An infection of the feline leukemia virus can cause symptoms such as appetite loss, weight loss, pale or inflamed gums, skin infections and eye conditions, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The condition of the cat's coat may deteriorate, and its lymph nodes may swell.
A cat with a feline leukemia virus infection may suffer from persistent fever or diarrhea, and it may also experience seizures and undergo changes in its behavior. Female cats that have not been spayed may have problems with reproduction. The virus can weaken the cat's immune system and cause it to become more susceptible to other types of infections. It can also result in health conditions such as cancer and blood disorders, states the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
The feline leukemia virus can spread through bodily secretions. An infected cat can transmit the virus by biting another cat. Transmission can also occur when cats groom each other or share dishes and litter boxes. Furthermore, a mother cat can transmit the virus to her kittens. To help prevent infection, owners can vaccinate their cats and keep them away from potentially infected cats, suggests the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
During the first stage of feline leukemia virus infection, the cat's immune system may be able to successfully fight the virus and clear the infection. However, if the infection progresses to the next stage, it is usually incurable, says the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.