How to remove a tick from a cat

Updated April 11, 2017

Ticks are parasitic insects that live off the blood of your pets and carry diseases that can be dangerous to them, such as Lyme disease. They can jump onto your cat when it visits wooded areas or high grass. They will feed off your cat for a few days before dislodging; however, it is not a good idea to leave them on your animal for any length of time. They are likely to lay eggs before they jump off the cat, so removing ticks as soon as possible is the best way to prevent further infestation and disease.

Locate a well-lit area where you can see the tick. A kitchen or bathroom provides the best lighting. Ensure that your cat is comfortable and not desperate to escape the room.

Fill a small container with rubbing alcohol. Sterilise the tweezers and put on a pair of latex or other disposable gloves.

Separate the cat's fur around the tick to expose as much of the body as possible. You may want to wet down the fur in the area to keep it from getting in the way, especially in longhair cats.

Place the tweezers around the head of the tick and pull it out as straight as possible. Try to remove as much of the head as you can. It is not dangerous for a small amount to remain embedded in the skin. The cat's immune system will push it out over time.

Place the tick into the container of alcohol to kill it. Let it sit in the alcohol for at least 10 minutes. Discard the tick and gloves, then wash your hands thoroughly.

Search your cat for other ticks that may be hidden, and treat your cat with a flea and tick preventive to eliminate future infestation.


Do not twist the tick when pulling. This leaves much of the head lodged in the cat's skin. Do not attempt other methods of removing, such as burning or smothering. With these methods, the tick may stay lodged in the skin even after death.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Small container
  • Disposable gloves
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About the Author

Risa Edwards is a librarian who works for a small private university. She has a degree in geology and library science, but is interested in topics from across many disciplines. Edwards enjoys using her research skills to help others as well as continuing to broaden her own knowledge.