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12 Best Cat Foods With Feline Leukemia

Our thoughts are with you if your beloved cat has been diagnosed with feline leukemia. Every pet parent's heart breaks when they learn that their pet has a potentially fatal illness.

Aside from following your veterinarian's recommendations and treatment, there are some things you can do to help your cat's overall health and well-being. One of the things you can control is your pet's diet.

This "treatment" is not a cure-all, but it will help strengthen your cat's immune system by providing a balanced diet of antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

BestForPets' (bestforpets.org) product reviews will assist you in selecting the best foods for your cat's needs.

Here are the %product_count% best cat foods with feline leukemia we found for cats with feline leukemia.

Reviews

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Turkey Favorites – Overall Winner
 

  • The first ingredients are chicken or turkey, wheat gluten, and liver.
  • Protein: 11% minimum
  • Fat: 2% min
  • Maximum moisture content: 80%

A cat with feline leukemia requires food high in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and low in carbohydrates.

Purina Pro Plan is our best overall choice because this delectable wet food meets all of these requirements while also being recommended by veterinarians.

It also stimulates kitties’ appetites, which is greatly appreciated by cat owners concerned about their sick cats’ nutrition. The antioxidants in this wet food are also beneficial to the feline immune system.

Despite its nutritional value, some cats simply do not enjoy it, much to the chagrin of their well-meaning owners.

Pros

  • Protein of high quality
  • Contains essential nutrients for a strong immune system.
  • Real chicken and turkey are used in this recipe.
  • Excellent for stimulating appetite
  • Low in carbohydrates

Cons

  • Some picky cats dislike it.

 

Iams ProActive Health High Protein Cat Food – Best Value
 

  • Chicken, chicken by-product meal, and corn grits are the first ingredients.
  • Protein: 38% minimum
  • Fat: 18% minimum
  • 10% maximum moisture

Caring for your sick pet shouldn’t cost you all of your money. That’s why we looked into a low-cost option, and the Iams ProActive Health High Protein Chicken and Salmon Recipe won us over.

The high protein concentration supports the muscles of the less active feline and maintains optimal heart health. Prebiotics and beet pulp, on the other hand, do wonders for your cat’s digestive health.

This is not a grain-free option, and it will not benefit cats with allergies or other intolerances.

Pros

  • Contains essential nutrients
  • Protein of high quality
  • Prebiotics are present.
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • There is no grain-free option.

 

Premium Choice PureBites Wild Skipjack Wet Cat Food
 

  • First ingredients: tuna and water
  • Protein: 13% minimum
  • Fat: 1% minimum
  • Maximum moisture content: 85%

Even if you only use PureBites Mixers as a topper to make their dry food more appealing, PureBites Mixers is a real treat for the sick cat.

The list of ingredients is as simple as it gets: tuna and water. You won’t find any traces of corn, wheat, by-product flour, or those artificial flavors you don’t want to see on foods for a sick kitty.

As a result, it is an excellent choice for cats who must adhere to a strict diet as prescribed by their veterinarian.

However, it is not a good option if you are on a tight budget or concerned about the tuna population in our oceans.

Pros

  • There are only two ingredients.
  • Protein in its purest form is present.
  • Excellent choice for cats on a restricted diet.
  • It is suitable for use as a topper.

Cons

  • Long-term costs are extremely high.
  • Not suitable for tuna

 

Science Diet by Hill’s Best Dry Kitten Food for Kittens
 

  • Chicken, brown rice, and wheat gluten are the first ingredients.
  • Protein: 33% minimum
  • Fat: 9% minimum
  • Maximum moisture content: 8%

Kittens, unfortunately, are not immune to the feline leukemia virus. Indeed, they can contract the disease in their mother’s womb or through her milk.

This is why there is no age limit for starting a diet that strengthens your feline’s immune system. And it’s difficult to go wrong with Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Chicken Recipe.

This vet-recommended brand contains antioxidants and vitamins C and E, which have been clinically proven to help the kitten’s developing immune system.

This option is costly, but you may be able to switch to a less expensive option once your kitten reaches adulthood.

Pros

  • Vets recommend it.
  • Help the immune system develop
  • Antioxidants and vitamins C and E that have been clinically proven
  • Protein of high quality

Cons

  • Expensive

 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-free High Protein Cat Food
 

  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, and tapioca starch are the first ingredients.
  • Protein content: 36% min.
  • Fat: 12% minimum
  • Maximum moisture content: 9%

Blue Buffalo is a well-known brand that has delighted many pet owners and their canine companions.

