Bush Ticks on Cats – Symptoms & Prevention

The Australian bush tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) was introduced from Asia. They are one of the most common species of cat ticks in Australia. Cattle are actually the preferred host of bush ticks, but cats, dogs, horses, and some species of marsupials and birds may also be infested.

Bush ticks on cats
Bush ticks on cats

Symptoms of bush ticks on cats

When considering the risk of bush ticks on cats, symptoms may include skin inflammation and irritation at the attachment site of the tick. With heavy infestations, bush tick symptoms may include lethargy and pale gums due to anaemia from excessive blood loss. Unlike paralysis ticks, bush ticks do not cause tick paralysis.

Bush tick prevention for cats

Given the harm they can cause, tick prevention for cats is an important part of a parasite protection program. An effective way to provide tick control for cats is to use NexGard SPECTRA® Spot-On for Cats all year-round. Monthly treatment with NexGard SPECTRA® provides bush tick and paralysis tick protection for cats. It also protects against fleas, mites, heartworm, lungworm and intestinal worms, including tapeworms.

Although tick control products will control most of the ticks that your cat may be exposed to, it’s also important to search for and remove ticks from your cat, especially if you live in a paralysis tick area.

Paralysis tick vs bush tick

Body Copy

Paralysis ticks cause tick paralysis, a very serious and potentially fatal condition. Bush ticks do not cause tick paralysis, however, they can cause skin irritation and, if a cat has large numbers of bush ticks, they can become anaemic due to excessive blood loss.

A way to help identify a paralysis tick is that the first and last pairs of legs are darker (brown) compared to the middle two pairs of legs (beige). The legs of bush ticks are all the same colour. Identifying the species of a tick can be difficult, even for an expert, and it’s best to contact your veterinary clinic for advice.


bush ticks portrait bush ticks portrait


  • Where are bush ticks found?

    Bush ticks are found across parts of the east coast and west coast of Australia.

  • Can a human get bush ticks from cats?

    Humans can be bitten by ticks, but they are usually picked up from walking through vegetation and not from our pets.


Cat Parasites
Ticks In Cats

Paralysis ticks are a deadly parasite than can cause tick paralysis in cats. Bush ticks can also cause harm to cats. Learn more about ticks and how to protect your cat.

Cat Parasites

Parasites may be small, but they can be a big problem for your cats. Protect your cat with NexGard® SPECTRA Spot-On for Cats. Click to find out more!

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NEXGARD SPECTRA®, NEXGARD®, HEARTGARD30® and PARAGARD® are registered trademarks of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group.
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