How to Keep Ticks off Your Cat

Long grass often harbors ticks.
i cat in the grass image by Mike & Valerie Miller from

Outdoor cats encounter a lot of wild creatures, some of which look like potential dinner to your cat. On the other hand, some view your cat as the meal. Cat-eating wildlife primarily consists of a fascinating array of parasites, including ticks.


Step 1

Get your cat neutered or spayed. This is important for a huge range of reasons, not least of which is unwanted kittens. It also reduces the urge to roam in search of a mate, meaning your cat is less likely to explore tick-infested areas.

Step 2

Trim long vegetation in your yard, especially grasses. This is where ticks lurk, waiting for something warm-blooded to walk past.

Step 3

Supervise your cat’s outdoor excursions, if practical. Try to stop him running off in the wilds. Letting him out just before mealtimes is a good trick as he probably won’t go very far when he knows dinner is imminent.

Step 4

Consult your vet about the possibility of a tick collar. This is not always appropriate, or even helpful, so don’t just buy one and stick it on your cat. It might cause more problems than it solves.


Step 1

Inspect your cat for ticks daily, looking especially closely at his ears, face and feet. Ticks are tiny and you might not have much luck on a dark or long-haired cat. On a light-colored, short-haired kitty, you should be able to spy some of them. They look a little like very small, squat spiders.

Step 2

Pull each tick off steadily with a pair of tweezers. Hold it near the mouth (i.e. near the cat’s skin). Don’t yank and don’t try killing the tick first -- e.g. by burning it. Killing the tick means the mouth parts will be left in your cat, which can lead to infection.

Step 3

Drop the tick into a vial of rubbing alcohol to preserve it for identification purposes if your cat or another member of your household shows symptoms of illness later.

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