Ticks are vile little creatures that seem to enjoy nothing more than latching onto an unsuspecting animal host and gorging themselves on blood. They are incredibly unpleasant and transmit diseases, so it is important to remove them as soon as possible.
If you’ve discovered a tick on your cat, you might be concerned about how to remove it without inflicting discomfort or leaving a piece of the tick behind. We have brought together this handy guide to show you how to safely and effectively remove a tick from a cat.
Below are the things that we are going to cover
- How Do You Know If Your Pet Cat Has A Tick?
- Are Ticks Painful To Cats?
- Symptoms Of Tick Bite On Cats
- How Long Will Ticks Stay On A Cat?
- Finding and Removing Ticks On Cat
- What Happens If Tick Head Stays In Cat?
- What Can I Do to Protect My Cat From Ticks?
- Home Remedies For Cat Ticks
How Do You Know If Your Pet Cat Has A Tick?
The most common sign that your cat has a tick is if they are scratching excessively at one spot. If you part their fur, you may be able to see the tick itself attached to their skin. Ticks can also cause irritation and inflammation around the bite site, so keep an eye out for redness or swelling.
You may also notice
- Visible ticks or fleas
- Red or irritated skin
- Swelling and redness around the bite site
- Excessive grooming
If you feel your cat has a tick, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Ticks cause discomfort for your pet, but they can also transmit life-threatening diseases.
Are Ticks Painful To Cats?
Ticks may make cats extremely uncomfortable. They can also spread infections; therefore, it’s crucial to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Tick saliva can be extremely irritating, causing your cat to scratch excessively at the tick bite site. Symptoms associated with excessive itching, such as pain, broken skin, infection, and hair loss, may occur in severe situations.
Your cat may acquire anemia if exposed to a large tick infestation. Tick bites on cats can potentially become infected, resulting in swelling, discomfort, and bacterial infection problems. Some ticks like Blacklegged ticks might spread Lyme disease to your cats, which in case, there are chances that you could get affected too.
When your cat’s health is in doubt, especially if you haven’t been able to discover a tick on your cat, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian.
Symptoms Of Tick Bite On Cats
Your cat may receive a tick bite without you ever seeing the culprit since some ticks eat and run rather than staying in one location for more than a few hours. A little red, irritated area may emerge around a tick bite, but this is typically only a reaction to the tick’s saliva and will disappear in a week. If you find the tick that caused the problem, take your cat to the veterinarian so they may examine it for diseases like Lyme that may have spread through the bite.
You may also look for other symptoms, including
- Loss of appetite
- Skin infection
- Hair loss
- Stiffness or aching in the joints
- Tapeworm infestation
Any of the above symptoms requires immediate veterinary treatment.
How Long Will Ticks Stay On A Cat?
Ticks can stay in place for as little as a few hours or as long as three weeks or more due to their slow digestion. They sip a host’s blood and may inject their saliva into the bloodstream during this time. If a tick carries an illness, the disease can be transmitted to the host via saliva. A tick’s attachment to its host is determined by its type and stage in the life cycle – adolescent ticks or nymphs often drop off after a few hours, but adults remain connected for longer.
Ticks can attach anywhere on your cat’s body, but most burrow into the face, ears, neck, legs, or feet. It will live there until you remove it or become so engorged with blood that it drops off after a few days of sucking. Female ticks lay eggs at this time as well.
Tick sickness is more common in long-haired and dark-coated cats, as ticks can burrow into the fur and go undetected until they are engorged with blood. Ticks are simpler to spot on cats with shorter coats and lighter fur.
Finding and Removing Ticks On Cat
Ticks can be difficult to detect for their hosts, not just because of their small size. They feed by secreting a natural anesthetic that prevents the host from feeling them. However, the longer a tick is attached to its host, the more likely it will spread disease like Lyme. For instance, deer ticks don’t often start transmitting the disease until after 36 hours of feeding.
It can be tough to remove a tick from a cat, but getting the entire tick out is critical to avoid infection. Take your cat to the vet if you’re unsure how to remove the tick. The vet will be able to safely and effectively remove the tick and will also be able to check for any signs of infection.
If you want to remove the tick yourself, follow these steps:
- Have a friend or one of your family members keep your cat calm while removing the tick. Do not try to remove the tick until your cat is relaxed.
- Wear gloves when handling the tick. It will keep you safe from being bitten by a tick and from contact with any of its body fluids.
- Gently part the fur around the tick to see it well.
- Position the tick remover or tweezers close to your cat’s skin and carefully pull and twist the tool to dislodge the tick. Be careful and make sure not to squeeze the tick.
- Once the tick has been removed, check that the mouthparts are still attached to the tick and put it in a resealable bag or container (such as a zip-top bag). Dispose of it safely so it can’t get back onto your cat.
- Clean the area with an antiseptic that is safe for cats.
- Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands with soap and water.
- Disinfect the tweezers with rubbing alcohol before using them on anything else.
If you find a tick on your cat, don’t panic. You may safely remove it with a little time and the correct equipment. Follow the guidelines above and take your time.
What Happens If Tick Head Stays In Cat?
If the tick head stays in your cat, it could potentially lead to infection. If you’re unsure how to remove the tick head safely, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with the necessary tools and instructions on how to remove the tick head without causing any harm to your cat.
What Can I Do to Protect My Cat From Ticks?
You can do a few things to prevent your cat from getting ticks. Keep them as much as possible indoors, especially during the summer when ticks are more active. If they have to go outside, make sure they wear tick collars or products. You can also regularly check them for ticks and remove them immediately if you find any.
Home Remedies For Cat Ticks
While some commercial tick-removal products are available for cats, they can be expensive and may not be effective. Luckily, there are some home remedies that you can use to remove ticks from your cat’s fur.
You can easily make your homemade tick repellent using products you already have in your home. Here are a few;
- Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil can be used to kill ticks successfully. Combine 20 drops of eucalyptus oil and 4 ounces of pure water in a spray bottle. Before using it, give it a nice shake and spritz it on your cat.
- Neem Oil: Neem oil is a great way to get rid of ticks. You can directly apply it to the infested/infected skin area or dilute it with water first. If you’re going to use it on your cat’s body, dilute it first.
- Cedar Oil: You can use cedar oil spray on your pets. It’s non-toxic and serves as a natural bug and tick repellent. Ticks are both repelled and killed by cedar oil spray.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Use it in combination to eliminate ticks on your cat. Combine it with some water and neem oil and spray it over your cat, bed, and home. Ticks will vanish in no time.
- Lavender: As conventional chemical sprays, fleas can be killed just as effectively by diluted lavender. Allow fresh lavender to steep overnight in water before filtering and spraying it on your cat’s coat.
- Chamomile: Loose chamomile tea, another ingredient known for calming the skin, can also be used to kill fleas on your cat. After the tea has cooled fully, apply the liquid to your cat’s coat. You can do both treatments every day for as long as you require.
Some cats are more vulnerable to certain products than others. After applying it, keep an eye out for any negative responses, such as excessive salivation. If you notice any, immediately stop using the oil and consult your veterinarian.
Controlling ticks on cats might be problematic due to a shortage of FDA-approved medications that state that they are harmless to use on cats. Infestations of dog ticks are easier to treat. However, the suggestions provided above can help you lessen the tick infestation in your home and your cat’s body. Ticks can be exceedingly harmful if left untreated for an extended period. They can infect your cat with life-threatening infections.