Boro will welcome Spurs to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday with the hope of avoiding a third straight defeat in the Premier League.
Kane will not be part of the visiting team as he is currently nursing an ankle injury after damaging ligaments during a 1-0 win over Sunderland on September 18.
However, Karanka believes that Spurs have enough quality in the squad to cause trouble.
"They have top players and we have to know one mistake in the Premier League and we will be punished," Karaoke told reporters. "In the Championship you can be lost for 10 minutes and nothing happens, but now 10 minutes lost on the pitch is three goals.
"I think we would miss Alvaro [Negredo] more than they will miss Kane. They have other players to play, an amazing squad. Mauricio [Pochettino] will play someone who is really motivated."
Boro are currently 13th in the league table, while Tottenham are third.