Bobcat Fever

Bobcat fever can kill domestic cats that are let out of the house in certain states of the United States.

It is caused by a parasite (Cytauxzoon felis) that lives in the blood and which is transmitted from the American bobcat to the domestic cat by the tick.

Tick parasiteA tick is another parasite that attaches itself onto the bodies of animals including cats and which gorges on the blood of the animal.

The tick eventually drops off the wild bobcat and is the picked up the domestic cat if and when it ventures outside.

Bobcat fever is present in these states (this may not be a complete list):

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Arkansas
  • Kentucky

A news item as at June 8th 2011 reports on an outbreak at Crittenden County, Kentucky.

View Larger Map

The say you have to keep your cats in to avoid bobcat fever. The symptoms occur within six days and include the usual suspects:

  • depression
  • lethargy
  • anorexia (lack of appetite)
  • dehydration
  • fever (cat crys)
  • loss of liver function
  • bleeding of the spleen

There is apparently a 95% fatality rate and death can be very rapid. Faith Hughes has successfully treated the disease. She works at the VCA Wakulla Animal Hospital.

Updating page: Bobcat fever cytauxzoonis.

Bobcat Fever to Home Page

Facebook Discussion
This entry was posted in Bobcat, Wild Cat Species and tagged , , by Michael Broad. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


Bobcat Fever — 3 Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of this before now and have never encountered it. I had no idea that it was indigenous to bobcats that I love so much.
    What happens if the tick that falls off the bobcat and is picked up by a cat is, subsequently, attached to a human?
    I had ticks many times as a kid.

  2. My cat had this before we knew what it was called and we were lucky enough to have a vet “fresh” out of school who knew about this. The cat was still a kitten when everything turned yellow, eyes, throw-up, was lethargic and we almost lost him. We are here in East Tennessee! He was put on IV’s and meds for a week in the vet hospital, locally. But he survived this scary disease because there are apparently 2 kinds, one gets in the blood immediately, and the other, if caught in time, can be beaten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.