How to protect a cat from ticks?
In the warm season, many owners take cats for a walk on the grass or take them with them to the country. But outside the apartment, pets are waiting for not only pleasant adventures, but also dangers. One of them is ixodid ticks.
Ixodid ticks are parasites that live in the environment and feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. By structure, hungry individuals are similar to spiders. But when the tick sticks to the victim and absorbs blood, his body swells and becomes like a large pea.
Contrary to stereotypes, it is not necessary to travel to the forest to meet a tick. A cat can catch a parasite walking in the yard on a harness. Moreover, you yourself can bring the tick into the apartment on shoes or outerwear. The likelihood of a bite is maximized if you take your pet with you to the country. It is enough for a cat to simply run through the tall grass to collect not one, or even two, but dozens of ticks!
Why are parasites dangerous? Of course, the bite of a blood-sucking insect in itself is unpleasant, but this is not the main thing. Ixodid ticks are carriers of various infectious diseases, some of which are fatal without timely treatment. Dogs can become infected by ticks with babesiosis (pyroplasmosis), and for cats, hemobartonellosis is the most dangerous. The virus infects red blood cells, spreads rapidly and, if untreated, leads to oxygen starvation, organ failure and subsequent death of the animal.
How to protect a cat from ticks?
Given these consequences, it is by no means worth the risk. If you decide to go for a walk with the cat or take it with you to the cottage, the first thing you should do is to treat it from ticks in advance. How to do it and why in advance?
In pet stores you will be offered a variety of antiparasitic agents: drops on the withers, collars, sprays, shampoos, etc. Carefully study their description, method of application and period of action and choose what is convenient for you. Before buying, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with customer reviews and brand information. Do not forget to check the expiration date of the product, and when processing the animal, strictly follow the instructions for use.
After applying the drug, protection does not begin to act immediately. Usually this takes 2-3 days, depending on the characteristics of the selected drug. For example, drops from Frontline Combo ticks are applied to cat’s skin 2-3 days before departure. Drops “Broadline” – in 2 days. Anti-parasitic collars (for example, Foresto) need to be worn about 3-5 days before the trip. Processing with a spray, for example, Front Line, is also carried out in a couple of days.
For a certain period of time before and after the treatment, the pet should not be bathed! Read more about this in the instructions for use of the selected tool.
In addition to processing, do not forget about the regular inspection of the pet. As soon as he returned from the street, carefully examine his skin and coat. Pay special attention to places where there is the least hair: ears, muzzle, axillary and inguinal cavities. You may be able to detect parasites before the bite.
Another measure of protection against ticks is to mow the lawn. Ticks readily breed in long grass, but are rarely found in short grass. Someone also treats parasite lawns with special chemicals. However, they, unfortunately, are not safe for children and animals.
Be careful and do not forget that diseases are easier to prevent than to treat! Protect your pet!