Lyme Disease in Cats

Lyme disease or borreliosis is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi and has previously been isolated from humans, dogs, horses, cattle, and a variety of wildlife.
Ixodes dammini is the tick responsible for transmitting this spirochete and is known to parasitize cats although borreliosis had not been previously reported in cats.
According to a study performed in Connecticut, cats are suitable hosts for this tick and do develop antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi.
Antibody levels appear to be lower in cats than in dogs or horses making them less suitable as sentinels for potential human exposure.
However, since white-footed mice harbor the spirochete in nature and infect the ticks that ultimately spread infection, the interrelationship of cats and mice, and cats and humans could potentially be significant.

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