It's true, pets can get tick-borne illnesses from deer and other wildlife just like humans; but dogs and cats experience the effects of a tick bite differently than we do.
For starters, symptoms of Lyme Disease do not occur all at once. The red, 'Bulls-eye' rash that humans sometimes experience does not happen with dogs and cats. For dogs, they may shake their heads constantly; have a high fever; become lazy; and have unexplained scabs. But, for cats, these symptoms do not occur.
Cats handle Lyme Disease much better than both humans and dogs. Cats rarely develop heart or nervous system diseases; but instead, they develop kidney conditions quite often. Many cats with Lyme Disease do not exhibit systems outside of acute lameness. The signs of Lyme Disease in cats do not occur for several days or weeks; but they only last for three to four days! Cat Lyme Disease signs may have an impact on legs and joints but can be treated with antibiotics.
Grooming cats regularly, and checking them for ticks after outdoor play time, is essential for animal health. If your cat experiences a tick bite, remove the tick; and take the cat to the vet for testing.