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Have you spotted parasites on your kitty’s fur and are wondering how to remove ticks in cats? Ticks are irritating parasitic creatures that prey on the feline community. These dangerous arthropods can lodge themselves into the kitty’s fur and skin and feed on the blood of their hosts. Thus they carry infection from one animal to another, transmitting life-threatening diseases to both cats and humans, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, and Tularemia. Here is a complete guide on how to remove ticks in cats and keep your kitty happy and healthy.
How Do Parasites Affect Your Kitty
Cat ticks are blood-sucking creepy crawlies in the shape of an egg that carries diseases. The spider-like ticks have eight legs and maybe 1mm to 1cm long.
Ticks are parasitic creatures that thrive in shrubs, tall grass, thick vegetation, and wooded areas. They stick to animals that brush by the vegetation and bury their heads into the host’s skin. When ticks are attached to your kitty, they thrive on your pet’s blood. This helps in its expansion and growth and when it is full, the tick disengages and falls on the ground.
Besides causing hypersensitivity and anemia in cats, ticks can severely affect their lymphatic, immune, and nervous systems.
Here are a few signs to identify tick infestation in your kitty:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in legs
- Infection at the site
Tips To Remove Ticks in Cats
The best defense for your kitty is to keep her indoors, preventing her from entering the tick-prone areas, so she is out of the tick range. But a parasite may still find its way onto your cat. So how can you tackle the problem and remove ticks in cats?
If you spot any signs of tick infestation in cats, use a tick preventative spray to treat her. Rapid removal of the tick lessens the risk.
Cat Grooming: Use Tweezers To Remove Ticks In Cats
If you spot any ticks infesting in your kitty, then do not wait a minute before getting rid of them. Avoid using your hands at any time to get rid of the tick, as there is a risk of infection spreading to you.
If you apply petroleum jelly, it may cause the tick to release disease-carrying saliva into your kitty’s wound. It is a good idea to use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick’s head or mouth parts and immediately pull it out.
You do not need to crush or squeeze the tick while removing it from the cat’s body, because the tick’s blood may spread harmful bacteria into the kitty’s bloodstream. Only use that much force that helps you grasp the tick successfully.
You’ll need the following to remove ticks in cats:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Latex gloves
- Tick-removal tweezers
- Anti-bacterial cream
- Cotton swab
- Rubbing alcohol in a jar or zip lock bag
Kill the Tick
Drop the idea of throwing the tick in the toilet because they can easily survive in water. It is a good idea to wear gloves while trying to remove the tick and throw it in a jar of rubbing alcohol or insecticide. The tick will die in the jar.
Disinfect the Site
Inspect and wash the cat’s infested area with an antiseptic. Your kitty may experience severe itching at the bite area, causing her to scratch or chew at it.
Check the bite site regularly to see if it is irritated or abscessed. Symptoms of tick-borne diseases may show up later, so make sure you monitor her carefully even after removing ticks. Loss of appetite, sudden onset of fever, lethargy, and stiffness of limbs are some of the symptoms that may surface later.
Thoroughly wash your hands when you are done removing ticks in cats.
Removing Ticks in Cats: Aftercare
Once the tick is removed, there may be some irritation at the site, which is a reaction to tick saliva. Dab the irritated area with cat-friendly hydrocortisone ointment. Complete healing may take a week or little longer.
Additionally, always make sure she wears a flea/tick collar that keeps parasites away. Since ticks are attracted to shrubs and tall vegetation, keep your lawn mowed and vegetation trimmed. Use a pet-safe insecticide to treat the garden area.
Lyme Disease Caused by Ticks
It is a serious bacterial infection spread by ticks. Keep your kitty safe from any such disease by removing ticks in cats. A kitty suffering from Lyme disease may have stiff joints, appear lethargic, and lose her appetite. Her lymph nodes may appear swollen.
Keep a close eye on your kitty after removing ticks in cats over the next few weeks. Look out for symptoms of the disease and fix an appointment with your vet immediately if your kitty shows signs of Lyme disease.