Little is known about Leptospira spp. infections in domestic cats in Estonia.
We aimed to estimate the prevalence of anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies in cats in Estonia, and to investigate whether seropositivity was associated with the lifestyle of the cats.
Sera of 551 cats were tested for antibodies against Leptospira spp. using microscopic agglutination test panel included L. interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Bratislava, Canicola, and Hardjo, and L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa. Titres ≥100 were considered positive.
Anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 12.9% (95% Cl 10.3–15.9) of the cats. The percentage of cats that tested positive for antibodies against L. interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Bratislava, Canicola, and Hardjo were 9.3%, 3.5%, 2.5%, 0.4%, and 0.2%, respectively, and for antibodies against L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa 7.3%. Some of the cats were positive for 2–5 different serovars. None of the cats reportedly had clinical signs of leptospirosis. The prevalence of anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies was 11.2% in pet cats: 4.4% in indoor pet cats and 17.2% in pet cats with outdoor access, and 16.3% in shelter cats. The prevalence of anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies was lower in indoor pet cats than in pet cats with outdoor access (p<0.001).
More than a tenth of domestic cats in Estonia had serological evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp. The antibody prevalence was lower in indoor cats.