Fourteen specific-pathogen-free cats were inoculated with a putative env gene recombinant feline retrovirus, PR8. An isolate of the Rickard strain of feline leukemia virus (FeLV-R), PR8, has the properties of both an exogenous (FeLV-R) and an endogenous (xenotropic) feline retrovirus (RD-114). Twelve of the PR8-inoculated cats developed viremia; 2 of the 12 cats developed eosinophilia, with 1 being diagnosed with eosinophilic leukemia and the other with extreme eosinophilic hyperplasia. Eosinophilic leukemia is rare in cats and has not previously been associated with retroviral infection. Changes in the viral envelope properties may have altered the pathogenicity of the exogenous virus to cause this rare form of leukemia.