Ticks in Cats

icon March 15, 2024

The life of a tick is divided into four periods - egg, larvae, worm, and adult. After the adult tick has sucked blood from its parasite, it drops into the environment and begins to lay its eggs and hatch. Ticks are usually found in dark places such as corners of the environment, under sofas, and cracks in boards to hatch their eggs and dark, damp grass is also an ideal breeding ground for ticks. A good time for ticks to infect your pet is when your dog is out for a walk and your cat is sleeping on the floor.

What are the Dangers of a Tick on Cats?

When ticks suck blood, they may cause skin damage and cause itching in cats, leading to unusual behaviour such as irritability, rubbing and gnawing at the body, and the wounds may develop secondary to dermatitis.

The pathogens carried by ticks during blood-sucking may be transmitted to cats.

Current tick-related insect-borne infections include Lyme disease, and Baltons disease, associated with bacterial infections, as well as those associated with protozoan infections: cytomegalovirus (septicaemia, multisystem organ failure), babesiosis (severe anaemia, systemic toxicity and pulmonary oedema), and cytomegalovirus (blockage of pulmonary veins by abnormally functioning cells).

Therefore, it is true to say that tick infections can be life-threatening.

Baltons Disease & Cat's Claw Lyme Disease

Infected cats may present with enlarged lymph nodes, acute fever, and enlarged spleen; reproductive disorders such as sterility and stillbirth; and inflammatory damage detected in the liver, spleen, heart muscle and kidneys.

It is important to note that most cats that test positive for Baltons infection do not necessarily develop clinical disease, but Baltons can be transmitted to humans through cat claws or bites, resulting in "cat claw Lyme disease". Therefore, the prevention and control of Baltons infection in cats is of public health importance.

How Do I Know If My Cat Has a Tick?

Ticks can be difficult to spot on a cat's fur, especially if they are small or have not yet attached themselves to the skin. However, there are some signs that may indicate the presence of ticks on your cat:

  • Visible ticks: You may be able to see the tick itself on your cat's skin or fur. Ticks can range in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser, so look closely at any small bumps or dark spots.
  • Scratching or grooming: If your cat is scratching or licking excessively in one area, it could be a sign that they have a tick bite. Ticks can cause irritation and discomfort, which can lead to increased grooming or scratching.
  • Redness or inflammation: If the area around a tick bite is red, inflamed, or warm to the touch, it could indicate an allergic reaction or infection.
  • Fever or lethargy: In some cases, tick bites can cause more serious health problems, such as fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite. If you notice these symptoms in your cat, it is important to seek veterinary care right away.

What Does a Tick Look Like on a Cat?

Ticks are small, parasitic arachnids that can attach themselves to a cat's skin and feed on their blood. Ticks typically have an oval-shaped body, with eight legs and a mouthpart called a "hypostome" that they use to attach themselves to their host. Their colour changes can make them more difficult to identify. Unfed ticks are brown with a darker brown area around the mouthparts, and engorged ticks are more circular in shape and grey-coloured.

When checking your cat for ticks, it is important to part their fur and examines their skin closely, especially around areas where ticks are commonly found, such as the ears, neck, and head. If you find a tick, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to prevent the transmission of diseases that ticks can carry. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on the proper way to remove a tick and can recommend preventive measures to help protect your cat from tick-borne diseases.

Cats and Ticks | How to Spot and Remove Ticks

How to Remove a Tick in Cats?

1. Use tweezers to approach the tick from the side, close to the skin

One person is responsible for removing the tick while the other holds the cat to keep it calm and prevent it from moving around while removing the tick and breaking off part of the tick's body in body. Then use tweezers to approach the tick from the side against the skin.

How to Remove a Tick Head that Breaks Off from Its Body?

2. Pull upwards in a straight line

Do not pull hard or twist. Be careful not to squeeze the tick's bloated abdomen as this will allow toxins from the tick's body to squeeze into it.

3. Treat the wound

After cleaning the tick clean the bite and its surrounding skin with an antibacterial spray, or dab antibiotic ointment near the wound. Always remember to wash your hands after treatment.

Puainta™ Wound Sterilization - Skin Spray

How to Keep Ticks Away?

There are several ways to keep ticks away from your cat:

  • Regular grooming: Brushing your cat’s fur on a regular basis can help you detect and remove ticks before they attach themselves to your cat.
  • Tick prevention products: There are a variety of tick prevention products available for cats, such as topical treatments, oral medications, and tick collars. These products can help repel and kill ticks.

Topical Treatments

Avermectin and Fipronil recommended


Effective against fleas that cause flea allergy dermatitis as well as brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks and deer ticks that may cause Lyme disease. 

Puainta™ Flea & Tick Topical Deworming Drops

  Usage and Dosage  

Applied on

Dosage (psc)

Under 10 Neck 
10-20 Neck and back
20-40 Neck, back and forelimbs under armpits
Over 40 Neck, back and forelimbs under armpits


Topical application to kill or remove fleas, flea eggs, ticks, lice, and even mosquitoes on the skin
Strong and lasting protection: Prevent pets from mosquito or tick bites and lice or flea infestations, with the application once a month

Puainta® Topical Deworming Drops to Kill Fleas & Ticks in Dogs/Cats

  • Tick-resistant landscaping: Keep your lawn mowed and remove any brush or leaf litter around your home to reduce tick habitat.
  • Tick checks: Check your cat for ticks every day, especially if they have been in areas where ticks are common.
  • Avoid tick-infested areas: Ticks are most commonly found in wooded and grassy areas, so try to avoid these areas when possible.


Can Ticks on Cats Transfer to Humans?

Yes, ticks on cats can transfer to humans and potentially transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and others. It's important to protect yourself when handling ticks on your cat, and to remove ticks from your cat as soon as possible to reduce the risk of transmission. Wear gloves when handling ticks, and use a tick removal tool to safely and completely remove the tick from your cat's skin. If you develop a rash or other symptoms after handling a tick, see a doctor right away.

How Long Can a Tick Live Without a Host?

Ticks can live for several months without a host, although the duration of survival depends on the species and environmental conditions. Some ticks may only survive a few weeks without a host, while others may live for several months. In general, ticks are able to survive longer without a host in cooler and more humid environments. 

Are There Ticks in Alaska?

Yes, ticks can be found in Alaska, but the number and species of ticks are relatively low compared to other parts of the United States. The most common tick species found in Alaska is the Alaskan moose tick (Dermacentor albipictus), which is typically found in the southern part of the state. Lyme disease, which is commonly associated with tick bites in other parts of the country, is rare in Alaska. However, other tick-borne illnesses such as anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever have been reported in the state. 



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