One health

TICKS ON CATS AND OTHER PARASITES THAT ARE A THREAT TO YOUR PET (AND YOU)?

What do you know about parasites, like ticks on cats, and the dangers they pose to you and your family? In this article, we will break down the risks, and what you can do about them. 

A parasite is a creature which lives in or on an animal, making that animal its home. The name scientists give to the unfortunate animal is the “host.” But you might know the “host” better as your pet… 

The health of cats is under threat from a vast army of different beasties which either attach themselves to our pet’s skin or actually get inside their bodies. In either case, the consequences for not noticing or treating the infection can be extremely serious. Worse still, some parasites that can infest our pets can also make us as humans ill, too. 

How the parasite problem has grown 

The history of animal parasites dates back millions of years. But the domestication of animals by man gave them a real opportunity to expand their numbers and reach.  

Urbanization meant that people and animals started living closer together, often in unsanitary conditions. And that was great news for parasites.  

Now, with rising temperatures and shorter winters, parasites that were confined to certain parts of the world by their need for warmer weather are being presented with a new opportunity to expand their operations further.

Presenting the parasites: ticks, fleas, mites, etc. 

Parasites are common, so if you have not been keeping up to date with parasite control from your vet, you may have had a pet that has acted as a host for at least one of them! 

Lice, ticks, mites, and fleas are all parasites that stay on the outside of our pets.  

While not precisely defined as parasites because they only feed on our pets’ blood and don’t live on them, mosquitos and sandflies are also a menace. These pests can cause plenty of damage themselves. To feed, they need to break the skin, causing infections, irritations and distress in our pets. 

But often it’s what they carry inside them that causes even worse damage.  

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PET PROTECTED FROM PARASITES

The danger inside a parasite, like ticks on cats 

From amoeba-like protozoans (usually single-celled microorganisms) to microscopic worms, there is a whole range of infectious danger lurking inside parasites, ready to infect your pet each time the creature feeds 

According to parasite expert, Ezio Ferroglio:

“ONE OUT OF FIVE TICKS WE HAVE SEEN CAN BE A CARRIER OF SOME ILLNESS”

Babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and rickettsiosis are all serious infections that can be spread to the smallest members of your household by ticks. And others, such as Lyme disease, can spread to humans, too. 

Stay informed to stay safe 

Educating yourself about the risks of parasites is a good way to help protect your dog’s or your cat’s health. Below is a brief introductory video to parasites that we recommend watching.

For more information and tips on coping with the risks our pets face due to rising global temperatures, please download our free One Health guide for pet protection. 

THE EVOLUTION OF DOG PARASITES: HOW CAN WE RESPOND TO AN EVOLVING THREAT?

Have you ever wondered where the parasites that target our dogs come from? Why are they so hard to get rid of – and what does the future hold for defeating them?  

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLEAS, TICKS AND THE OTHER PARASITES THAT CAN HARM YOUR PET WHEN YOU TRAVEL 

We all like to take our furry friends with us to new destinations, but this increasing trend may have some unintended consequences.  

HOW DO EXTERNAL PARASITES THREATEN OUR PET’S HEALTH?

What are these parasites that live on our pets, why are they potentially such a menace to pet health – and what can we do to stop them?