 3) consistent access to clean drinking water. One supplement that may help FeLV positive cats is Sodium Ascorbate (the powder form of vitamin C). Mixing 1/4 to 1/16 teaspoon in your cat’s food at each meal makes a difference for some cats. Providing a balanced diet of energetic wet food, either prepared at home (recipes are available online) or as commercial canned food that provides a blend of prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes is another example of a therapy that may improve the gut or intestinal health of a cat.
The woman who adopted a FeLV positive cat from BCC was happy to report that her cat has become a beautiful pet with an excellent demeanor after the therapy she provided. She stressed the importance of basic cleanliness. She wipes the cat down with natural aloe wipes a few times a month. She is extra diligent about maintaining the cleanliness of the cat’s litter box. The feeding and water bowls are cleaned carefully every day. Filtered water is used rather than tap water, and she adds trace minerals back into the filtered water. Be sure to consult a vet for the types of minerals and how much is safe for cats. Some minerals given in excess (such as calcium, iron, phosphorus) can cause other health issues (source: www.petmd.com; www. aspcapro.org).
This adopter also gives the cat supplements such as Cat’s Claw, Lomatium, colloidal silver, seaweed extracts, hemp seeds, olive oil, prebiotic, etc. on a regular basis. Again, it is important to check with your vet before introducing any supplements into your cat’s diet. It is important with cats, just as it is with humans, to do no harm when working to improve health.
This adopter also uses toys and laser pens to encourage regular exercise, especially after meals. The time spent in play is good for all cats’ physical and social/emotional health.
The bottom line is that FeLV cats can be adopted into homes where there are no other cats or where any other cats are also FeLV positive. With proper care at home and veterinary care when needed, these cats may live for years.
Beltsville Community Cats applauds all families who provide quality care for their pets. We would like to acknowledge all of those people who knowingly take on the responsibilities associated with pets that have special social, emotional or health concerns. As Sigmund Freud put it, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.”