Density of Reports
The map shows the density of confirmed cases of feline leukaemia for the past three years.
This is not necessarily an indication of what areas the disease is more prevalent in, as the data captured by these labs is likely to be a small proportion of the suspected number of cats that might be affected by the disease.
This is, however, an indication that this disease is present in the UK and if vaccination rates drop, we are likely to see an increase in the number of cats being affected by this dangerous disease.
Speak to your vet about how to make sure your cat is protected against feline leukaemia
The map shows the relative proportion of PCR-confirmed feline leukaemia cases by region, submitted to SAVSNET-participating veterinary diagnostic laboratories over the last 3 years. Grey regions are areas where no data is available. The data underlying these charts is supplied by SAVSNET at the University of Liverpool (www.liverpool.ac.uk/savsnet). All charts and interpretations are those of MSD Animal Health.
How is it spread?
The virus is very fragile and is therefore spread directly, mainly via the saliva or blood from a persistently infected cat and exchanged, for example, by mutual grooming or sharing of food bowls. In addition, the infection can also be caused by a bite from an infected cat or contact with urine and faeces containing the virus. The virus can also pass from a queen to her kittens either in the womb or after the kittens are born, via infected milk.
Prevention and Control
There are several vaccines which offer protection for up to three years against FeLV. Vaccination helps to prevent cats from becoming persistently infected. Vaccination is recommended in all situations where cats have a risk of exposure to the virus and is commonly advised for all those that go outdoors and/or in contact with potentially infected individuals. It is therefore commonly included in kitten primary vaccination courses.