How to Keep Your Cat Safe During Tick Season | Dr. Elsey's
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How to Keep Your Cat Safe During Tick Season

Spring is nearly here, and while we’re looking forward to warmer days, we also know its active critters can be a total pest for pet owners and their feline companions. March ushers in the start to tick season — when spider-like parasites commonly found in tall grasses and short shrubs seek to feed on the blood of mammals, birds and sometimes even reptiles and amphibians. 

We’re sharing our tips on tick prevention and what to do if you find one of these pesky parasites on your cat.

While you might think your indoor cat is safe from these pesky parasites, they can often find their way onto your cat’s skin from a multitude of sources — another pet, human or even rodent could be a carrier for the tick and they could enter your home by mistake. 

Ticks can hold a number of diseases that can be passed along to your felines, the most common being Lyme disease. While Lyme disease isn’t as likely to infect your cat as it is for other animals, it’s important to be aware of the signs. If your cat seems to have a loss of appetite, difficulty breathing or fever, contact your veterinarian. Over time, Lyme disease can affect your feline’s joints, kidneys, nervous system and heart, so it’s important to get treatment as early as possible.

If you spot a little brown bug attached to your pet’s skin, it’s critical to remove it properly to reduce the risk of passing on the disease. Most vets recommend getting a tick hook to remove the tiny insect, but a pair of tweezers will work as well. Be sure to grab the tick by its head when extracting it, or it could still be stuck to your pet afterward. Refrain from using techniques such as applying Vaseline to the insect or burning it off, as it can cause your pet more harm than good.

If the thought of having to extract a bug from your cat’s skin isn’t appealing, there are many ways to be proactive and prevent ticks from wanting to attach to your pet in the first place. There are plenty of products on the market that can stop the pesky insects before they come near your feline, including tick collars, topical ointments and oral medications. Consult with your veterinarian to decide which option is best suited for your pets.

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