Q. We have two female cats who are sisters. One was just diagnosed with generalized lymphoma. Is there risk of being contageous? What kind of food
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Lymphoma is a cancer and not a bacteria or virus, so it cannot be spread from cat to cat via contact. However, if your cats are related, they may both be genetically predisposed to getting the same type of cancer. Feline lymphoma can also sometimes be caused by the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which CAN be spread from cat to cat. The spread of these viruses is usually through bite wounds, saliva or fecal and urine matter, and the chances of spread among two amicable cats is lower, however testing both cats is always good.
As lymphoma can cause a decrease in appetite, sometimes the best food is one that will keep your cat on her normal eating routine so that she keeps her weight and energy up. Enticing her to eat by warming up wet foods, or even moistening and warming dry foods may encourage continued normal eating and may prevent weight loss from loss of appetite. A high-fat, high protein and low carbohydrate diet (such as a grain-free diet) may also help by providing a more calorie and nutrient dense meal so that every bite is beneficial.