Category: “Resources”

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

We at Orange Street Cats are thrilled to hear that you’re investigating fostering or adopting a FeLV+ cat. FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love and affection as much as possible. Here are some things you should know about welcoming a FeLV+ cat into your home and keeping your cat healthy.

What is FeLV?

FeLV stands for “feline leukemia virus.” Despite its name, FeLV isn’t cancer. It’s a cat-specific virus that suppresses a cat’s immune system, which in turn makes a cat susceptible to illnesses that might not affect a FeLV- cat, including cancers, eye diseases, and stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth). It is estimated that 2-3% of cats nationally are FeLV+. In the Northeast, that figure is estimated at 2.9%.

How does a cat get FeLV?

The FeLV virus is transmitted via an infected cat’s saliva, urine, and feces, but it is not highly contagious, as the virus cannot live in the environment longer than a few hours. Cats can become infected through biting, grooming, mating, or sharing food, water, or litter boxes with a FeLV+ cat. Pregnant cats may transmit the virus to some or all of their kittens, although not all kittens born to a FeLV+ mother will contract the disease. Healthy adult cats are less susceptible to the virus; cats with weakened immune systems and kittens are more so.

FeLV Positive Cats

What does it mean to have a FeLV+ cat?

While FeLV+ cats may have shortened lifespans, adopting one means the same as adopting any other cat; companionship, affection, and joy for as long as the cat is part of your family. They require no special environment and can live safely with dogs, kids, and other FeLV+ cats. Ownership requires a commitment to regular vet care, a quality diet, and an indoor-only home, with an increased responsibility to monitor the cat’s health and behavior to ensure any illness is dealt with promptly. Most importantly, FeLV+ cats need someone who believes even a shortened life has value, and cats facing that possibility are as deserving of loving homes as any other cat.

What are the Symptoms of FeLV?

• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Lethargy
• Fever
• Diarrhea
• Unusual breathing patterns
• Pale gums or yellow around the mouth and whites of the eye

Can FeLV-negative & FeLV-positive cats live together?

FeLV+ and FeLV- cats shouldn’t live in physical contact with each other, as the virus is transmissible among cats that groom each other and that share food, water, and litter boxes.

Can FeLV be cured?

There is currently no cure for FeLV, but your cat’s symptoms and secondary infections, like respiratory illnesses or dental problems, can be addressed.

Support Orange Street Cats

Is There a Vaccine?

A vaccine is available that is effective for older cats, but its efficiency is only 75-80%, depending on the vaccine. Therefore, it is recommended that FeLV+ cats are kept separate from FeLV- cats.

How is FeLV diagnosed?

FeLV is diagnosed through blood tests performed by a veterinarian. It takes more than one test to confirm a positive diagnosis.

How long will a FeLV+ Cat live?

Predicting the lifespan of any cat is almost impossible; it varies by cat as well as overall health and daily care. FeLV+ adults can live healthy lives for many years; a FeLV+ kitten may not survive more than one or two years.

FeLV Cat

How can I keep my FeLV+ Cat as Healthy as Possible?

• Keep all household cats indoors.
• Have all cats spayed/neutered.
• Don’t allow your cats to interact with stray cats.
• Have your cat examined by a vet every six months.
• Keep your cat up-to-date on routine vaccinations & preventatives, such as flea treatments.
• Treat illnesses promptly!
• Bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice he/she is not feeling well.
• Feed a high-quality diet and avoid raw diets due to the increased risk of bacterial infection.
• Discuss the use of dietary supplements with your vet.

The Bottomline?

FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love & affection as much as possible. 

Orange Street Cats thanks Dr. Kelly L. Spence, DVM for her expertise and The Binky Foundation for their generous support of this educational campaign.

Download the Brochure


Emergency Veterinary Care Funding

Emergency Veterinary Care Funding

Almost all pet owners have experienced a time or two when that unexpected vet bill arises and we scramble to find out how to pay it. It’s even worse when we are faced with a choice on funding the service or watching our beloved pet suffer. 

Here is a quick step-by-step guide that will assist you in identifying ways to help pay your veterinary bills.

Care Credit

A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. “With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.”

Reach out to friends and family, especially through your social networking sites, using things like GoFundMe, YouCaring, and Crowdrise.

Animalovers Pets Helping Pets fund

May no longer exist; unclear.  Use “Contact Us” tab.


Guilderhaven Inc. 

(518) 861-6861

Spay/neuter assistance. Emergency Vet funding temporarily suspended between 2/17 and 7/17.


The Animal Support Project

The Animal Support Project (TASP) is based in the Capital Region of NY. TASP performs Crisis Intervention directly with companion animal owners to keep animals living with their families. In extreme cases where no other solution is possible and space is available, we will foster and re-home animals to ensure their best interest. We are the region’s ONLY all-volunteer, all-species companion animal safety net.

RedRover Relief

The RedRover Relief program provides funding to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations. The goal of the program is to help animals who need immediate veterinary care to survive. The typical grant is $150 to $200, however larger grants may be awarded based upon several factors, including: medical urgency, financial need, available funding and eligibility. 

Also have grant for domestic violence survivors and their pets that can provide for temporary boarding of pet. Must be working with or in a DV shelter. 

