Lyme disease in Cats is a disease that Cats can get via the bite of an infected tick. This is common in the northwestern and mid-Atlantic United States. The disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks get this disease after biting infected deer or mice.
Cats exhibit a variety of symptoms from Lyme disease, this can make it hard to form a diagnosis without tests. Common symptoms include joint pain, lethargy, lack of appetite and lameness. After the vet has noted the symptoms, they will do a test to see if it is Lyme. The vet will do two blood tests. The first tests for Lyme disease. Most cats will test positive for this, even if they do not have Lyme. This is why they do the second test. This test looks for a low red blood cell count. If the count is low, then an official Lyme disease diagnosis is made. The cat will then be started on a regimen of antibiotics to treat the disease.
This is all very uncomfortable for the cat, and very expensive for you, so, how can you prevent Lyme disease in cats? The best prevention is to limit their access to the outdoors. Indoor cats are much safer from diseases like this. However, even indoor cats are not completely safe. You, or a dog, can easily bring a tick into the home, which can find its way to the cat (this happens more often than you would think!). This is especially true in the parts of the country where ticks are common.
If your cat does go outside, or you think your cat may get bit by a tick indoors, then you will likely want to try to use a tick collar or spray. These kill ticks before they can bite the cat. Others will simply make the cat seem uninviting to the tick, via a scent.