What are Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Cats | FAQs

What is Lyme Disease in Cats

Before knowing about the symptoms of lyme disease in cats, it is important to know what is lye disease. Lyme disease is a well-known illness that people get from ticks. It also affects cats. Lyme disease is less common in cats than in dogs or people, but it can be awful if not treated. In this introduction, we’ll talk about the symptoms of Lyme disease in cats. We’ll talk about the disease, its causes, and why cat owners should know about it. Learning about Lyme disease is the first thing you can do to protect your cat’s health and well-being.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in cats 

There are different ways that cats with Lyme disease can show up. In this part, we’ll talk about some of the signs that you might have Lyme disease.

Kidney Issues: 

Lyme disease can hurt a cat’s kidneys, which could lead to kidney problems. We’ll talk about what kidney involvement means and how to spot it.

Frequent Urination and Poor Bladder Control

Cats with Lyme disease may urinate or have trouble controlling their bladders. Please find out more about these signs of bladder problems in cats and what they mean to them.

Stomach Swelling

Lyme disease symptoms that aren’t common but stand out include stomach swelling. We’ll talk about what causes gastric discomfort in cats and what happens when it happens.

Difficulty Breathing

Cats with Lyme disease can also have trouble breathing. To get an early evaluation and start treatment, it’s essential to understand these problems.

Sensitive to the Touch: 

Cats that have Lyme disease might feel pain when you touch them.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Cats with Lyme disease may have lymph nodes that get bigger.


Cats with Lyme disease often have fevers as a sign of illness.

Tiredness and Lethargy

If a cat has Lyme disease, it may feel tired and dull.

Decreased Appetite: 

Cats that have Lyme disease might not want to eat as much. Look into the changes in food that may come with this condition.

Stiffness and Swelling in Muscles and Joints

Cats with Lyme disease may have stiff muscles and joints that swell up.

Causes of Lyme disease in cats

Causes of Lyme disease in cats

Bacterial Pathogen:

Bugs called Borrelia burgdorferi cause Lyme disease.

The leading cause of infections in people and some animals is this bacteria.

Vector-Borne Transmission:

The bite of a sick tick spreads the disease.

The primary carriers are deer Ticks with black legs (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus in North America).

Cock Reservoirs:

Ticks get the bacteria from the reservoir hosts they eat, which are usually birds and small animals.

These reservoir animals might have Borrelia burgdorferi on them.

Geographic Distribution:

How common Lyme disease is depends on where sick ticks are found.

Exposure to people:

Lyme disease can be spread to people by ticks that bite and feed on them.

Getting rid of ticks quickly can help keep you from getting sick.

Animals as Reservoirs:

Rodents are one example of an animal that can store Borrelia burgdorferi, which helps keep the bacteria alive in the environment.

Complex Ecological Interactions:

Ticks, reservoir hosts, and people or tame animals interact with each other and their environments in complex ways.

Preventions For Lyme Disease in Cats

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Cats

Keeping cats from getting Lyme disease mostly means keeping them away from ticks that carry the disease. Following are some steps you can take to keep your cat safe from getting Lyme disease:

Tick Control Products:

Use tick control items that your vet tells you to. These could be creams, pills, or bands meant to keep or kill ticks away.

Regular Tick Checks:

After being outside, give your cat a complete tick check. Keep a close eye on where ticks connect, like the head, neck, ears, and paws.

Indoor Play:

Provide toys to your cat to play inside or in well-kept places free of ticks, especially when ticks are most active.

Tick-Proof Your Yard:

To keep your yard as tick-free as possible, mow your lawns often and eliminate tall grass, leaf litter, and other things that ticks like to hide.

Avoid Tick-Infested Areas:

Stay away from places known to have a lot of ticks, like fields with a lot of weeds, thick woods, or tall grass.

Check Yourself:

Bugs can enter your home through you or your pets, so check yourself and your family for bugs often.

Tick-Repellent Clothing:

When going to places where ticks are common, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and tuck the legs of your pants into your socks to keep ticks from getting to you.

