How to remove a deer tick from a cat

Written by drue tibbits
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How to remove a deer tick from a cat
Remove deer ticks from your cat as soon as possible. (cat image by JASON WINTER from

Deer ticks are small ticks, starting out the size of a typed period and growing to the size of a sesame seed. Deer ticks are responsible for Lyme disease, along with several other diseases that can infect both cats and humans. If you find a deer tick on your cat, it should be removed as soon as possible to lessen the chance of your cat becoming infected by a tick-borne disease. There are speciality tick-removal tweezers available, but regular household tweezers will also remove deer ticks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tweezers
  • Paper towel or tissue
  • Local antiseptic
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Small jar

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  1. 1

    Take your cat to a well-lighted area where you can easily see the deer tick.

  2. 2

    Place the tweezers around the deer tick, at the point where the tick head enters the skin.

  3. 3

    Squeeze the tweezers gently to grab the deer tick. Do not squeeze too hard, or you will rupture the deer tick.

  4. 4

    Pull up slowly, pulling the deer tick away from the skin. Rock the tweezers back and forth, if needed, to dislodge the tick head. Do not pull too fast or the tick head may become separated from its body and remain lodged beneath the skin.

  5. 5

    Put the deer tick in a small jar of isopropyl alcohol. The tick will die in about five minutes. You can then dispose of the tick by flushing the contents down the toilet.

  6. 6

    Apply a local antiseptic, using a paper towel or tissue, to your cat's skin. You can also wipe the area with isopropyl alcohol.

Tips and warnings

  • If your cat has several deer ticks, you may want to have a veterinarian remove them.
  • Check your cat often for deer ticks, especially if your cat spends time outdoors.
  • Because deer ticks are so small, they may be hard to find on your cat. Make a practice of rubbing your cat all over, while running your fingers through their hair and against their skin. Check any bumps or irregularities to see if it is a deer tick.
  • If an infection occurs as the result of an embedded tick head (tick granuloma), have it treated by your veterinarian.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if you have any contact with a deer tick.

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