Treatment and Control of Ticks in Cats

It is important to protect cats from ticks, just as much as dogs. Here are some ways to control, prevent and treat ticks in cats.

Control and Prevention

Because substantial annual, seasonal, and geographic differences occur in tick prevalence, and because brown dog ticks can infest homes and kennels every month of the year, CAPC supports the year-round use of tick-control products on pets. Reactive or attempted seasonal use of tick-control products, allows home infestations to establish and permits transmission of disease agents because products are often not applied until tick activity has commenced.

Occasionally, ticks may be found on pets, even when acaricides are routinely administered. This apparent failure in tick control is usually due to heavy burdens of ticks in the environment, which result in high re-infestation rates.

When ticks are acquired from outdoors (Amblyomma spp., Dermacentor spp., Ixodes spp.), the habitat around the home can be modified to render it less supportive of ticks and wildlife hosts that can amplify tick populations. Such measures include closely cutting grass, removing brush piles and leaf litter, limiting ground cover around the home, and selecting plants that do not attract deer.

Keeping cats indoors, as recommended in the general CAPC guidelines, limits the risk of tick infestation in pets. At certain times of the year, particularly in the spring and summer, when tick populations are blooming, it may be necessary to keep pets out of habitats harbouring heavy numbers of questing ticks.


To remove ticks manually, use fine forceps to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and then directly extract using slow, steady, rearward pressure. Gloves should be worn to prevent zoonotic infection, in the event a tick is inadvertently crushed during removal.

Care should be taken to avoid crushing, twisting or jerking the tick out of the skin. This may result in increased host exposure to pathogens within the tick, or cause the mouthparts to break off in the skin, which may lead to granuloma formation.

Regular use of acaricides is often necessary to protect cats from ticks and the pathogens they transmit. Care must be taken to use acaricides only in the species for which they are approved. Dog products should not be given to cats, and cat products should not be given to dogs.

Only Biospot® (etofenprox), Frontline®, EasySpot, and EFFIPRO Topical Solution for Cats (fipronil), Bravecto® (fluralaner), and Seresto® (flumethrin) are approved for use on cats.

Source: Companion Animal Parasite Control

Written by Dr. Chris MacDonald, DVM


The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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