The tick season begins in early spring and ends in early fall. The exact time varies depending on the location. In the hotter climates, the season is very long. Tick fever is actually a few diseases, the most prevalent of which are Lyme disease, which is not fatal and Bob Cat Fever which is. The symptoms are very similar and the animal should be taken to the vet as soon as possible so tests can be done. The treatment for each disease is different.
Examine the cats frequently, not only after they have been outdoors. Ticks can come into the house on your cloths or shoes, in bags or anything else you bring into the house. The family dog can bring ticks in and share them with the other animals too.
Watch for changes in the cat’s behavior. A cat will lick repeatedly at an area that has a tick bite. He will also become lethargic, lose his appetite, stare off into space, have labored breathing and develop a fever and swollen lymph nodes. The cat will also be in a lot of pain, often crying out when it tries to move. The spot will also feel hot and be oozing. The tick may well be gone by the time you notice the symptoms. They do fall off in a couple of days after sucking the animals blood and leaving behind their poison.
The vet will treat a cat with Lyme disease with antibiotics. If the disease is caught early enough, the cat will recover quickly. If it is in the later stages, it is another story. Not only will the cat need to have multiple treatments, but there is a greater chance of a relapse. This is why it is imperative to get the cat to the vet at the first sign of symptoms.
The cat can be tested for bob cat fever, but there is no treatment and no cure. The disease is always fatal. The vet will most likely suggest that the animal be put down to spare him a slow, painful agonizing death.
It would be nice if a cat could tell us when and where they hurt, but since that is impossible, it is up to the owner to do all he can to prevent the disease in the first place. Flea and tick collars are a great help and there are medications, both regular and organic that the vet will recommend. Clean the cat’s bedding regularly and vacuum and clean the rugs where the critters like to hide, especially during the tick season.