Paralysis ticks are deadly little creatures which attach themselves to skin and feed on your cat’s blood. As they feed, they also inject a toxin which can paralyse your pet.

 To keep your cat safe, it’s important to search for ticks every day and get rid of them, before they cause any harm.

Often cats will get ticks on them from walking through long grass, thick vegetation or even when climbing up a tree. It’s quite common to see cats getting ticks in their own backyard because the ticks have blown out of the trees.

 It takes at least a few days, sometimes up to a week for a tick to fully engorge on blood. It’s generally not until they are at least partially engorged, that they get enough toxin to cause paralysis.

 In order to prevent your cat from getting tick paralysis, it’s important to try and find ticks on their coat as early as possible. Daily tick checks are a must, especially if you’ve been camping, been away near the coast, or been bushwalking.

Checking For Ticks

Walk your fingers right through the coat of your cat, starting at the head, and working all the way down to the tail.

While ticks prefer the head and neck, you need to make sure that you cover all areas of the body, as they will attach anywhere.

 Make sure you check any cracks or crevices like the ears, on the legs, the armpits, the groin, around the genitals, and the anus.

 What you’re feeling for, is a little bump on the skin. If you do feel one, then have a closer look. You’ll be surprised by how many bumps and scratches you’ll come across.

How to Get a Tick Out

When getting a tick out, don’t worry too much about leaving the head in. It really doesn’t matter too much as half a tick is a dead tick and it won’t produce any more toxin. If the head is still inside, it will eventually fall out.

You can make use of tick removers if you choose, but all you need are your fingers. You can usually just grab them and roll them out. Don’t forget to kill the ticks, or you’ll be back to starting all over again.

Keep an eye out for the tick crater or raised skin surrounding the area where the tick was attached.

In the centre of the crater, there is often a little tag of skin that sticks up, where the tick was attached. Once you find it, remove the tag.

Monitoring For Tick Paralysis

 Tick paralysis can still develop a few days after a tick is removed and you need to watch for signs of tick paralysis for a few days, at least.

 This is where it’s really important to know the following signs of tick paralysis:

  • Weakness and a wobbly gait
  • Coughing, gagging, or vomiting
  • A change in the bark
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Choking and collapsing

If your pet is showing any of these signs, they need to be treated immediately. The sooner your cat is treated, the better their chances of survival are.