Ticks tend to be most active in late spring and summer and live in tall brush or grass, where they may attach to dogs and outdoor cats frolicking on their turf. Even if you have an indoors-only cat, ticks can be transferred from dogs coming into the household from outdoors. |
Outdoor cats who live in the southern states and certain wooded areas of the Northeast, where ticks are prominent, are more prone to ticks due to increased exposure.Ticks are small parasites which feed on blood. They attach themselves to the host by inserting their claws and feeding tube into the skin. Their feeding tube is covered in small teeth which ticks use to cut through the skin.
These parasites prefer to attach close to the head, neck ears and feet. However, they can be found anywhere on your pet's body.
Some cats are allergic to tick bites. With such cats the bite area becomes painfully inflamed causing the cat to lick at the area and worry it so much that it becomes ulcerated. The area of the bite is often very sensitive and in such cases it may be better to take the cat to the vet to get the tick removed safely with minimum stress for the cat.
How Do I Know if My Cat Has Ticks? Most ticks are visible to the naked eye. While these parasites rarely cause obvious discomfort, it's a good idea to check your cat regularly if you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, especially if he spends a lot of time outside. Run your hands carefully over your pet every time he comes inside, and especially check inside and around the ears, head and feet.
How Do I Safely Remove a Tick? If you do spot a tick, remove it immediately by treating the area with rubbing alcohol and plucking the parasite with tweezers. It is important to be careful when removing the tick, however, as any contact with the tick's blood can potentially transmit infection to your cat or even to you. Please also note that just pulling the tick off may leave the biting head or other body parts still imbedded in your cat's skin. And throwing a tick in the trash or flushing it down the toilet will not kill it. Instead, drop the tick in a jar of alcohol to prevent it from reattaching itself to your pet.
What Are Some Complications Associated with Ticks in Cats? Ticks can transmit several diseases to cats similar to Lyme disease in humans, including Babesia, Cytauxzoonosis and Mycoplasma. Symptoms of these diseases vary, but often include fever, lack of appetite, jaundice and severe anemia. Ticks on cats can also transmit disease to humans and other animals, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Blood loss Skin irritations and infections
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