1. Lyme Disease
Also called borreliosis, Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks carry these bacteria, transmitting them to the animal while sucking its blood. The tick must be attached to the cat for about 48 hours in order to transmit the bacteria to the animal’s bloodstream. If the tick is removed before this, transmission will usually not occur. Common signs of Lyme disease include lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and a reduced appetite. In severe cases, animals may develop kidney disease, heart conditions, or nervous system disorders. Oral antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. There is, however, currently no Lyme disease vaccine for cats.