Feline Mycoplasma, (also commonly known as “feline hemotropic mycoplasmas” or “feline hemoplasmas”) is a type of bacterial infection in cats caused by various Mycoplasma species. These organisms were formerly classified as Haemobartonella. The most commonly diagnosed species in cats are Mycoplasma haemofelis, Mycoplasma haemominutum, and Mycoplasma turicensis.
Vector-borne: The most common mode of transmission is through the bite of fleas, and possibly ticks. When a flea feeds on the blood of an infected cat, it can pick up the bacteria and then pass it on to another cat during its next blood meal.
Bite wounds: Cats can also acquire the infection directly from the bite of an infected cat.
Blood transfusion: Transmission can occur if blood from an infected cat is transfused into an uninfected cat.
Vertical transmission: Transmission from a mother to her offspring has been suggested, though it's less common.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:
Anemia (pale gums, weakness, rapid breathing)
Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes, gums, and skin)
It's worth noting that some cats can be carriers of the bacteria without showing any obvious symptoms. So you will not know your feline is a carrier until a very stressful situation occurs, sparking an immune system response. "If you purchase from a breeder and they are genuinely unaware, please do privately reach out to them with the tests as proof. If they remain combative or ignorant please do post the entirety of your whole situation on the Facebook or other platform forums where others discuss dishonest breeders.
Flea control: Using effective flea preventatives on your cat and keeping the living environment free of fleas is key to minimizing the risk of feline mycoplasma transmission.
Regular vet check-ups: Regularly getting your cat checked by a veterinarian can help detect and treat infections early.
Avoiding fights: Reducing exposure to potential bite wounds, especially in male outdoor cats, can help prevent transmission.
Testing blood donors: If your cat requires a blood transfusion, ensure the blood is sourced from tested and healthy donors.
Antibiotics: The most commonly used antibiotics to treat feline mycoplasma are doxycycline and enrofloxacin. Treatment duration can be several weeks.
Supportive care: Cats with severe anemia may require blood transfusions or additional treatments like fluids, nutritional support, and other medications to alleviate symptoms and support recovery.
Regular monitoring: Even after the completion of treatment, regular vet check-ups are necessary to ensure the infection is cleared and the cat is recovering well.
Additional information pertaining to mycoplasma:
Zoonotic potential: There's no evidence to suggest that feline mycoplasma is transmissible to humans.
Multiple infections: Cats can be infected with more than one species of Mycoplasma at the same time, which may complicate diagnosis and treatment.
Testing: Various diagnostic tests, including PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and blood smears, can help identify the presence of these bacteria in a cat’s bloodstream.
Understanding and being aware of feline mycoplasma is crucial for cat owners, especially those with outdoor cats or multiple-cat households. Regular veterinary care, flea control, and monitoring for signs of illness can help ensure the health and well-being of feline companions.