The Classic Comprehensive Handbook of Cat Care: THE VALUE OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

Begin to practice preventive medicine as soon as you take a new cat into your home. In a short time the proper way to care for a healthy cat will become second nature to you. The effects of poor preventive medicine early in a cat’s life can sometimes never be reversed. On the other hand, a cat that is fed well, groomed regularly, and kept in a clean and parasite- free environment will have a good start on a long and healthy life. Combine these things with love and proper training and a yearly visit to a veterinarian for booster shots and examination, and you should find that living with your cat is a simple, enjoyable, and rewarding experience.

There is no clear relationship between evidence of exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi (blood tests positive for antibody to the bacterium) and signs of any disease in cats. Signs of Lyme disease in humans or dogs may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, heart conditions, neurologic abnormalities, eye inflammation, arthritis and/or kidney inflammation.

When other diseases are ruled out, suspected infections with Lyme bacteria can be treated with antibiotics (usually a penicillin- or tetracycline- family drug). Since any relationship between tick exposure and Lyme disease in cats is unclear, the best way to prevent problems is to keep your cat away from brushy areas, which may be tick infested, apply tick- killing insecticides to the cat’s fur frequently, and/or remove ticks daily.

Infection of humans or dogs does not occur until the tick has been attached and feeding for several hours, and this is probably true for any transmission to cats as well.