Often Fatal Tick-Borne 'Bobcat Fever' Spreading Among Cats in Oklahoma

Posted by Christy Caplan
Tick Diseases

This news is really scary! Ticks can cause a lot of harm and spread terrible diseases in both dogs and cats. Ticks transmit many parasitic, bacterial, viral and other diseases, such as Lyme disease, among animals and from animals to humans.  If you own a cat that has access to the outdoors you absolutely need to consider a tick preventative. We also know how stoic cats are and some will barely show you signs that they feel sick! 

Pet owners are being warned about a deadly disease that is spreading across Oklahoma and domestic cats are the target. The disease is seasonal and many cats get infected between March and September.

Oklahoma State is currently treating 'Bobcat fever' in domestic cats which can be fatal. Bobcat Fever is an acute, tick-borne disease. Experts say cats become infected after being bitten by an infected Lone Star tick. Up to 15 days after being bitten, the cat will become ill with symptoms of lethargy and decreased appetite.

This strikes healthy, young adult cats who have access to or live outdoors. 

CBS Austin reports that cats become infected after being bitten by an infected Lone Star tick, given the name because of the single white mark visible on it.

What are the symptoms? CBS Austin also reports that pet owners should look out for the following:

  • Lethargy and decreased appetite up to 15 days after getting bitten.
  • High fever of at least 104 degrees and may show signs of anemia (pale gums) and jaundice (yellow discoloration to the skin).
  • Bobcat fever results in systematic inflammation, which causes high body temperature, increased respiratory rate, clotting abnormalities and damage to such organ systems as the liver and kidneys.

Without treatment, Bobcat fever can kill a cat within a few days of symptoms appearing.

Bobcat fever is also known as Cytauxzoon or Cytauxzoonosis. Tick control is so important so cat owners if your feline friend ever wanders outdoors please talk to your vet about prevention.

Have you seen a tick on your animals before? Please leave a comment below. 

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Often Fatal Tick-Borne 'Bobcat Fever' Spreading Among Cats in Oklahoma