Feline leukemia positive, 20-year-old Siamese cat

A feline leukemia cat just celebrated her 20th birthday! Felines positive for the virus can have a good quality of life and some can live a long time.
By Elizabeth Doyle

We at Best Friends are celebrating with Cybella, a Siamese cat who is positive for the feline leukemia virus, who just turned 20 years old. Some may call this old for a cat, but we prefer to just say she is mature.

Super senior Siamese cat's history

Cybella has been at Best Friends ever since her person passed away a few years ago. She arrived with feline leukemia (FeLV), and goodness only knows how many years she had had it. But is feline leukemia a death sentence? Not from the looks of happy Cybella!

Quality of life for cats with feline leukemia

A lot of people give up their feline friends, or even have them put to sleep, when they learn they have FeLV. But on her birthday, with a bit of frosting in her nose, Cybella would like to take her moment in the spotlight to remind everyone out there that many cats with feline leukemia live just as long as any other cat. And their quality of life is excellent.

Generally, until the disease is really ready to take them, they feel just as healthy and happy as a cat without the virus.

Of course, some FeLV cats do leave this world prematurely. Cybella admits that she’s a remarkable cat in many ways – and one of them is that she has lived so long. But there are enough fe-leuk cats living normal, healthy lives that Best Friends even has a special building – Casa de Calmar – just for them. And when you visit Cybella and her friends at Casa de Calmar, you won’t get the feeling that anyone is feeling low. It’s simply a building full of cats – friendly, affectionate, and busily claiming beds and windowsills for their own. If you didn’t take a peek at their blood tests, you wouldn’t know any of these cats had anything wrong with them at all!

Feline leukemia awareness and advocacy

So, on her special day (that is, the day we designated as her birthday, since we didn’t know the exact day of her birth, and thought she really deserved a party!), Cybella would like to spread the word that feline leukemia isn’t such a scary thing. And she’d like to invite everyone to come visit her and her friends at Casa de Calmar, home of the friendliest feline leukemia cats around. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet a special friend there, and you can make it up to a cat who may have lost his or her home because of a blood test result – and give that cat a brand new chance at family life.

Get more info about FeLV

Photos by Troy Snow

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