For the Love of Cats
In my family, we have 3 cats, Cassiopeia, Durga and Eloise. They are sisters and litter mates. 3 years old they are a lively bunch to be sure. They came into my family after my diagnosis with Lyme Disease. For me this brought up a whole bunch of issues that I would never have thought about BLD. (Before Lyme Disease) I had to address my cats Lyme & co-infection questions before making the commitment.
We adopted these lovely ladies at about 8 weeks old from a local farm. We have always had cats but now things are different. My Lyme disease raised a bunch of issues to discuss. Questions about how raise our kitties to manage risk of infection for all of us.
Cats Lyme & Co-infection Questions
- First Do I have the energy to care for a pet or pets?
- This is a question I needed to ask myself. Do I have the energy for daily feeding playing and scooping? I had to make changes in how I did things to accommodate my health. Initially I needed to have all the litter boxes on the main floor of our house. Because of pain stairs were a major issue for me. Now I am better, so no big deal.
- Second Should we keep these cats be indoor only or let them out?
- Many people list good reasons that cats should be indoor pets, Lyme disease and co-infections like bartonella and bob cat disease add to that list.
BLD (Before Lyme Disease) Reasons for Cats to stay indoors
- Outdoor Cats hunt and disrupt the ecosystem. They hunt out of instinct, to play and for food. My Three cats would really go after every bird, chipmunk, mole, vole and mice available given the opportunity.
- Cats are subject to accidents infection, injury and early death from cars, feral cats, coyotes and other predators when in nature. Check this link on cats and Lyme disease for more information
- Outdoor cats are tick transporters from outdoors to indoors. Unlike many dogs cats are not up for close inspection and brushing when they come indoors. My cats have free reign of the house. They sleep on our bed. Anxiety over ticks in the bed was a big deal for me. I make a consistent effort to reduce my risk of tick exposure and possible re-infection. Cats bringing ticks into our house was a no go for me.
- Cats can carry a variety of co-infections. Cat-Scratch disease among them. If you have chronic Lyme reoccurring infection with Bartonella won’t help you. (Cat-scratch disease is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae). What did I want to do about it?
- Test and Treat. Go to the Vet and explain. They will test your cat for the infections you are concerned about. Treat if necessary. In multiple cat houses, test one and if positive the vet may want to treat everyone.
- Avoid Accidental Scratches. Make an effort to minimize scratches. If cats go outdoors they naturally wear down their nails, but indoors only is different. We had to put many opportunities to stretch and scratch around our house. Trimming nails is a great idea if you teach them about it from the time they are kittens. Otherwise it could cause more scratching than it prevents. Nail removal was not an option for our family.
- Cleaning the Litter Is there an issue? If the cat is infected then yes. My herbalist suggested that I wear gloves, glasses and a particle mask, when I clean the litter. I thought “Are you kidding?” But if you want to minimize your chance of infection, it makes sense. So I put the gloves and the mask next to the new litter, so I can slip them on.
Pets are great companions and help all of us relax. We are delighted with the feline members of our family. My family addressed all our ALD considerations to make all of us comfortable and safer living together. We worked to balance our cats’ needs with our own. If you are ALD and have or are considering getting a new pet address your ALD issues. Answer you Cats Lyme & Co-infection questions, then enjoy all the love and benefits of having pets as part of your family.
The information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical care, treatment or advice. All the material here is for information purposes only. Always share strategy and work with your health care team.