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C -- Chiggers

C is for Chiggers and other multilegged parasites.

When I lived on the farm, there was one morning when I was so covered with chiggers that my human could not pet me. That was not the only parasite that we had.

Chiggers are little red immature mites, and they will bite you as chiggers or sometimes as mites after they grow up. My human had a case of mites back when he needed a prescription for 1% hydrocortisone cream.

In that part of the Ozarks where I lived, the question was not whether you would get a tick, but how many. One time in a restaurant he heard a conversation at another table that the person had his first tick bite of the year. My human carried tweezers with him to take ticks off of us. I hate ticks, and I hate taking them off. One time the inside cat got a tick, and he scratched my human when they tried to take it off. My human told me why his hand was scratched. Take a tick off !?!?! I'm leaving ! I jumped off his lap. Then I realized that he did not mean take a tick off of me, so I came back and let him pet me some more.

On the cats, the ticks liked to bite us where it was easy to get to the skin, so that was often by our ears, by our toes, by the nipples of the nursing queens, and by our behinds. When I first moved inside, having him trim my claws was not as bad as having him take a tick off from between my toes, so I let him do it. Now that I don't have the tick problem, I don't have as much patience for trimming my claws.

They also said I had fleas when he took us in to get fixed.

When he took me off the farm to live in the apartment, we stopped by a vet on the way out of town. He looked me over and gave me a sleepy pill so I didn't meow the whole trip to my new home, and a dose of Frontline to take the ticks and fleas off. When I got to the apartment, he kept me in the bathroom for most of the first week. The ticks almost ran off of me, and he saw enough of them he could squish so they didn't go hide somewhere to bite us later. (The human got ticks when he lived on the farm, too. They liked to get right to the edge of his clothes and dig in there.)

The vet I currently go to recommends Revolution, which is prescribed for prevention of fleas and worms. Since it needs a vet prescription, I have to visit the vet every year so there is the vet-client relationship. Although it's not officially listed to treat ticks in cats, the dog version of that vet drug has the same active ingredient and is listed for preventing ticks on those animals. We strongly suspect it works against ticks on cats as well. Since I live in town now, I don't get it as often as I would if I still lived in the country.

But we have to be careful, as some of the medicines that kill fleas on dogs, or prevent ticks from getting on human clothing, will also kill cats. So be sure that any flea and tick medicine you use is recommended by your veterinarian for cats. My human used some repellent spray, but mostly an analgesic after he had been bit. He has a little jar or tube or whatever of his favorite anti-itch med that he likes to take back to the farm.

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