How to identify if a cat has a tick? All about the action of parasites on the feline organism

 How to identify if a cat has a tick? All about the action of parasites on the feline organism

Tracy Wilkins

Cat ticks are a more common problem than you think. Felines, like dogs, can also suffer from parasites if they are not well cared for, especially if it is an animal that has free access to the streets. One of the main signs that indicate a cat tick is constant itching, but other symptoms can also be observed. It is even important to know how to remove a tickand protect your friend, as these small arachnids can transmit a number of diseases to kittens.

If you are curious to know more about the subject, just come with us! We have prepared an article with several important information: how infestation occurs, types of ticks in cats, diseases transmitted by parasites, how to remove ticks from cats and prevention measures. check out!

Does a cat get ticks?

It's not the most common situation to happen, especially if you have a home kitten and don't live with animals of other species, but we can't ignore the possibility of a feline being affected by these parasites.

Generally, ticks are more common in cats that live in houses with backyards or that live with dogs, which are the most frequent hosts of these parasites. But if your friend did not have an indoor breeding and has the habit of taking a few walks and strolling through the streets, he also has a great chance of suffering from the problem. Anyway, it is always good to pay attention, because a minimum is enoughcontact with the outside world for the animal to pick up a tick - and this can happen even during visits to the vet.

What are the types of tick in cats?

Ticks belong to the class Arachnida, just like spiders and scorpions, and there are several species that can affect cats. In rural areas, the most common types of ticks on cats are Amblyomma cajennense - the famous star tick - and Rhipicephalus microplus, which is also known as the ox tick. In urban areas, the species Rhipicephalussanguineus - or simply red tick - is the main culprit in cat tick cases.

It is important to keep in mind that each of these arachnids affects the pet in a different way. The star tick, for example, is one of the most dangerous because it can transmit spotted fever, a disease that affects both animals and humans. The brown tick is usually responsible for the transmission of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in cats. But it is worth noting that babesiosis, unlike theehrlichiosis, is not so relevant in feline medicine, as the incidence is very low.

Cat with tick: understand the life cycle of parasites

Cat ticks can become an even bigger problem if they are not eliminated properly, both from the pet's body and from the environment where they live. The reason for this is the life cycle of these parasites, which can turn a small number of arachnids into a real infestation.

But how does it work? It's simple: after feeding on the blood of the dog or cat, the ticks lodge in the environment and begin to reproduce. They usually choose higher and farther places from the ground, such as cracks and corners of the wall, to start the egg-laying process. Generally, females can lay up to 4,000 eggs in the environment, and then die.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae hatch and over time mature into nymphs. After some more time, the nymphs turn into an adult tick that will start a new reproduction. The period between egg laying and an adult parasite lasts between 60 and 90 days, and it is important that this "cycle" is interrupted in time, or the cat may pick up ticks again soon afterwardsto be treated.

How to identify if a cat has a tick?

Now that you know that, when it comes to ticks, cats and dogs can be hosts, you may be wondering what signs indicate the presence of the parasites in the body of a feline. To identify the situation, you just have to look closely to see if the cat with ticks shows the following symptoms:

  • Excessive itching;
  • Redness;
  • Localized hair loss;
  • Apathy;

If there is any suspicion, you can also confirm the problem during petting sessions or while brushing the cat's hair. The tick can usually be seen with the naked eye, as it has a brownish color and looks like a wart, but if your kitty has long hair it may be more difficult to notice. Therefore, the ideal is to always be aware of any abnormalities in the bodythe cat during brushing and petting.

Tick-borne disease in cats and other problems transmitted by the parasites

A cat with ticks can develop a number of health problems, such as anemia, spotted fever, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis. The latter two are transmitted by the same vector, the red tick, and are known as tick-borne disease in cats. Babesiosis is usually rare in cats, but reports of ehrlichiosis in cats have been increasing over the last few years and this is a condition whichneeds attention. The main symptoms are:

  • Pale mucous membranes;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Weight loss;
  • Fever;
  • Apathy;
  • Vomiting;
  • Petechiae (red dots scattered over the body);

It is worth remembering that ehrlichiosis is considered a zoonosis and can also be transmitted to humans, in the same way as spotted fever. Some signs of spotted fever are high fever, blood in the stool and urine, nosebleeds, breathing problems, diarrhea and vomiting.

Anemia in cats, although considered less serious than the diseases mentioned above, also requires great care because it can leave the animal fragile and exposed to several other problems. In this case, it is possible to observe the kitten with excessive tiredness, cat without appetite and with pale mucous membranes.

How to remove tick from cat?

It is not difficult to learn how to remove ticks from cats, but you need the right tools and patience to do it right. The tick needs to be completely eliminated from your friend's body, because if it leaves any part of it attached (especially the fangs), it is capable of causing an infection or new infestation in your friend. Here are some tips on how to remove ticks from cats:

1) Separate the necessary items for the removal of the parasite:

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  • Hairbrush;
  • Specific tweezers for tick removal (if you don't have them, you can use a regular one);
  • Absorbent cotton soaked in alcohol;

2) Choose a time when your kitten is calm to start brushing him (this is what will help you visualize where the ticks are);

3) Take the tweezers and slide one of the parts under the tick, making a motion to detach it from your pet's skin;

4) Gently pull the tweezers to remove the parasite. As already mentioned, it is important that it is removed completely;

5) With the absorbent cotton, clean the area well.

But it is worth remembering that if you do not have experience in removing cat ticks, the best thing to do is to seek help from a veterinarian so that there are no mistakes. It is also possible to invest in a cat tick killer, but this should be discussed with a professional first.

5 remedies for ticks in cats

Using a tick remedy for cats is a great way to control infestations in the environment and that can reach your friend in the future. Therefore, in addition to insecticidal products that are found on the market, some homemade tick killing recipes are great for keeping away and eliminating any remnants of plague. See some suggestions below!

1) Apple cider vinegar and baking soda

Mix two cups of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water and add half a spoonful of baking soda. Then, pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the room.

2) Cloves

You can apply cloves directly to the desired location or boil the spice with a citrus fruit and apply to the house with a spray bottle.

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3) Lemon and citrus fruits

Heat two cups of water and then add two lemons cut in half. Wait for an hour, then simply pour the liquid into the spray. In addition to lemon, other citrus fruits can also be used.

4) Chamomile

Boil the chamomile leaves in water and then wait until the temperature becomes warm. Then apply the liquid to the desired location. This remedy for ticks in cats can also be applied directly to the animal's body.

5) Neem oil

The oil acts as a natural repellent against ticks and can be used without any mixing. Simply apply some of the product to a cloth and wipe the affected area.

Learn how to prevent cat ticks

Fortunately, cat ticks don't have to be a problem in your kitty's life (and not even in yours!). With a few simple everyday measures, it is entirely possible to keep these undesirable beings away from your friend's body, and from inside the house. The first thing to do is to invest in indoor breeding, without letting the animal have free access to the streets. In addition to ensuring the safety and longevity of your kitty, you can alsopet, this also helps prevent various diseases and the dreaded parasite infestations.

Another important point is to maintain the cleanliness of the house and the environment where the cat lives. If he lives with a dog, this care is even more important, whether to get rid of dog ticks or cat ticks. Finally, do not forget to regularly check all the cat's skin, especially after going out (and this also applies to trips to the vet, trips and other types of outings).

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.