How do tick (and flea) preventions work?

Our cat frequently picks up ticks and, while we can and do use the useful little tick removal tool, we’d like to deter the wretched things if at all possible.

My question/problem is that our cat (who adopted us while alrady elderly) has stopped grooming himself and I had assumed that the treatments and prevention stuff available worked by the cat spreading it around himself. I could, however,be completely wrong!

I notice that several people have made reference to collars and I’m puzzled as to how they actually work…

If anyone can suggest something suitable for our (20 year old?) cat, I’d really appreciate it. (Fleas too of course but the tick problem is uppermost in my mind at the moment.)

I don’t know about other brands, but the Seresto collar works by slowly releasing a chemical 2 chemicals called Imidacloprid and Flumethrin into the animal’s body, which acts as an insecticide.


The standard pipettes are less and less effective against ticks.

The really effective ones are all prescription - so cost a small fortune.

Our dogs use the Seresto collars and they do work - and for months. We’re going to try collars on the cats - have my doubts the cats will still have a collar a day later.

As far as I’m aware it’s absorbed like a nicotine patch

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Thank you @Gareth and @chrisell . If the stuff in the collar is absorbed into the body, I can see that the Seresto collars might work for a cat such as mine. However, as Chris says, I rather doubt whether a collar would actually stay on our cat (and of course I know he will hate it!) Could you please let me know how you get on?

We have started to use collars with our 9, we have trialed the two that usually pick up ticks frequently as they roam the fields and usually loose their normal collars within a couple of days, both still have them after 10 days and so far no ticks, we use the pipettes on the two older feral cats as I value the skin on my arms and face :face_with_head_bandage::wink:

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Thanks very much, @Griffin36 !

In the end we didn’t go for the Seresto collar with our dog so I’m afraid I can’t help you much, but the feedback I’d heard was very positive. I just remember looking into it and was curious how it worked.

Just to clarify, it was more about our dog being a pain in the arse about his current collar rather than any concerns about Seresto being effective. We have the fussiest dog known to man!

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Because we are totally stupid about our dog, and cosset him like royalty, he has tablets from the vet (there is also a lot of Lyme disease round here) They work as we have yet to find a live tick on him. The attach themselves, but die before they can feed and transmit. It think the stuff is for cats too in smaller doses. But you would have to be besotted by one’s animal to do this as cost equivalent of a lunch out!


That’s very interesting, @JaneJones . I think I’ll get my partner to ask at the vets about that - if we have to administer the tablets, it’s a no-no :rofl:

We give our dog Bravecto tablets, one in April and another in July and they seem to work against fleas and ticks. I believe you can get similar for cats, but in pipette form . Only from the vet though.


You can and they work - vet prices however for Bravecto … In pipette or tablet form is eye watering.

We use Seresto on the dogs and they work - not cheap but they do last for months so actually cost effective

Collars for cats on order so we’ll see.

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I was always afraid to put any sort of collars on all my cats as they loved to climb trees and collars can get caught and hang a cat easily.


Having had two of our dogs succumb to tick fever, for us there is nothing “cossetting” about doing the best we possibly can. It’s essential - though I hate the idea of having our dogs absorb a chemical that kills ticks - it must be having an effect on the dog. But it is the lesser of two evils - tick fever is dire.

The first dog fell ill in the early days of our living here 16 years ago before we knew anything about the dangers of ticks.
Vita fell ill three years ago - with a seresto collar (they are not 100%) - and in fact she was carrying 2 tick-borne infections. We nursed her through this for 21/2 years and finally let her go last summer.
Seresto collars used to be the gold standard. For these last 3 years we’ve been giving ours Nexguard tablets monthly which are supposed to be better than Seresto.
I can understand tablets may be a problem with a cat. :roll_eyes:


I give my cat 2 tablets every month, one for ticks & fleas, & one for worms (a week apart so not too much at once), he isn’t a pill refuser though. Seems very effective, he’s got long fur and is always out and about in long grass and hunting and I haven’t found anything on him.


The collars have a serrated lines cut into the plastic so they will stretch if caught, the others have a 1.5cm piece of elastic built into them.


Thats good. I think ordinary webbing or leather collars would be more dangerous. I never used a Seresto collar on my dog as it said dangerous for cats and all my cats slept with the dog or were always grooming him.

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Yes, that’swhat we get. Couldn’t remember name.

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Probably same here, I get it at vast expense from the vets.

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After our cat was really ill and we had to give him antibiotics and steroids in pill form, it became more and more difficult as he got wise to the process and we had to give up in the end :roll_eyes: Any solution other than pills, I think.

Pipettes have been mentioned - how are they administered? (Last time I saw a pipette ws at school and they can’t possibly be like those :rofl: )

On the back of the neck, around where the collar sits.
Then if your a black and white cat like our tom tom who doesn’t were a collar, you run outside and roll on your back, the dust sticks to the residue and you look like a dirty unwashed vagrant for a couple of weeks :face_with_peeking_eye::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::laughing: