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Category: Cat Veterinary
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Can humans catch leukemia from cats if the infected pet licks

Customer Question

Can humans catch leukemia from cats if the infected pet licks the owner's hand or the owner pet the cat's fur that is groomed by the infected cat saliva?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  brisadog replied 6 years ago.

Humans cannot be infected with the feline leukemia virus. We cannot be affected by it in any way, regardless of any type of exposure.


I have never heard of a cat that is "slightly infected" with leukemia. They are either positive or negative for the virus. If your vet has only performed the in hospital snap test, they can follow up with a test called an IFA. If this is also positive, it is likely your cat will develop a leukemia related disease in the near future. If the IFA is negative, there is a better chance that she will remain symptom free.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The test I was shown was a light blue - I guess it is in the early stage. He did mention to do IFA. I forgot to stipulate the conditions when I asked him if I can catch it from the cats. It seems strange that cats can get from other cats through the saliva and yet humans have contact with the saliva and not affected?
Expert:  brisadog replied 6 years ago.
Although humans and cats are both mammals, we are still very biologically different. The virus is not infective to humans.

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