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Lyme Disease in Cats

4 min read



If the diagnosis is Lyme disease, your cat will be treated on an outpatient basis, unless its health condition is severe. There are a number of antibiotics from which to choose. It is important that you keep your cat warm and dry, and you will need to control its activity until the clinical signs have improved. The recommended period for treatment is four weeks. Your veterinarian is unlikely to recommend dietary changes. Do not use pain medications unless they have been recommended by your veterinarian.


Unfortunately, symptoms do not always completely resolve in some animals. In fact, long-term joint pain may continue even after the bacteria has been fully eradicated from your cat's system.


Living and Management


Improvement in sudden (acute) inflammation of the joints caused by Borrelia should be seen within three to five days of antibiotic treatment. If there is no improvement within three to five days, your veterinarian will want to consider a different diagnosis.




If possible, avoid allowing your cat to roam in tick-infested environments where Lyme borreliosis is common. In addition to grooming your cat daily and removing ticks by hand, your veterinarian can recommend a variety of sprays, collars, and spot-on topical products to kill and repel ticks. Such products should only be used under a veterinarian's supervision and only according to the label's directions.

  • Mechanical removal of ticks – groom your cat daily; discuss appropriate techniques for the removal of ticks with your veterinarian
  • Prevention of tick attachment – sprays and collars, products used to kill ticks and tick repellents are available commercially as spot-on topical products; such product should be used only according to label directions
  • Control the tick population in your environment if your cat is restricted to small areas; you may have limited success by reducing deer and/or rodent population



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