House of Dreams provides shelter and care for abandoned and homeless cats, with the goal of finding them permanent homes or providing them a lifetime home in our facility. We are a free-roam, no-kill cat shelter located in Portland, OR, and one of the only area shelters with facilities for Feline Leukemia positive kitties.
House of Dreams is a 501(c)(3) organization.
House of Dreams is able to shelter both FeLV negative and FeLV positive kitties. FeLV is most commonly transmitted via nose-to-nose contact, mutual grooming, and shared food and water bowls.Volunteers take precautionary measures, such as keeping the FeLV cats in their separate living quarters. The rooms are routinely wiped down with detergent and disinfectant and volunteers are very careful about maintaining separate food and water dishes, litter pans and brushes.
To protect your cats from being infected by FeLV, you can prevent exposure to a FeLV-infected cat by housing your healthy cats separately from infected cats. They should not share bowls or litter boxes. There is a vaccine to help prevent against FeLV, although it is not 100% effective.
If one of your cats tests positive for FeLV, test all cats in the household every 90 days until the uninfected cats have two consecutive negative results. Vaccinate all uninfected cats.
Feline Leukemia can adversely affect a cat in a variety of ways. It may cause degenerative diseases, blood disorders, cancerous diseases and suppression of the immune system, leaving a cat vulnerable for secondary illnesses. In the early stages of the FeLV infection, cats commonly exhibit no sign of illness. Over time, the cat's health may deteriorate or it may acquire other illnesses.
If your cat is FeLV positive, you should keep your cat indoors. This will reduce your cat's exposure to secondary illnesses and infections. Maintain good nutrition for your cat, reduce his/her stress, control parasites and provide early and aggressive treatment of any symptoms that appear. Prompt and effective care and management of any secondary infection that occurs in your cat is essential! You should closely monitor the health of your cat, notifying your vet of any changes and plan on wellness exams twice a year. And of course, every cat needs some love and play time!
House of Dreams is able to shelter and care for FeLV, but not FIV cats. It gets confusing when you hear these acronyms. What do they mean? FeLV stands for Feline Leukemia and FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
Both FeLV and FIV are species-specific (they can not be transmitted to humans or any other animal) and are caused by retroviruses that are similar to the AIDS virus in humans. Both the FeLV and FIV virus depress the immune system. An individual cat can contract both FeLV and FIV.
FeLV is spread through close and prolonged cat-to-cat contact through bodily fluids (saliva, blood, urine and feces) Mother cats can give it to their kittens when they are pregnant or when they are nursing. Companion cats can spread it through shared food and water dishes and through mutual grooming.
FIV is spread when an infected cat bites another cat. This can happen when cats fight, so unneutered male cats that are allowed outside have the highest risk of infection.
There is no cure for either FeLV or FIV, but in a safe, indoor environment, with good nutrition and care, these cats often have a good chance of leading a long, good quality life.
House of Dreams is one of the few shelters that accepts FeLV (Feline Leukemia) positive kitties.
Our FeLV cats have an area of the shelter all to themselves, with bedding, food and water dishes, and cleaning supplies reserved exclusively for their use. It is important that infected and non-infected cats be kept separate at all times, to avoid spreading the virus.
Contrary to what most people believe, it is possible (and common) for FeLV cats to live for years with the disease, symptom free. We have known cats to live 10, 12, 14 years or longer with Feline Leukemia, enjoying the same health and quality of life as a kitty without the disease.
So what exactly is Feline Leukemia? Click here to learn more, and for tips on how to protect your cats from contracting the virus. The only exception House of Dreams would take to the article is how long a cat can live with FeLV--in our experience they can live a happy and healthy life for many years after diagnosis.
Angela, a feisty FeLV positive kitty, adopted into a loving home from House of Dreams.