Feline Leukemia Warning—Please Be Careful!

Feline Leukemia Warning—Please Be Careful!

By Megan Gabel

We fear that feline leukemia is rampant in San Miguel de Allende. In the last couple of months, the SPA has taken in 12 cats, all of which have tested positive for feline leukemia and based upon SPA protocol had to be euthanized. The test we use is the best available.

The feline leukemia virus is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats. It is shed in the saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces, and milk of infected cats. The disease only affects cats—it cannot be transmitted to people, dogs, or other animals. During the disease’s early stages, infected cats usually do not exhibit any signs of the disease at all.

All SPA cats are tested for feline leukemia and, if negative, are vaccinated for the disease. SPA kittens less than 12 weeks old are segregated from the remaining population until they are old enough to be tested for feline leukemia.

If you adopt or take in a cat from anywhere other than the SPA, please make sure that you get that cat tested for feline leukemia and, if that cat is negative, vaccinate your cat for feline leukemia. If the cat tests positive, since the cat is yours, it is up to you how to handle it. You are not required to euthanize that cat, but, if you don’t, you must keep the cat away from all other cats during its entire life so that it does not spread the disease. The median survival time for cats after the virus is estimated to be 2.5 years. There is no cure or treatment for feline leukemia.

The SPA is open for adoptions as long as certain precautions are followed. Our hours are Monday through Saturday, 11–2pm, Los Pinos 7, 415 152 6124. Our available cats, like Larissa, are here: www.spasanmiguel.org/adopt-me-cats/. Our available dogs, like Missy, are here: www.spasanmiguel.org/adopt-me-dogs/.Our adoption fee is 500 pesos. For cats, the fee includes sterilization, all current vaccinations, deworming, the feline leukemia/FIV test, and the feline leukemia vaccine and booster. For dogs, it includes sterilization, all current vaccinations, deworming, the leptospirosis booster, and enrollment in the Green Paw Pet Registration Program.

If you come to the SPA with family or friends, only one person will be allowed to enter the SPA to be interviewed for an adoption of a cat or dog. That person must wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from SPA personnel. We strongly believe that it is worth the effort to provide you with a new loving member of your family to keep you company during these difficult times!