Anaplasmosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Understanding Feline Anaplasmosis and How to Manage It

Anaplasmosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that affects cats, dogs, and people. Here, we will discuss the management of this condition in your feline friends.

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that affects cats and other animals, including humans. Anaplasma, a type of bacteria that causes the disease, enters the patient through the bite of an infected tick. The symptoms of anaplasmosis in cats can range from moderate to severe, and if addressed, it can have serious health repercussions.

Anaplasmosis in cats has several causes, signs, diagnoses, and treatment choices. This article will also discuss measures to stop the disease from spreading to your feline companion.


The bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes anaplasmosis in cats, enters the cat's system through the bite of an infected tick. The Ixodes species, sometimes referred to as the deer tick or black-legged tick, is the species of tick that is most frequently linked to the transmission of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in cats.

Ticks become infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum by feeding on infected animals, such as rodents, deer, or other mammals. If there is a tick on a cat's eyelid and an infected tick bites a cat, the bacteria can be transmitted to the cat's bloodstream. The bacteria then invade the cat's white blood cells, causing an infection.

Not all ticks carry the Anaplasma bacteria, and not all cats exposed to infected ticks will get the illness. Numerous variables, such as the density of infected ticks in a region, the period of tick attachment, and the cat's immune system reaction to the bacterium, might affect the likelihood of transmission and infection.

Anaplasmosis Symptoms

The signs of anaplasma in cats can vary in gravity and may take days or even weeks to appear after a tick bite. Some of the known symptoms associated with anaplasmosis in cats include:

  • Lethargy and weakness

  • Loss of appetite and weight

  • Fever and high body temperature

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Joint stiffness and pain

  • Muscle aches and difficulty in moving

  • Respiratory problems and coughing

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Pale gums

  • Neurological symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, and disorientation


Diagnosing anaplasmosis in cats can be challenging because the symptoms are nonspecific and can be similar to those of other diseases. Additionally, cats with anaplasmosis may not show any symptoms at all, making it challenging to identify the disease.

A veterinarian would normally do a complete physical examination of the cat in order to identify anaplasmosis in cats. The veterinarian may also run a number of diagnostic procedures, including blood tests and molecular testing.

Blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and a serum chemistry panel can help find variations in the organ and blood cell activity that may be signs of anaplasmosis in cats. Cats with anaplasmosis frequently have low platelet counts, and high white blood cell counts, in particular.

Molecular testing, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, can also be used to detect the presence of Anaplasma bacteria in the cat's blood or other tissues. This test is accurate and targeted, and it can detect germs even at the very beginning of an infection.

The cat's organs may occasionally be examined by a veterinarian using further imaging tests, including X-rays or ultrasounds, to look for any anaplasmosis-related problems.

In general, treating and managing cat anaplasmosis requires a precise diagnosis. You should seek veterinary care right away if you think your cat may have been exposed to ticks or if they are showing any anaplasmosis symptoms.

Treatment and Recovery

The treatment of anaplasma in cats typically involves a combination of antibiotics and supportive care. The specific antibiotic prescribed will depend on the severity of the infection and the cat's overall health.

TETRACYCLINE and DOXYCYCLINE are commonly used as antibiotics for the treatment of anaplasmosis in cats. Depending on the severity of the illness and the cat's reaction to the antibiotics, the course of therapy may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

In addition to antibiotics, supportive care may also be necessary to help manage the cat's symptoms and improve its overall health. This may include intravenous fluids, pain management, and medications to control vomiting and diarrhea.

The majority of anaplasmosis-infected cats react well to treatment and can fully recover with the right care and supervision. Anaplasmosis, however, can occasionally result in more severe complications, such as anemia or neurological issues, which might call for more care and monitoring.


Preventing anaplasmosis in cats involves taking measures to reduce their exposure to ticks and the bacteria that causes the disease. Here are some effective strategies for preventing anaplasmosis in cats:

  • Use tick prevention products: Talk to your veterinarian about the most effective tick prevention products for your cat. These may include topical treatments, collars, or oral medications that repel or kill ticks.

  • Check your cat for ticks regularly: Regularly inspect your cat for ticks - look out for an anaplasma blood smear, especially if they spend time outside or in wooded areas. Pay particular attention to areas such as the head, neck, and ears, as well as under the legs and around the tail.

  • Avoid tick-infested areas: Avoid walking your cat in areas known to be infested with ticks, such as wooded areas, tall grasses, and brushy areas. Keep your cat on a leash when outside to help prevent them from wandering into tick-infested areas.

  • Keep your yard tidy: Regularly mow your lawn and trim back any bushes or vegetation near your home to help reduce the population of ticks in your yard.

  • Educate yourself on tick-borne diseases: Learn about the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis, and seek veterinary attention immediately if you suspect your cat may have been exposed to ticks or is displaying any symptoms.

  • Periodic veterinary examinations:  To monitor your cat's general health and make sure they are up to date on its vaccines and parasite prevention meds, schedule routine checkups with your veterinarian.

These preventative steps will help keep your cat healthy and happy while lowering the chance of anaplasmosis and other tick-borne illnesses.

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