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Another method of topical medication, tick powders are an effective method for killing and repelling ticks from your pet. Be sure that the powder you are using is labeled for cats before use. Also, make sure you check the label to make sure that the product is designed to kill ticks as well as fleas. This very fine powder can be an irritant to the mouth or lungs if inhaled, so use small amounts and slowly rub it into the skin. Keep powders away from the face and eyes when applying. You will need to reapply the product more often, about once a week during peak season. Some powders can also be used in areas where your cat sleeps, and in other parts of the household your cat frequents.
Another medicated topical application, tick spray kills ticks quickly and provides residual protection. Sprays can be used in between shampoos and dips, and they can be useful if your cat spends significant time in wooded areas. Be very careful when using this product around your cat’s face. Read labels carefully to be sure the spray is made for use on cats before applying, and do not use it on or around any other animals in the home.
Keeping your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed back will help reduce the population of fleas and ticks in your backyard. If there are fewer areas for these parasites to live and breed, there will be fewer of them to be concerned with. If you still have a problem, consider using one of the various household and yard sprays or granular treatments that are available from your veterinarian, pet store, or local garden center. Just be careful when using these products, as they can be harmful to animals, fish, and humans. If you have a severe problem or you are concerned about the proper handling of these chemicals, you might want to consider hiring an exterminator to apply yard and area sprays to control the ticks and fleas.
After a romp outside in areas where ticks may be lurking, be sure to carefully check your cat for ticks. Look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs, and around the neck. If you find the ticks before they have a chance to attach and become engorged, you may prevent some serious diseases for your pet. Removal should be done immediately and carefully when ticks are found.
If you have never let your cat outside, there is no reason to start. On the other hand, we know it can be very difficult to start forcing a cat to stay inside once it has had a life of outdoor roaming. If you can at least limit your cat’s outdoor time during the tick season, checking him every time he comes back inside, you may be able to decrease the chances of him becoming ill from a tick bite, since the longer the tick remains on the body, the greater the chance it has of transmitting a disease like cytauxzoonosis, or lyme disease.
Preventing your cat from roaming through wooded areas where ticks are likely to be lying in wait is the most effective way of keeping your cat safe from exposure. You may still have a few ticks wandering your yard, but if you keep things tidy and use preventive medications, your cat should have minimal risk of becoming a meal for ticks this summer.
Image: rse75 / via Flickr
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