Pet parents with indoor cats might think that their cats aren’t at risk of getting ticks. The truth, however, is that even cats that never step foot outside are at risk. People and dogs that spend any amount of time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, can bring ticks inside. These ticks can then attach to a cat.
Ticks carry diseases, which can present significant issues for cats. Pet parents need to be able to recognize ticks on cats so that they can take the appropriate steps to keep their cats safe.
How Dangerous Are Ticks?
Ticks can be a serious problem for cats. Some of these parasites carry diseases such as “Q fever” and Ehrlichiosis. Symptoms of Q fever include:
- Miscarriages in pregnant cats
Ehrlichiosis has symptoms such as:
- Swollen joints
- Swollen glands
- Vomiting and diarrhea
If a cat exhibits any of these symptoms, pet parents should seek vet care as soon as possible. Without treatment, both of these diseases can be fatal.
What Do Ticks Look Like on Cats?
While ticks are large enough for pet parents to see them, they might not notice them if a cat has long fur or they’re not looking closely enough.
Pet parents may notice ticks while petting or brushing their cat. At first glance, they might feel or look like a small wart, typically near the neck or head. A closer look will reveal the parasite’s legs, too. The cat may also have red or irritated skin.
Pet parents should never try to remove ticks with their bare hands. Doing so could leave the mouthparts behind, which could lead to inflammation or infection. Instead, they can get a tick removal tool from their vet. The tool will help to make the process of removing a tick much easier. Once they remove the tick, pet parents should clean the area with a cat skin care product to help eliminate any irritation or inflammation.
How to Keep Cats from Getting Ticks and Fleas
Even if a pet parent never lets their cat outside, they should still take steps to prevent ticks (as well as fleas) to ensure the health of their cat. Regularly using a flea and tick treatment for cats can help avoid parasites in the first place. Pet parents should speak with their vet or an online vet for advice on which products to use.
Keeping Cats Safe
While indoor cats might not be as susceptible to ticks as outdoor cats, they’re still at risk, especially if there’s also a dog in the house. Pet parents can keep their cats safe by taking steps to deter ticks and fleas in the first place. If a pet parent does discover a tick, they can remove it and treat any skin irritation that results.
If a pet parent can’t remove a tick or notices their cat acting a little off, they should schedule an appointment with their primary vet right away. They can also seek instant online vet help 24/7 with Fuzzy’s Online Vet Chat. The right care can prevent serious issues and expenses down the road.
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