How to Get a Tick Off a Cat

by Christina Schnell, Demand Media
    Keep your cat away from areas where ticks thrive, like tall grass.

    Keep your cat away from areas where ticks thrive, like tall grass.

    Your cat loves prowling through the bushes and woods, and this makes her a traveling tick magnet. Worse, Fluffy's fur makes it hard to identify ticks when they're on her. When you do find a tick on her, it's not a problem if you know how to remove it right.

    Items you will need

    • Jar
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Rubber gloves
    • Tweezers
    • Cotton swabs

    Step 1

    Fill a small glass jar with an inch or two of rubbing alcohol. This is where you’ll deposit the tick after removing it from your cat. Ticks can climb out of trash bins, and they can even survive under water for a limited time. No tick, however, can withstand a dip in a closed jar of rubbing alcohol.

    Step 2

    Hold your cat in your lap or whichever position gives you the most control over her movement. Cats are notoriously flexible, and you want to make sure that she holds still while you remove the tick. If necessary, enlist another person to restrain your cat.

    Step 3

    Put on a pair of rubber gloves and gently spread the fur around the tick so you have clear access. This will prevent you from accidentally pulling out a tuft of her fur when you remove the tick with tweezers. Swab your tweezers with alcohol and dry them with a paper towel. Swab the spot where you're removing the tick with alcohol. Keep your cat as calm as possible by stroking her belly near the bite and speaking softly. The more tense and anxious your cat becomes, the harder it will be for you to completely remove the tick.

    Step 4

    Grab the tick’s body at the base of your cat’s skin with a sturdy pair of tweezers. Pull firmly and steadily until you remove the tick. Do not twist or jerk the tick, and do not apply crushing pressure with the tweezers. Doing so could break the tick in half with the mouth end still stuck in your cat’s skin. Ticks can carry diseases in their saliva and bodily fluids, which is why you’re wearing rubber gloves and why you don’t want to puncture the arachnid’s body.

    Step 5

    Place the tick in the jar of rubbing alcohol and close the lid tightly. Disinfect your tweezers by rinsing them with the alcohol. Clean the bite site on your cat’s skin with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab to reduce the risk of infection.

    Tips

    • Give your cat lots of praise and a treat after you successfully remove the tick from her fur.
    • Keep the tick in the jar of alcohol for a few weeks. If your cat becomes ill from the bite, saving the body will enable your veterinarian to test the tick for possible diseases it could have passed on to your cat.

    Warning

    • Take your cat to the veterinarian immediately if she appears sick or lethargic. Prompt treatment can reduce the severity of certain tick-borne diseases.

    About the Author

    Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

    Photo Credits

    • cat in the grass image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com