cat will get
The trouble with ticks
relatively benign, heavy infesta-
tion can rob cats of nutrients and
result in weakness and debilita-
tion. Affected cats need to be
treated with an appropriate
dewormer and be treated
for fleas as well.
Bartonella, the organism
responsible for cat scratch
disease, from one cat
to another. Although most cats
infected with Bartonella show
no signs of illness, a few cats can
develop clinical illness charac-
terized by fever, lethargy, lymph
node enlargement, eye inflamma-
tion and other symptoms.
Fleas aren’t the only external parasite that can transmit disease to
your cat. Ticks have this notorious ability as well; however, cats
are remarkably resistant to most
tick-related illnesses. For example,
cats rarely get Lyme disease, and
other tick-transmitted diseases,
such as ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and
tularemia (rabbit fever), are also
exceptionally rare in cats.
The most likely tick disease for
cats is infection with Mycoplasma
haemofelis, a red blood cell par-
asite. Both fleas and ticks can
become infected with mycoplasma
by feeding on an infected animal.
They then infect a cat when they
bite or attach to it. Mothers can
infect their kittens through the
placenta. It can also be trans-
mitted from cat to cat via bites.
Mycoplasma haemofelis causes
anemia that varies
from mild to severe.
Fortunately, if diagnosed and
treated early, most cats recover,
although severely affected cats
may require a blood transfusion to
Cytauxzoonosis, also known as
bobcat fever, is another tick-transmitted illness in cats. Although
rare, it’s a serious illness that’s
likely to be fatal unless diagnosed
promptly and treated aggressively.
The illness is due to the parasite
Cytauxzoon felis. Because cats
acquire this disease only through
the bite of a tick that has fed on a
bobcat, the disease is quite rare.
Fortunately, in recent years
many new flea and tick control
products have been marketed that
are exceptionally effective against
these parasites. Many of these
products are applied to the cat’s
skin once a month. Some of these
products also treat intestinal parasites and other parasites, such as
ear mites. Talk to your veterinarian
about which products are most
appropriate for you and your cat.
Dr. Arnold Plotnick is the
founder of Manhattan Cat
Specialists, a feline-
exclusive veterinary prac-
tice on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
He is also an author of The Original Cat
Fancy Cat Bible. Dr. Plotnick is a frequent
contributor to feline publications and
websites, including his own blog, Cat Man
Do. He lives in New York City with his cats,
Mittens and Glitter.
Calling All Cat Lovers
…It’s Time To Go Pro!
Passion Into Profit
with your own
Kitten SittinÕ Franchise.
• Complete Training Program
• Operations Manual
• Exclusive Territory
• Custom Website
• Low Start-up Cost
• Year-round Income
• Expansion Opportunity
• Unbeatable Support
www.kittensittin.biz / franchise