Do you really think that only the dogs that spend their time in the woods get ticks? Or do you believe that ticks are not a big problem for cats since she gets rid of them when she grooms herself? All these things are incorrect. Let us now put the facts right. Some of these facts might even surprise you:
Ticks do not only affect pets that spend their time in the woods
Ticks tend to live where the animals they feed on live. It is not contingent on the area. It can be an urban, suburban or rural locale. These ticks are generally found in areas of tall grass, brush and other plant material. Ticks never fall from trees. But they can climb it. In fact, adult black-legged ticks can be found up to 3 feet off the ground to wait for the host. Adult ticks crawl up grass blades, bushes or tall weeds while waiting for an animal or a person to walk by.
When you or a pet brushes against them or the plants they are resting they climb aboard, attach to the skin and feed on the blood for hours or even several days. Once the feeding is complete, they drop from the host’s body. Immature ticks can be seen on leaf litter or in the layers of decomposing leaves under trees. They may then crawl onto the host when the debris is disturbed.
Ticks do not die in cold winter weather
It is falsely acclaimed that ticks cannot survive in cold weather. But the truth is there are certain ticks that become dormant while others hide in the leaf litter of wooded and bushy areas or remain indoors. It has been found that adult black-legged ticks, the tick species that are renowned to transmit Lyme disease start feeding during the time of first frost. Those adult ticks that do not find hosts during colder temperature remain covered under leaf litter or other plant material.
Cats can suffer from ticks even though they remove ticks when they groom
Cats can and do pick up ticks while grooming. This is especially true for outdoor cats that spend most of their time in grassy areas and rest under shrubs. But due to the fact that cats have rough tongue, it is not possible for them to remove all the ticks while grooming. There are several ticks that produce glue like substance that aids them to stay attached to the host’s body. The ticks can even attach themselves to areas where the cat cannot groom. This includes the cat’s face or ears. Even if the cat is successful in getting rid of ticks during grooming, she can become infected with a tick-transmitted disease known as cytauxzoonosis which can be very lethal for her health and in certain extreme cases even death.
Ticks do not transmit disease as soon as they bite the host
Ticks can carry a wide array of disease-causing organisms like viruses, parasites, bacteria and toxins. But the fact is that not all ticks are infected and most tick bites do not lead to disease. There are certain bacteria that can be transmitted within 3 to 6 hours of tick attachment, while others need more than a day before transmission occurs. Since it is not possible to know where a tick is infected, immediate removal of the tick is important to prevent the pathogen from transferring to you and the pet. Hence, contact your veterinarian and ask them to recommend an appropriate tick control product for your pet.
Being a proud owner of a kitty and 2 dogs, I was always worried about ticks. I read a lot about these pesky parasites and found that there are certain myths that are circulating around. Hence, to clarify the facts I have written this piece of information.