Top tips for dealing with ticks
1. Be seasonally aware
Spring and fall are the peak seasons for ticks, so be especially diligent in checking your cat for ticks at this time. Ticks can drop onto your outdoor cat from trees, tall grass or shrubs. A tick that makes its way inside on your clothing can attach itself to your indoor cat.
2. Limit the risk of exposure
Help keep your cat safe from ticks by keeping him indoors. If your cat is allowed to roam outside, keep the grass mowed and bushes trimmed, and inspect him for ticks when he returns home. Use a medication to deter ticks, or outfit your cat with a tick collar.
3. Know the signs and dangers
Ticks survive by drinking the blood of their “host” animal, so cats with ticks may become lethargic or anemic from the loss of blood. Other signs include fever or loss of appetite. When a tick attaches to your cat, it can transmit diseases, viruses and bacteria into his or her bloodstream. This includes Lyme disease, which affects the joints and lymphatic system, causing fatigue and dehydration.
4. Remove them the right way
Use tweezers to remove the tick from your cat’s skin. Squeeze the tweezers onto the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out without twisting. Do not crush the tick as you remove it—this could force a release of bacteria into your cat's bloodstream. To kill the tick, put it in rubbing alcohol or insecticide—flushing it won’t kill it. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the tick.
Once the tick is removed, treat the wound with an antiseptic. Watch your cat for the next few days for changes in behavior that could signal disease. If you notice any changes, consult your vet.