This high-protein formula, which is also grain-free, will benefit a cat with feline leukemia by lowering the overall carbohydrate content.

However, the ingredient list isn’t particularly impressive, as it includes chicken meal, tapioca starch, potato starch, and fish meal.

That doesn’t make it a bad option, it’s just that for the relatively high price tag, one would expect more “whole foods” in the main ingredients.

It does, however, contain additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help cats with weakened immune systems.

Pros

  • High protein content
  • Ingredients rich in antioxidants and vitamins
  • Excellent for hairball control.
  • There is no corn, wheat, or soy in this product.

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Tapioca starch is present.

 

Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food by Rachael Ray
 

  • The first ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, and brewers rice.
  • Protein: 34% minimum
  • Fat: 12% minimum
  • Maximum moisture content: 9%

Rachael Ray Nutrish is an excellent dry kibble option for indoor cats; the ingredient list includes real chicken, which provides your feline with a good source of protein.

Lentils are also a good source of protein, as well as being low in fat and high in fiber, making them ideal for your cat’s weight management.

What drew our attention was the addition of cranberries, which are high in antioxidants and have the added benefit of supporting the cat’s immune system.

The guaranteed analysis also meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ standards (AAFCO).

The kibbles, however, contain corn gluten meal, so they are not a grain-free option. Furthermore, some buyers have stated that their cats are not fans of this product.

Pros

  • Antioxidant-rich to support the immune system
  • AAFCO standards must be met.
  • Beneficial for sensitive stomachs
  • Affordable

Cons

  • This product contains corn gluten meal.
  • It is possible that this method will not work for all cats.

 

Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Cat Food
 

Despite its higher price, we really liked Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Cat Food. It contains everything you need to keep your FeLV-positive cat healthy and happy.

It mimics a more natural diet that your cat would find in the wild, providing them with only the nutrition they require. The first ingredient in this chicken-based recipe is this poultry source.

Pork is the third ingredient listed as a protein source. All of the additional vitamins and minerals strengthen your immunocompromised friend’s immune system.

Each cup of this product contains 544 calories, for a total of 4,030 calories per bag. This product is guaranteed to contain 59 percent crude protein, 18 percent crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 12% moisture.

Even if it’s a little pricey, it could make a significant difference in the life of your cat. However, this food contains dried egg, which is an excellent source of protein for your cat.

However, some cats are allergic to eggs, so consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet.

Pros

  • Excellent immune booster
  • Nature-derived ingredients
  • A large number of calories

Cons

  • It may contain allergens.

 

Nulo Freestyle Cat and Kitten Food – Recommended for Kittens
 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Cat & Kitten Food is our top pick for kittens with feline leukemia.

It contains more protein, which they need to develop their growing bodies while also supporting a vital immune system for overall wellness.

The first four ingredients are all protein sources, which is more than any other product we found. It makes use of pea protein rather than other potentially harmful fillers.

Furthermore, because this is a development and maintenance recipe, you do not need to transition them into adulthood. This formula has 463 calories per cup and 3,696 calories per bag.

According to the guaranteed analysis, this product contains 40% crude protein, 18% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.

We liked the compact disc shape of the kibble—it was a good bite for kittens and adults alike. Consult your veterinarian before feeding a susceptible kitten any food.

Pros

  • Bite-sized portions
  • Adults as well as kittens
  • Protein sources for four items

Cons

  • First, consult your veterinarian.
     

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Wet Cat Food
 

Purina Pro Plan True Nature High Protein cat food is a great source of nutrition that comes in delectable flavors like ocean fish and trout.

It also contains liver for a fragrant kick. Your friends will come running when you open this can of cat food.

This formula contains a high concentration of 25 essential vitamins and minerals to support your cat’s system. It is intended to provide your cat with lean muscle and a strong immune system, allowing him to remain strong and active.

There are a total of 24 cans, each containing 66 calories. The assured analysis for the can is 11% crude protein, 5.5% crude fat, 1.5% crude fiber, and 78% moisture.

This recipe is just one of many available for Purina True Instinct. They also have a variety of flavors and grain-free options. However, depending on the severity of your cat’s illness, your veterinarian may recommend a variety of products.

Pros

  • Aromatic and hydrating
  • 25 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Booster of the immune system

Cons

  • This method may not be appropriate for all cats.

