Although cats aren’t the typical hosts for most ticks, they can certainly be affected by these blood-sucking pests. Furthermore, they’re also susceptible to the many tick-borne diseases. Most ticks will attach to cats wandering outdoors, but your cat doesn’t need to go outside to get bitten. Ticks can hitch a ride inside your house on your clothing, shoes, backpacks or anything else they come into contact with.
The best medicine is prevention, so most veterinarians recommend using flea and tick preventatives, even on indoor-only cats. When you are grooming your feline friend, be sure to check these areas for ticks (and fleas too!).
#1 – Inside The Ears
Ticks love dark, moist places they can hide, so the ears are the perfect place for them to attach. Inside your cat’s ears, they’ll often go unnoticed by any humans unless they’re being actively looked for, so it’s important to thoroughly check your kitty’s ears when you’re cleaning them. If you notice your cat scratching at their ears or shaking their head excessively, you might want to make sure there aren’t any unwanted guests taking up space.
#2 – Under The Collar
Many times when we brush or comb our cats, we leave their collars on. Ticks can make their way underneath the collar and go unnoticed for a long time, so it’s important to take the collar off or make sure you check under it regularly. You should also check the collar itself if your cat has been outside to make sure no ticks have hitched a ride (but not yet been able to bite your cat).
#3 – In The Armpits
Another place that many owners don’t check is the armpits. Armpits are also difficult for your cat to reach and groom on their own, so ticks can easily latch on and stay there for a long time. Feel under the armpits for any lumps and comb through them if you’re able to without making your kitty too uncomfortable.
#4 – Under The Tail
Just like the ears, under the tail and around the anus are great places for ticks to hide. It’s a moist, dark region that isn’t often examined by the owners. Although cats groom themselves pretty regularly, they may not be strong enough to remove a tick that’s determined to stay put. Make sure to check your cat in these areas during your regular grooming sessions to ensure no ticks are hanging around.
#5 – Inside The Groin
Along with the perianal area, the groin is another favorite location for ticks. Inside the thighs and on the lower stomach are common places to find ticks latched on. With a cooperative cat, you’ll be able to comb through these areas to see if you’re able to spot anything. If not, simply feeling around might do the trick. Your cat is able to groom themselves well here, so you’ll both be working together.
#6 – Between The Toes
Although not the most common place to find ticks, they can crawl in between your cat’s toes. It’s not unheard of for ticks to be found between the pads or in between toes on cats and dogs, so you shouldn’t skip over these places. Ticks can and will latch on anywhere there is blood supply, so if you notice your cat chewing their feet you might also want to make sure that ticks aren’t the cause.