Dear Christopher Cat
My two cats test positive for the FeLV virus, but they seem healthy. I recently learned of a product called LTCI that’s supposed to help cats with FeLV and FIV. Should I give it to my cats?
Probably not. LTCI (lymphocyte T-cell immunomodulator), also known as Imulan, is intended for sick cats infected with the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Because your cats feel well, it’s unlikely to help them.
LTCI injections induce the body’s immune system to produce more T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights viral infections.
Studies to determine whether the drug actually helps infected cats feel better and live longer are ongoing.
FeLV and FIV can suppress immune function and cause anemia, a drop in the red blood cell count. FeLV infection also has been associated with a type of cancer called lymphosarcoma.
While neither viral infection can be cured, products such as LTCI and interferon, another immune stimulant, are thought to strengthen the body’s defenses. Good nutrition, indoor living and supportive treatment when it’s needed enhance the health of infected cats.