If you love spending time outdoors with your cat, there are many things you can do to protect them from ticks. Ticks can spread several diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
To reduce your pet’s risk of contracting these illnesses, ensure they are vaccinated for year-round parasite prevention. Also, check them regularly for ticks.
Inspect Your Pet Regularly
Ticks are a major vector of many diseases and can cause serious illness. Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses affect tens of thousands yearly.
Fortunately, most tick-borne diseases can be prevented by simply inspecting your pet regularly. This is easy and relatively inexpensive.
Start by examining your pet’s paws, checking them for cracking or sores. Also, check for signs of dryness, infection, or bleeding in these areas.
Continue to examine your pet’s entire body, paying particular attention to areas that may be harder for a person to reach, such as the underarms, belly button, and behind the knees.
If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately. You can remove a tick by grasping it near the skin and pulling upward with slow, even pressure.
Treat Tick Infestations
Ticks can transmit many diseases to people, pets, and wildlife. These include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
In some areas of the country, ticks are becoming more prevalent and dangerous. This year, for example, researchers in Connecticut are noticing the presence of a new species of tick called the Lone Star, which can spread Lyme disease and other illnesses.
In endemic areas, the CDC recommends applying insect repellent with 20% DEET to people, animals, and equipment after outdoor activities to help prevent tick bites. Permethrin spray is also effective for killing ticks on clothing and other surfaces.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Veterinarian
A regular vet visit is an important part of protecting your cat from tick-borne illnesses. Your vet can assess your pet’s risk factors, including their travel and lifestyle, and recommend preventive medication or treatment if necessary.
Ticks feed on blood from warm-blooded animals and are hosts for many diseases, many of which can be dangerous to your cat. The most common of these is Lyme disease.
These tick-transmitted diseases can cause lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever. Other less common but potentially serious conditions, such as ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, can also affect cats.
If you notice a tick on your cat, remove it immediately with tweezers. Don’t burn, crush or apply anything to the tick or its mouth parts; this will increase the risk of infection. Alternatively, you can moisten a piece of gauze with a natural oil, such as almond or olive, and gently pass it over the tick. The oil will help to remove it without causing any harm to your cat.
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your cat from tick-borne illnesses. Tick removal is one of the most important.
Ticks are small parasites that attach to your pet’s skin and feed on their blood. They can carry disease agents such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease.
When you find a tick on your cat, you will want to remove it as quickly as possible but accurately and carefully. Removing the tick incorrectly can increase the risk of your pet acquiring a disease or developing an allergy to it.
The most effective and safest way to remove a tick is to use a specialist tick-removing tool. If you don’t have one of these, a pair of regular household tweezers can grasp the tick and pull it out gently.