* Petmoo is reader-supported. When you buy products via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Cat Flea Rickettsiosis (Flea Borne Spotted Fever)

Fela Borne Spotted Fever In Cats

What Is Cat Flea Rickettsiosis?

Flea-borne spotted fever (FBSF) is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Rickettsia Felis, which is transmitted by fleas.

It is most commonly found in warm and humid regions of the world, such as the southeastern United States, Latin America, and Asia.

FBSF is a relatively new disease and was first identified in humans in 1990, and in cats in 2009. While humans can also contract FBSF, it is primarily a disease in cats.

Clinical Signs Of Cat Flea Rickettsiosis

Flea-borne spotted fever can present with a range of symptoms, from mild to severe.

Some of the most common symptoms seen in cats include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Respiratory symptoms such as coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Neurological symptoms such as seizures or tremors
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Rashes

In severe cases, FBSF can lead to organ failure, sepsis, and death.

Treatment Options For Cat Flea Rickettsiosis

The treatment of flea-borne spotted fever in cats typically involves the use of antibiotics to target the Rickettsia Felis bacteria.

Doxycycline is the most commonly used antibiotic for FBSF, as it is effective against Rickettsia bacteria and has a relatively low risk of side effects in cats.

Treatment typically lasts for two to four weeks, depending on the severity of the infection.

In addition to antibiotics, supportive care may also be necessary to manage the symptoms of FBSF.

This can include fluid therapy to treat dehydration, pain medication to manage joint pain and stiffness, and respiratory support if necessary.

Home Remedies For Cat Flea Rickettsiosis

While there are no specific home remedies for flea-borne spotted fever, there are steps you can take to help your cat feel more comfortable while they recover from the infection.

This can include providing a warm and comfortable place for your cat to rest, offering soft and easy-to-digest foods, and providing plenty of fresh water.

How To Prevent Cat Flea Rickettsiosis?

The best way to prevent flea-borne spotted fever in cats is to prevent flea infestations. This can be done by regularly treating your cat with a flea-preventative medication, such as a topical or oral medication.

You should also keep your cat's environment clean and free of fleas, by vacuuming regularly and washing bedding and other items that your cat comes into contact with.

Additionally, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of FBSF and to seek veterinary care promptly if you suspect your cat may be infected.

Affected Cat Breeds Of Flea Rickettsiosis

Flea-borne spotted fever can affect cats of any breed, age, or sex. However, cats that live in warm and humid regions where fleas are prevalent may be at a higher risk for the disease.

Causes For Cat Flea Rickettsiosis


Flea-borne spotted fever is caused by a bacterial infection called Rickettsia Felis.

This bacterium is transmitted to cats through flea bites, and it can also be spread through contact with infected animals or their urine or feces.

Flea-borne spotted fever is more common in warm and humid environments, and cats that live in areas with high flea populations are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

When To See A Vet ForCat Flea Rickettsiosis?

If you suspect your cat may have flea-borne spotted fever, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

The earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of a full recovery.

Your veterinarian may perform blood tests and other diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

Food Suggestions For Cat Flea Rickettsiosis

There are no specific dietary recommendations for cats with flea-borne spotted fever.

However, it is important to ensure that your cat is receiving a balanced and nutritious diet to support their immune system and overall health.

High-quality commercial cat foods are formulated to meet a cat's nutritional needs, and you can also consult with your veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations for your cat.

Additionally, it is important to make sure your cat has access to clean and fresh water at all times.


Flea-borne spotted fever is a serious bacterial infection that can cause a range of symptoms in cats.

While it is a relatively new disease, it is becoming more common in certain parts of the world, particularly in warm and humid regions where fleas are prevalent.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the symptoms of FBSF and preventing complications.

By taking steps to prevent flea infestations and seeking veterinary care promptly if you suspect your cat may be infected, you can help protect your cat from this potentially deadly disease.

Petmoo Tools
Essential Tools for Pet Owners
Top Rated Services In Your Neighborhood