URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s not often people in central Illinois see bobcats, but they can spread a disease that can be deadly to house cats.

It’s called Bobcat Fever and experts say it’s important for cat owners to watch out for it. The disease is spread from bobcats to cats by tick bites.

Becky Smith, an epidemiology professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, said the best way for cats to avoid Bobcat Fever is for them to stay indoors. If someone has to let their cat outside, she advised owners to regularly use flea and tick prevention.

“With treatment, about 60% of cats can survive as long as they get the treatment early,” Smith said. “If you notice your cat not feeling well and not moving around a lot, and you know it goes in and out, it’s best to get them to the vet right away.”

Smith said Bobcat fever is not a threat to other animals or humans.

She further advised people that if they see a tick on their pet, they should grab the tick with tweezers and pull straight up.