Removing ticks from your pet is an unpleasing summer activity. Tick infestation is most common during the summer season. These blood-sucking parasites are unsightly, considering they’re filled with your pet’s blood.
They are always challenging to dislodge off the fur, making it necessary to get into contact with them to remove them successfully. That’s a quite dirty job. If not controlled sooner, ticks can cause serious diseases.
Thus, what should you really do to ensure your cat stays tick-free during summer? Here are some tips that can assist you to keep ticks away from your cat.
Spot-on treatments are available for purchase from the vet, pet store, and even online. These treatments are effective in controlling fleas and ticks.
They keep these stubborn parasites away for a month before reapplication. Although these treatments are great at killing parasites, they should be used with caution.
Ensure you read the labels on the spot-on product carefully. In case you’re not sure about something, seek advice from a vet before using the product.
Pills for controlling ticks in cats are not yet available in the market. In some cases, tick prevention oral pills used on cats are usually made for use on small dogs.
Tick pills specially made for cats are still in the development stage by major drug manufacturers. Consult your vet about the possibility of safely using an oral treatment made for small dogs on your cat.
Oral pills are great in that you don’t have to worry about kids being in contact with a cat after administering the treatment.
Also, the cat won’t leave any pesticide traces on your furniture like in the case of spot-on medications.
You can bath your pet cat with shampoos that have medical ingredients that kill ticks upon contact. Most of these shampoos are inexpensive.
However, using shampoos is a labor-intensive tick control method. The process has to be repeated often. The effective components don’t last long on the fur.
Thus, you should bath your pet with shampoo after every 2 weeks for effectiveness. Your cat’s response to the baths will determine whether this method will be practical.
Tick dips are highly concentrated chemicals and should be diluted with water before use. They’re applied to a cat’s fur using a sponge. They can also be poured onto the fur.
Once applied, you’ll let your cat soak in the dip without rinsing it. Tick dips are highly toxic and must be used the right way. Thus, read the label on the product carefully before attempting to use it.
Remember that dips shouldn’t be used on cats under 4 months old. Consult your vet for advice on treating kittens and puppies.
Another tick control measure for cats is using tick collars. They’re mainly effective for keeping ticks away from the head and neck.
The collar should be in contact with the skin for its chemical properties to spread to the skin and fur. When putting a tick collar on a cat’s neck, ensure it’s not choking your pet. It should be a bit loose such that two fingers can fit beneath the collar.
Any excess collar length should be cut off to prevent the cut from chewing it. Watch for any indicators of discomfort such as excessive scratching since some cats may be allergic to the collars.
Remember to go through the labels that come with tick collars before buying one to ensure you choose a type that is ideal for your pet cat.
Avoid using collars that have Amitraz as one of their chemical compounds on your cat.
You can also use tick powders as a topical medication to kill and repel ticks. Ensure the powder product you want to buy is clearly labeled for use on cats.
Also, ensure the powder is labeled as ideal for killing ticks. Powders can be irritating to the lungs or mouth if inhaled. Thus, only use a small amount of powder. Rub it slowly on the skin.
Avoid the eyes and face when applying. The powder should be reapplied often, say once every week during the tick season. There are powders you can also apply to the areas where the pet sleeps and on other areas it frequents.
Tick sprays are a topical tick control method. They kill ticks very quickly and offer residual protection. You can use them in between dips and shampoos.
They’re the best tick control method in cases where your pet spends a lot of time in highly wooded areas. You should be careful when applying the product around the cat’s face.
Remember to go through the product label to ensure you’re applying the spray the right way. Also, ensure you buy a tick spray meant for cats.
Don’t use the spray on other animals. If you want to keep ticks away from your dog, then buy a tick spray meant for dogs.
Treating Your Home and Lawn
You should keep your lawn, trees, and bushes trimmed back to assist in reducing the number of ticks and fleas that may be breeding at the backyard.
Whenever there are fewer breeding zones for ticks and fleas, you’ll have fewer parasites to deal with. If the problem persists, then use various granular treatments or yard and household sprays.
You can find these products from your local pet store, vet, or garden center. Remember to use them carefully since they’re toxic and can harm people, fish, and animals.
In case the problem is severe, then hire a professional exterminator to spray your yard and home professionally.
Inspect Your Cat
After playing outside, your cat may collect some ticks. Thus, check whether it has collected them upon getting back into the indoors.
Inspect the neck, legs, toes, and ears. In case you find some ticks on your cat, get rid of them immediately before they cause a disease.
Keeping Your Cat Indoors
In case you never allow your cat to go outside, then you shouldn’t even think about it. However, it’s quite challenging to force any cat to remain indoors if it’s used to roaming outdoors.
If you’d be able to limit your pet’s outdoor time, especially during the summer tick season, then it’ll become less prone to tick infestation.
Whenever it goes outdoors, check for ticks immediately it gets back indoors.
By so doing, you’ll prevent your tick from getting infected with a disease after tick bites. Ticks transmit diseases such as lyme disease and cytauxzoonosis.
The best way to keep your cat away from ticks is preventing it from roaming around wooded areas and other areas that are prone to tick infestation.
While some ticks may still wander around your yard, keep everything tidy and take advantage of preventive medications to ensure your cat is at low risk of hosting ticks during this summer season.