We love our cats and we want them to remain healthy for a long, long time. There are many parasites that can harm our furry friends; ticks being the most prominent ones. Ticks might seem benign but they are not. They are vectors of many deadly diseases and can even cause anemia in young kittens. So today, we will be discussing different easy ways to prevent cat ticks. Some of these methods include natural tick repellents but you can also go for tick collars for cats or other vet approved tick treatment for cats.
1. Remove the tick as soon as you sight it
The easiest way to prevent ticks on cats is to get rid of them as soon as you sight them. Remove the tick using a pair of tweezers by first applying rubbing alcohol on them. Do not use methods like burning matches or cigarettes to burn the tick. These methods are dangerous and can harm you and your pet. Discard the tick immediately in alcohol or you may bag it for identification for your vet.
2. Bathe your cat with vet approved tick shampoo
Cats are natural groomers but you also need to bathe them from time to time. Bathing your feline friend with vet approved tick shampoos helps get rid of adult ticks as well as tick eggs and larvae. Place the cat in a tub filled with warm water. After wetting its coat thoroughly, apply requisite quantity of vet approved tick-shampoo. Massage the shampoo gently in circular motion to work up a lather. Allow the shampoo to remain on the pet for at least 5 minutes. Make sure you cover all areas behind the cat’s ears and under its tail. Rinse it clean. You can repeat application of shampoo depending on the extent of tick infestation. Bathe your cat at least 2 times a week in this manner to get rid of all ticks. Follow up with vet prescribed tick medication for cats.
3. Vacuum your house
Apart from controlling ticks on your pets, you also need to control ticks in its environment. Vacuum the house thoroughly and spray or sprinkle vet approved insecticides containing insect growth regulators (IGRs) all over the house. These insecticides prevent tick eggs from hatching and help break the lifecycle of ticks. Best IGRs include fipronil, permethrin etc. Discard the vacuum bags immediately. Vacuum the house after every 3 days.
4. Wash pet bedding
Wash the pet’s soft toys and bedding in hot water and dry it on the highest dryer setting it can withstand. This will kill the tick eggs. You may also sprinkle tick powder all over the bedding once it is dry. This is best way to prevent ticks on cats naturally.
5. Natural tick repellents
The best natural tick repellents for cats and dogs include apple cider vinegar, borax and Diatomaceous earth powder. Feed your cat water mixed with organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This will strengthen your cat’s immunity and help its body repel ticks from inside out. You can also spray ACV all over your cat after bathing it. The smell of vinegar vanishes after a while, so repeat application from time to time. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder all over the house and especially under the furniture or anyplace else your cats sleep. The ticks will be killed when they come in contact with the powder. Vacuum your home thoroughly after 3 days to remove dead ticks, larvae and leftover eggs.
6. Use tick collars for cats
This is the best way to repel ticks. Tick collars last for 3-4 months and give long lasting protection to your pet from all kinds of parasites like fleas, mange, mites, lice and ticks. You will need to replace the tick collar after 3-4 months. Also take precautions not to get the collar wet as water reduces its effectiveness.
7. Keep your cat indoors but use spot treatment
Keeping your cat indoors is the easiest way to prevent ticks on it. However, fleas and ticks are found all year round and they can even hitchhike their way into your home. Therefore, all year round tick protection is very necessary. Apart from tick collars for cats, you can use spot treatment which consists of tick medication that is applied between the cat’s shoulder blades. These medicines repel fleas and ticks but their effect is temporary and you will need to reapply this tick medication for cats at least every 2 months.
Remember: over the counter and so-called natural tick repellent for cats may not be as effective as vet prescribed products. If the above easy ways do not help you get rid of cat ticks, you must talk to your vet about which treatment would be best for your pet.