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation

lends funding and support to:

Spay and neuter programs

Rescue of animals from kill shelters

Food, medicine and supplies

Cancer Research

Medicine and equipment for military and police canines

Equipment for medical facilities

Puppy mill rescues and disaster relief

Shelters, rescues, foster groups and sanctuaries

Pets of individuals where medical hardship is present

Other endeavors that benefit the welfare of animals

The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or medical treatment.

The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or medical treatment.

The Pet Fund ONLY funds non-basic, non-emergency care. This includes medical care that is above and beyond basic care but which does not require urgent treatment.

First call for approval to apply:
(916) 443-6007

Harley’s Hope Foundation

Must call first at (719) 495-6083 to see if applications being accepted. As of 2/15/17, they are accepting applications for major vet and training. After hours emergency only number (719) 362-6335

Pet Assistance Fund

Financial assistance is offered, as resources allow, to assist with major or emergency veterinary care and behavioral or specialty training. Qualified candidates must complete the application for assistance found under the Applications tab and submit with proof of financial need. 

Please note that in veterinary cases, HHF funds are for treatment only.  We do not cover the cost of diagnosing medical issues, so candidates must have already received a diagnosis, treatment plan, and survival prognosis of fair or better to qualify.  This program is offered nationwide as resources allow.

Service Animal Aid Fund

HHF is the first nonprofit to offer an assistance program for medical service and assistance dogs that does not restrict funding based on geographic location, diagnosis, or type of services the animal provides.  Proof of financial need and proof of working dog status is required.  This program is offered nationwide as resources allow.

Special Services Project

Our Special Services Project focuses on elderly and disabled human clients with pets in need, as well as elderly and disabled animals at higher risk for major health conditions who could not easily be rehomed if their family had to give them up.  Hands on assistance is currently only available in the Pikes Peak Region, while financial assistance is available nationally.

Shakespeare Animal Fund

Call first at (775) 342-7040 to leave a message.  Then fill out “contact us” form on line.  Income must be at or below 150% of Federal poverty guideline. 

Frankie’s Friends

The Mosby Foundation


Must be spayed/neutered first

Will not cover dental, diagnostics or vet visits.

Dogs only.

Online prequalifying application required.

STARelief & Pet Assistance

Apply online.

Home for Life Grant.

Typically $100-500

Emergency vet care.

Emergency boarding/foster care.

S/N, Routine care.

End of life services.

Pie Fund

Dogs only.

Shares cost only; will not pay entire bill.

Use “contact” form online.

Hearts United for Animals

Emergency funding available.

Dogs and Cats eligible.

Must apply for Care Credit first.

Application online.

The Sergei Foundation

Primarily North Carolina residents, but will assist nationally if funds are available.

Dogs or Cats eligible.

Emergency care available.

Brown Dog Foundation

Primarily Tennessee residents, but will consider other areas if funding is available. 

Dogs only.

Life-threatening only.

Prince Chunk Foundation, Inc.

The Emergency Veterinary Care Assistance Program provides free emergency care to applicants who are currently experiencing financial hardships.  If You Are Currently Experiencing a Veterinary Emergency:  If you are currently experiencing a medical emergency with your pet, and are unable to provide the required funding, please print and complete an application immediately and fax it to 856-245-7840. 

After faxing your completed application, please contact the Prince Chunk Foundation so we can begin working on your request immediately.

Disease specific

The Big Hearts Fund

Financial assistance for the diagnosis and treatment of canine and feline heart disease.

**Application freeze as of 2/17.**

Canine Cancer Awareness

Canine Cancer Awareness, Inc. is a tax-deductible non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the prevalence of canine cancer, its effects and the available treatment options.  Donations made to Canine Cancer Awareness are used for veterinary care for dogs with cancer whose families are financially unable to provide treatment.

Not accepting applications as of September 2013 (still true 3/14/14 and 2/15/17).

The Handicapped Pets Foundation

Is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the health and well-being of elderly, disabled, and injured pets. We donate mobility equipment to pets in need. If approved will be notified within 10 days. 

Magic Bullet Fund

For the treatment of canine cancer.

There is a 1-2 week review process.

Riedel and Cody Foundation

Cats and dogs with cancer.

Treatment only. Will not pay for surgery.

Low Cost Spay & Neuter Services

Low Cost Spay & Neuter Services

There is no question about the benefits of spaying/neutering your pets. Females will live longer, males will reduce their chances of cancer, and you may notice a beneficial change in their behavior. 

Here are some local Capital Region businesses that offer low-to-no cost Spay/Neuter services.


Cat Care Coalition
Phone: (518) 466-8484
Services provide in Albany, NY

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Phone: (518) 434-8128
Services provided in Menands, NY

APF Community Spay/Neuter Vet Services
Phone: (518) 374-3944 ext. 121 or 125
Services provided in Scotia, NY

Operation SNIP
Phone: (518) 274-6436
Services provided in Rensselaer County


Guilderhaven, Inc.
Phone: (518) 861-6861
Services provide in Schenectady, NY

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Phone: (518) 434-8128
Services provided for Pitties/Mixes in Menands, NY

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Phone: (518) 886-9645

Services provided for any breed in Wilton, NY


FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Click Photo Above to Download Full Resource


Foster Care Application

Foster Care Application

Click Image to Download


Foster Care FAQ

Foster Care FAQ

Click Image to Download
Orange Street Cats Foster Care FAQ