 

Natural Balance Cat Food High Protein LID
 

The FeLV Positive Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet High Protein formula was delicious.

It contains only the protein your cat requires while avoiding filler ingredients that may clog their system unnecessarily, such as leaving out potatoes for carb content.

Instead of meat meals, this product includes actual salmon as the first component and sole protein source, providing a healthy amount of complete protein. Peas and pea protein are the carbohydrate sources in the formula.

This product contains 413 calories per cup and 3,760 calories per bag. According to the guaranteed analysis, the recipe contains 37% crude protein, 15% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.

Because some cats are allergic to peas in recipes, always test these ingredients with food samples and consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

Pros

  • One-of-a-kind protein source
  • Grain-free
  • Potato-free

Cons

  • Pea protein may not be suitable for all cats.

Buyer's Guide: Finding the Best Food for Cats with Feline Leukemia

What Exactly Is Feline Leukemia?

Feline leukemia (FeLV), like AIDS in humans, is caused by a retrovirus. This virus infects cats’ white blood cells and causes immunosuppression. The immunocompromised cat is then more susceptible to infections of all kinds.

Unfortunately, the virus can also cause lymphocyte cancer (a type of white blood cell) in addition to bone marrow and blood cell disorders. As a result, the disease has the potential to be fatal.

What Symptoms Does Feline Leukemia Have?

This disease causes a wide range of symptoms, some of which are subtle. Non-specific symptoms include decreased appetite, depression, general discomfort, and fever in the affected cat.

Weight loss, swollen glands, diarrhea or chronic loose stools, respiratory and eye problems such as rhinitis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, and various infections such as gingivitis, dental infections, and abscess may also occur.

Furthermore, cancer and blood disorders can cause a wide range of symptoms over time.

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How Is Feline Leukemia Spreaded?

The virus is primarily transmitted between cats through saliva, but it can also be transmitted through other body fluids or secretions such as urine, nasal secretions, and even breast milk!

Adult cats are usually infected when virus particles enter their mouths or noses, but transmission can also occur during pregnancy, via the mother’s uterus.

Because this virus is quickly eliminated once in the environment, transmission requires close feline relationships. As a result, cats who live together are more vulnerable.

A cat who is at risk of contracting this virus will be:

Typically, an adult cat, often unsterilized, goes outside and interacts with other cats. Unneutered males who go outside tend to fight or bite each other, and they also hang out with unspayed females! However, these are not the only ones.

In fact, very social cats that live together or have close contact with each other, such as mutual grooming, sharing food and water bowls, and litter boxes, are more susceptible to infection.

Finally, kittens born to a FeLV-positive mother are highly susceptible to the virus.

How Is Feline Leukemia Treated?

There is currently no treatment that can completely eradicate feline leukosis; this virus kills nine out of ten infected cats within four years.

On the other hand, the treatment protocol entails managing the pathologies, infections, and dysfunctions caused by viral leukemia. As a result, this assistance is tailored to each individual. As an example, consider:

  • Rehydration
  • Diet that is appropriate
  • Transfusion of blood
  • Chemotherapy

At the same time, the animal should not come into contact with other cats to reduce the risk of contamination for them.

Unfortunately, the cat remains infected with the FeLV virus even after treatment. The latter, on the other hand, can remain dormant as long as the cat’s immune system is strong enough.

Infected cats with weakened immune systems, on the other hand, become ill, and eight out of ten die within a few months or three years.

How Can You Protect Your Cat From Feline Leukemia?

  • Keep your cat in the house and away from other cats. Have any new kitty you want to adopt tested before introducing it to your other cats.
  • If your cat goes outside or lives with other cats, he should be vaccinated against feline leukemia once a year.
  • Whether your new kitten will go outside or not, he should be vaccinated against feline leukemia.
  • Before purchasing a cat from a breeder, ensure that both parents have been tested.

Conclusion

After trauma, the second leading cause of death in cats is feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Because the virus, like AIDS, suppresses the cat’s immune system, it can predispose cats to fatal infections.

The key here is to strengthen the cat’s immune system, as there is currently no treatment for this fatal virus other than the vaccine.

While not magical, the best cat foods with feline leukemia options that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has presented to you can help support your pet’s immune system.

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Turkey Favorites and Iams ProActive Health High Protein are our top picks for overall value and value for money.

In any case, do not be afraid to seek the advice of your veterinarian, because your cat’s diet should not be overlooked.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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