Health & Care
A gray cat scratching.

Fleas and Ticks on Cats in the Northwest

What do cat parents in the Pacific Northwest — including parts of Northern California, Washington State and Oregon — have to know about fleas and ticks on their felines?

Kellie B. Gormly  |  Apr 1st 2018


The Pacific Northwest — including parts of Northern California, Washington State and Oregon — has many areas with a lot of precipitation, cooler temperatures and thick forests. Despite the many wet, soggy areas though, there are some drier parts of the region (like parts of Washington). This leads to a variety in the types of parasites and the seasons, but for consistency’s sake, we will focus on the heavily populated region of Seattle, which has a relatively mild climate.

Fleas on cats in the Northwest

A tabby cat scratching his ears.

Fleas are a common infestation in the Pacific Northwest. Photography by Fscotto74/Thinkstock.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, fleas can be a year-round problem. However, the pests are especially prone to bite cats in the spring, summer and fall seasons. One flea can multiply exponentially, and lead to a full-house infestation that spreads to your other pets.

Fleas are one of the most common infestations in Pacific Northwest households, according to the website of the Western Exterminator Company, with several offices in Washington and Oregon. Fleas especially thrive in this region when there is a mild winter. Winter is the perfect time to fully purge fleas, before a potential infestation comes in the spring.

Ticks on cats in the Northwest

As for ticks, they typically start coming out in the spring — just when people and many cats are getting outside more. The most populous ticks in the Northwest are the Western black-legged tick, American dog tick and Rocky Mountain wood tick, according to doh.wa.gov. The department recommends keeping your cats out of wooded areas in order to avoid ticks, and using tick-control products according to your veterinarian’s advice. You should use tick repellent, too, and shower after coming back from a woodsy area to wash away any tick hitchhikers.

Your best bet for avoiding parasites on your cats, and many other ailments or injuries, is to keep them inside, experts recommend.

More recommendations for preventing fleas and ticks on cats:

Thumbnail: Photography by Susan Santa Maria / Shutterstock.

 It’s Flea and Tick Week sponsored by Andis on Catster.com. Stay tuned for more tips on how to keep your cat and household safe from fleas and ticks!