Veterinarian Consultation:

Talk to your vet about how likely your cat will get Lyme disease. They can give you personalized help on how to avoid getting bitten and suggest the best tick-control products.

Educate Yourself:

Keep up with the spread of Lyme disease in your area and the types of ticks that may carry the bacteria. Being aware can help you take more focused steps to avoid problems.

Treatment For Lyme Disease In Cats: 

When cats get Lyme disease, they are usually given antibiotics and supportive care. Remembering that a veterinarian should decide how to treat the problem is essential. Doing it yourself or giving your pet medicine that a professional didn’t share is not a good idea. Here is a general outline of how the medicine works:


Your vet will have to confirm that your cat has Lyme disease before you can start treatment. This includes a physical check, blood tests, and other diagnostic procedures.


Generally, drugs are the best way to treat Lyme disease in cats. For this reason, doxycycline is often recommended, and the treatment lasts a few weeks.

Supportive Care:

This type of care may be needed depending on how bad the sickness is. Among these are:

  • Fluid treatment to stay hydrated and help the kidneys work better.
  • Giving your cat painkillers if it is in pain is recommended.
  • Anti-nausea medicine if your cat is throwing up or not eating as much.
  • To help with rest, healing, and a quiet, comfortable place.

Follow-up Care: 

Your vet will schedule follow-up visits to check your cat’s progress. More blood tests may be done to ensure the infection has been completely cured.

Monitoring for Complications:

Cats with severe Lyme disease may develop complications like kidney problems. To fix these problems, monitor them and give them more treatments.

Vaccination (if available):

Some places offer Lyme disease vaccines for dogs but not for cats. Talk to your vet about getting a vaccine and ensuring it is safe for your pet. Lowering the number of dogs that get Lyme disease can also reduce the number of ticks in the area, which is suitable for cats and dogs.


Lyme disease is an illness spread by ticks and can affect cats, though not as often as it does dogs and people. The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi causes it, and sick black-legged ticks are the primary way it spreads. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in cats is vital for their health.

Tick control products, regular tick checks, and ensuring ticks can’t get into your cat’s area are all essential ways to keep your cat safe from Lyme disease. If your cat has Lyme disease, they need to get antibiotics and other supporting care right away and in the right way to get better.

After knowing about the symptoms of lyme disease in cats consult with your vet for advice on preventing and treating Lyme disease. Their knowledge is beneficial in keeping your cat healthy and lowering the chance of getting it. You can help protect your beloved cat from this tick-borne threat and make sure it lives a happy and healthy life by learning more about it and taking action.


How can I prevent Lyme disease in my cat?

Preventive measures include:
Using tick control products.
Conducting regular tick checks.
Keeping your cat indoors or in tick-free areas.
Avoiding tick-infested locations.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed in cats?

Diagnosis involves a physical examination by a veterinarian, blood tests, and sometimes other diagnostic procedures to confirm the presence of the bacterium or the cat’s immune response to it.

Can Lyme disease in cats be treated?

Yes, Lyme disease in cats can be treated with antibiotics, typically doxycycline. Supportive care may also be necessary, depending on the severity of the infection.

Is there a vaccine for Lyme disease in cats?

Currently, there is no specific Lyme disease vaccine for cats. Some regions offer Lyme disease vaccines for dogs, which can indirectly reduce the risk of Lyme disease in cats by decreasing the tick population in the environment.

Can humans get Lyme disease from infected cats?

While cats can carry infected ticks into your home, direct transmission of Lyme disease from cats to humans is rare. However, it’s still important to prevent tick exposure for cats and humans.

Are all ticks carriers of Lyme disease?

No, not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacterium. The risk of infection depends on the tick species and whether the tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi.

What are the long-term effects of Lyme disease in cats?

If left untreated, Lyme disease in cats can lead to chronic joint and kidney problems. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent these long-term effects.

How can I keep my cat safe from ticks and Lyme disease?

Consult with your veterinarian for tick prevention options, and continue to monitor your cat for ticks regularly, especially after outdoor activities.

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