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How to Prevent Tick Bites on a Cat: 7 Methods

The winter season will soon be winding down, and the warmer temperatures will descend. If you have a cat, you know that spring and summer are prime tick seasons. It’s no fun having to get a tick off your cat and even less fun if you find one on your own body.

Not only are the pests disgusting and capable of spreading disease, but they are also tough to dislodge from your cat’s skin once they’ve taken hold. So, how do you prevent ticks from making a meal out of your cat’s blood? We’ll give you seven of our favorite tips below.

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The 7 Ways to Prevent Tick Bites on Cats

1. Oral Medications

You can use oral medication to keep ticks and fleas off your cat. Some brands feature chewable tablets that you can break up and add to the cat’s food. Since most cats will not swallow pills, chewable tablets are a preferred alternative.

domestic cat looking up
Image Credit: birgl, Pixabay
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2. Tick Dips

Tick dips are chemicals diluted with water that you administer to your cat’s coat to eliminate ticks. You’ll need to ensure that you rinse the cat off well after using a tick dip. These are very strong solutions, so make sure you read the instructions carefully. Never use a tick dip on animals under 4 months of age. Instead, talk to your vet if you’re finding ticks on your younger pets for recommendations as to what can be done.

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3. Shampoos, Treatments, Powders, and Sprays

There are also over-the-counter shampoos, on-spot treatments, powders, and sprays that you can use to prevent ticks on your cat. Like with the tick dips, these treatments will leave a residue behind. Make sure you read the directions carefully before using them on your pet, and keep the products away from small children.

cat having a shower
Image Credit: Olleg, Shutterstock
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4. Tick Collars

Collars that repel ticks can also be helpful as an extra preventive method, but don’t expect them to work solely on their own. When attaching this collar, you need to make sure it makes contact with the skin to be effective. It’s also essential to ensure you can easily slip two fingers between the cat’s neck and collar to ensure it’s not too tight.

Watch for allergic reactions when you first put the collar on the cat, and if it begins scratching at it, remove it and use another preventative method.

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5. Check Your Cat Regularly

One of the best ways to prevent your cat from getting tick bites is to check every time it comes in from outside, especially when it’s been in places where ticks are commonly found. Look inside the cat’s ears, between its toes, neck, and legs.

If you catch the tick before it starts to feed, you can save your cat from possibly getting a tick disease. Remove the tick carefully and quickly once it is found.

cat with tick
Image Credit: anastasiya parfenyuk, Shutterstock
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6. Treat Your House and Yard

Another way to prevent your cat from getting a tick is by treating your house and yard for ticks. Keep your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed so that ticks and fleas don’t make them their home. You need to be careful because pesticides can make other pets, people, and even fish sick, so read the directions carefully. You can also hire a professional to treat your home and yard.

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7. Make Your Cat an Indoor Pet

While there’s no guarantee that your cat won’t pick up ticks from other animals coming in and out of your home, making your cat an indoor pet will go a long way toward keeping the feline tick-free.

If your cat has never been outside, don’t let it start now. If you have an outdoor cat, try to limit the time they’re outside instead, so you can at least keep a handle on them when checking for ticks.

Cats should be strictly indoor pets anyway, as it’s safer for them for various reasons. You never know when your cat will become lost, get struck by a car, or get into a fight with another cat or dog, so it’s best to keep them indoors. It’s better to be safe than sorry in all instances with your furry friend.

ginger cat looking at the window
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock

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The chances of an outdoor cat picking up a tick are high in the spring and summer months, and if you live in the south, you may also have to worry about it in the fall and winter.

These tips will help you prevent your cat from picking up ticks. Some of the tick preventatives may not work on every cat, and you need to be careful when using products that contain harsh chemicals. Watch your cat for allergic reactions to any new product you use, and keep all products away from small children.

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Featured Image credit: Anastasiya Tsaiasemnikava, Shutterstock