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How to Prevent Insect Bites on Cats: 6 Useful Tips

It stands to reason that if you have to worry about mosquito and other insect bites when you’re in the yard, you have to worry about them biting your feline pal. As with humans, mosquito bites can be harmful to your cat.

Not only do they irritate the skin, but your cat could also easily be allergic to the insect that bit them or even contract one of the mosquito-borne illnesses. While mosquitoes t have an important part in our ecosystem and environment, they still carry serious diseases that can be easily transmitted to your furry friend.

Luckily, there are a few ways that you can prevent these insects from biting your cat. We’ll give you a few of them in the guide below.

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How to Prevent Insect Bites on Cats

1. Use Safe Insect Repellents

One way to keep your feline friend safe from insect bites is to use an effective, safe insect repellent. While you should never use a human insect repellent on your cat, there are safe options for pets.

Human insect repellent contains ingredients that, while safe for you, might be unsafe for your pet and could cause them harm. In fact, it’s best to consult your vet for the most effective repellent options for your cat, as they can tell you, which is safe to use, and which isn’t. You can even get these insect repellents in spray form, so they are easier to apply to your cat without the cat freaking out.

Image Credit by: ThamKC, shutterstock
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2. Reduce Insects in Your Yard and Garden

While using insect repellents is a great way to protect your cat from at least a few bites in the summer season, it’s not enough. You also need to reduce the number of insects gathering in your yard and garden.

You can reduce the number of insects attracted to your yard and garden by placing natural repellents in those areas. Natural repellents such as citronella candles work well because the insects don’t like the scent and will instead go elsewhere.

For mosquito prevention, removing any standing water from your property is essential, as this attracts mosquitoes and other insects.

Some places to check and empty for standing water include the following.
  • Empty flowerpots
  • Ponds
  • Birdbaths
  • Wading pools
  • Dog bowls
  • Corners of your garden
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3. Keep Your Cat Inside when Mosquitoes Are Most Active

Another way to keep your feline from being attacked by insects is to keep the cat inside during the period when they are most active. While this might make your cat a bit angry, you’re doing it for the cat’s own good.

While different types of mosquitoes are most active during various times of the day, it’s thought that they are most active early in the morning and the first few hours of the night. If you keep your cat inside during these hours, it’ll get bitten less, and you’ll have to worry less about your feline getting sick or having irritated skin from the bites.

Macro photo of a mosquito on a leaf
Image Credit: Satheesh Cholakkal, Pexels
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4. Call in the Professionals

While there are many home remedies and natural repellents to keep your yard and garden mosquito-free so that your feline doesn’t get bitten excessively, there’s nothing like a professional coming in to spray the property to keep the insects at bay.

You can have a professional come in and spray for insects at the beginning of the summer or whenever mosquitoes usually become active where you live. You should keep your cat inside when the yard is being sprayed and for a few hours after to be on the safe side since chemicals are used.

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5. Examine Entry Points in Your House

It’s not just possible for insects to bite your cat in the yard and garden. Mosquitoes can creep in through the doors, windows, and any cracks and crevices in your home. To keep the pests from entering your home, to begin with, it’s essential to examine all entry points that they can buzz in through.

When mosquito season begins, examine your screens on the doors and windows for snags, rips, or even tiny holes, and repair or replace them to keep the mosquitoes out as much as possible. Nothing is foolproof when it comes to creating a barrier between your home and cats to prevent mosquitoes. However, you can do everything you can to keep them from making their way inside.

Make sure to kill any mosquitoes you see inside your home immediately for the best results.

cat in the screen door
Image Credit: VooDooPickles, Shutterstock
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6. Work to Prevent Heartworm Infection

Although the tips above will prevent mosquitoes from attacking your poor cat to a point, they aren’t foolproof, and the cat is still at risk of being bitten. That’s why it’s important to keep up with heartworm treatments for your feline pal. Talk to your vet for the correct dosage of heartworm medicine to give your cat, and make sure you give it to your cat according to the dosage schedule. This is the most important preventative measure you can take to protect your cat from the insect population.

divider-catclaw1 Signs that A Mosquito Has Bitten Your Cat

You might be wondering what the signs are that your cat has been bitten by a mosquito and wonder what to look for. The behavior of the cat is the best way to tell that your cat has been bitten by a mosquito. Just as with humans, the bite will be itchy, and the cat is going to scratch to get relief.

If your cat starts rubbing its head or its paw or biting and licking a certain area, then it might have been bitten. If you notice a swelling in that area as well, your cat could have very well been bitten by a mosquito.

In most cases, the bite will remain mild, and the cat will be fine in a couple of days. However, you must keep an eye on the cat and the affected area. If the area becomes extremely swollen, redder than it was, or doesn’t seem to be healing, you’ll need to get your cat to a vet right away.

Some areas are considered high-risk as well. These areas include the muzzle and ears. If your cat has been bitten in the throat or mouth, you need to get it to a vet right away, as it could cause a severe allergic reaction. Mosquito bites can be dangerous to cats, so keep a wary eye on your feline friend.

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Mosquitos don’t care whether you’re a human or a cat; they bite whatever they land on with blood to feed them. Mosquitoes can be just as dangerous to your cat as they can be to you. While the tips above should help you prevent your cat from being bitten often, they won’t stop mosquitoes from biting your cat completely.

Follow the tips above and make sure to keep an eye on your cat for bites or signs that it has been bitten during the mosquito season. If you feel your cat has gotten sick from a mosquito bite, it’s best to contact your vet right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Featured Image Credit: food chain, Robert Couse-Baker,Flickr, CC by 2.0