A tick infestation in a cat is not only dangerous to your pet, but also to you as the cat owner. Cats like resting in people’s laps, sleep on the couch or even in the bed. This makes it very easy for ticks to spread in a home. Cats can pass on a disease called Bartonellosis to humans through ticks. There is also the danger of co-infection with Lyme disease if these ticks are carriers. Using the best tick repellent for cats is the best prevention and much easier than treating a tick infestation or curing a tick-transmitted disease.
Tick Repellents for Cats
Tick Repellent for cats contains a number of different active ingredients.
Some work with substances that spread through the fur and on the skin of the cat and have a tick repelling effect. While other remedies will not only keep ticks away, they kill the pest as they come in contact with the drug.
Chemical or Natural, what is the best tick repellent for cats?
Whether you use a natural or chemical tick repellant for cats is up to you as the pet owner. Many of the natural remedies have certain effectiveness, but not near as high as chemical repellents. As a pet owner, you need to consider whether the risk of side effects is greater than the risk of a disease transmitted by ticks.
Chemical tick repellents for cats include:
- Spot on – once a month topicals, chemical repellents: These are easy to use, are very effective and have long-lasting effects. A couple of drops are applied in the neck area, active ingredients slowly spread over fur and skin, acting against ticks, fleas and other external parasites. Common ingredients used in topicals include Fipronil, Methoprene, and Etofenprox.
- Sprays – Tick repellent sprays come in pressurized aerosol bottles or pump bottles. For cats, pump bottles are preferred instead of aerosols which the cat can mistake as the hiss of another cat. Do not spray on the face but spray onto a cloth and use it to daub the cat. Reapply at the recommended intervals, to maintain permanent protection.
- Collars – Neck collars containing repellent keep ticks away from favorite hiding places like the nape, back of the ears, and the neck’s underside.
Do NOT use repellents containing permethrin and pyrethrin for cats.
Cats do not produce a specific enzyme, so a cat can not metabolize permethrin. When a cat has been in contact with permethrin it can cause symptoms of intoxication such as diarrhea, salivation and vomiting, cramps and tremors. The appearance of symptoms depends on whether permethrin has “only” been absorbed through the skin or if the cat has licked the substance. The onset of symptoms in the first case could be a couple of days, but when ingested trough licking it may well be only a few hours.
In both cases, your pet needs medical care you need to see a veterinary doctor immediately as permethrin poisoning in cats can be life-threatening.
Natural tick repellents:
Chemical repellents may accumulate in the body of the pet. When not used as recommended, the incorrect application may have unwanted side effects. That is why many cat owners opt for natural tick repellents for cats. These include:
- Coconut oil – has hundreds of uses among them it is effective against ticks, fleas, and mites.
- Raw apple cider vinegar – In addition to the strong scent of vinegar, the apple cedar gives a shine to the cat’s fur. This is safe for cats and children.
- Beer Yeast – in a pet food supplement.
- Diatomaceous earth – also known as Diatomite, this is very fine-grained soil or rather rock that consists of fossilized remains of ancient algae. Sprinkle on the pet and rub thoroughly into the fur. Ticks getting into contact with it will die due to the dehydrating effect diatomite has on insects.
For best protection from ticks and tick infestations, it is recommended to regularly inspect the cat’s fur after it has been free ranging. Crawling ticks or already latched on ticks should be removed immediately. Both measures together, inspecting the cat’s fur and using effective tick repellents, offer the best protection.
Garden owners may cultivate tick repellent plants in their yard to reduce the population of ticks around their house.