Ticks And Your Cat
How to protect your cat from ticks
More about ticks and your cat
Ticks can be found anywhere, but are typically located in long grass, rough upland and woodland areas – especially those which are damp and have high humidity. However, the spread of ticks means that they are now seen in urban areas, coastal environments and in most areas of the UK. The south of England, being warmer, has a higher tick population than the cooler north, but the long grasses and increasing average temperature of places like the Lake District and Scotland mean that tick populations are also growing there too. Sadly, there is no ‘safe’ area from ticks in the UK.
Although rare, other pets (usually dogs) may also bring ticks into the house, which can drop off and then bite your cat.To see which other of our household pets can pick up ticks, take a look at our dedicated
If you do find an attached tick, don’t be tempted to just pull or brush it off. Tick mouthpieces are buried in the skin, and incorrectly removing a tick can leave these parts within the skin surface, leading to infections. It is also important not to squash the body of the tick while it is still attached – this can push blood back into your cat, and may further increase the chance of an infection developing. The best way to remove a tick is with a special tool called a tick hook – these are very inexpensive and can be an invaluable piece of kit. These have a hook or scoop with a narrow slot in which traps the tick’s mouthpiece.
- Slide the tool between the body of the tick and your cat’s skin, making sure all fur is out of the way. This will trap the tick.
- Gently rotate the tool, until the tick comes loose.
- Removed ticks should be flushed in the sink or lavatory, and it is advised to handle them with gloves.
As usual prevention is better than cure and your vet can help you plan the best tick protection – this might be in the form of a collar, spot-ons or tablets. Depending on where you live and your cat’s habits, tick protection might be not recommended, or recommended to be seasonal (tick season runs from spring to autumn) or all year round. It is really important to note that some tick prevention for dogs contains permethrin, which is very toxic to cats.Read more about our health plans