Ticks on cats are pretty uncommon, nevertheless they do occur and – while the risk is small – they can carry some diseases that are dangerous to your pet, and yourself. If you get a lot of wildlife, such as hedgehogs, in your garden, or know that your cat likes to hunt in areas frequented by deer and sheep, it’s best to check them regularly for ticks.
What follows is some information from the team at Cat & Rabbit Clinic about ticks, their potential dangers and how to safeguard your pet against them. If after reading you still have concerns or questions, simply contact us and we’ll answer them for you.
Checking for ticks:
If you suspect there are cat ticks around where you live, try to check your pet over whenever it returns from an outing. Ticks attach themselves to your cat’s skin and feed on their blood. They quickly become quite bloated so you should be able to see or feel them quite easily.
If you find a tick it should be removed as soon as possible, either by twisting it off (which avoids the risk of leaving the head embedded in the skin), using a special implement which you can buy in a pet shop, or by bringing your pet to Cat & Rabbit Clinic where one of the team will safely remove the offending parasite.
Why are ticks dangerous?
Diseases carried by cat ticks include Lyme disease and a malaria-type illness called Babesiosis but both are extremely uncommon in this country. Symptoms of both to look out for in your cat include lethargy, loss of appetite and lameness, but these can also be indicative of other illnesses, so don’t panic if your pet displays them – but do bring them in for a check-up.
You can take preventative measures against ticks in cats, which we will be happy to discuss with you, along with any other concerns, when you get in touch and talk to one of our friendly nurses. They will be able to advise you or make you an appointment to see our Simon Maddock or another of our veterinary team.