While most cats in North America are strictly indoor cats, many owners choose to have outdoor cats and if that’s the case, one of the things to be cautious of is ticks. Ticks carry diseases and can harm your cat if left untreated. Having effective tick control will not only save your cat but save your other pets and your neighborhood’s pets. Here are some facts about ticks and what you can do about controlling them.

Ticks thrive in warm climates and can be found anywhere in the world. They are prevalent in woody or grassy areas where they can hide easily. If your cat or dog gets a tick there are a host of diseases they could potentially contract. For example, Lyme disease, Ehlichiosis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Cytauxzoonosis, Babesiosis, and Tick Paralysis.

It’s important to know that many ticks can carry more than one disease. Your cat or dog or pet may have more than one disease which can prove to be fatal if left untreated. These tick-borne diseases may prove to be harmful to you and your family so prevention is the key.

What can you do to prevent ticks? Some common things is to avoid long grassy and woody areas during the summer and to mow your own lawn on a regular basis. Checking your cat will also prevent any lasting effects of ticks. The best prevention, however, is application of a tick control product. This is different from a flea control product as it only kills ticks and not fleas. Apply tick control on a monthly basis year round as some adult ticks can survive winter conditions. Some popular tick control brands include Frontline Plus, Bio Spot, Promeris and Advantage Multi.

If your kitten is less than 8 weeks of age it is not recommended to use tick control products on them. Instead, you need to regularly bath your kitten with baby shampoo and brushed with a flea comb as a way to control any tick problems.

If your cat or kitten has a tick use tweezers and gloves to safely remove the tick. Grab the tick with tweezers as close to the cats skin as possible and gently pull until the tick releases itself. Clean the area where the tick was feeding with alcohol and gauze. You may notice some swelling a few days after removing a tick from your cat. If the swelling does not go down after a few days or you see discharge make an appointment with your vet quickly. There could be infection or you did not remove the whole tick.