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C2010-22

Dear Christopher Cat

After our cats play in the fields and woods near our home, they return with ticks on their faces. Should they receive the Lyme vaccination?

Christopher Responds

You must be a new reader, because regulars know that we cats are perfect. So perfect, in fact, that we don’t get Lyme disease -– which explains why there’s no feline Lyme vaccine on the market.

In an early experiment to determine whether cats get Lyme disease, scientists inoculated cats with the bacteria that cause the disease in dogs and humans. While the cats developed antibodies, they never got sick. On post-mortem exam, the researchers could find no visible or microscopic abnormalities anywhere in the cats’ bodies.

Veterinarians aren’t sure why we cats don’t get Lyme disease. It’s possible that our superior genetics confer resistance.

Or perhaps it’s because we quickly remove ticks through grooming. Deer ticks must be attached for at least 24 hours before they can infect an animal with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Nevertheless, I’d suggest you apply a product like Frontline Plus to your cats, to help control their ticks and prevent a flea infestation in your home.

 

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