How to Kill Ticks on Cats

Written by christy bagasao
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How to Kill Ticks on Cats
Outdoor cats are highly prone to ticks, but even indoor cats can get them. (cat image by Vera Kailova from

Ticks are the harbingers of diseases that cause arthritis-like symptoms and neurological disorders. As a cat owner, your heart skips a beat when you find such a creature on your beloved pet. While it is tempting to try to kill the ticks as rapidly as possible, it is necessary to take the precautions involved in proper tick removal to prevent injury or infection of the cat. A cat who is inspected regularly and has its ticks removed within 24 hours of first appearing is unlikely to contract a disease from the bite of a tick.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Clear sealable jar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tweezers
  • Antibacterial ointment

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  1. 1

    Pour rubbing alcohol into a small, clear, sealable jar 1/4 full. Date the jar and set it aside. You will be placing the tick in the container so it is available for testing by the veterinarian if the cat develops any unusual symptoms that may indicate a tick-borne disease.

  2. 2

    Put on gloves to avoid contact with the tick or its blood.

  3. 3

    Soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and wipe the area of the tick bite.

  4. 4

    Grab the tick as close to its head as possible with a pair of tweezers. Tug it straight out, without twisting, pulling firmly but slowly. Try to remove the entire tick, paying special attention not to pinch the cat's skin or to pull the body of the tick off its head.

  5. 5

    Deposit the tick into the container of rubbing alcoho, which will kill it.

  6. 6

    Swab the affected area with hydrogen peroxide and apply an antibacterial cream. If a piece of the head remains, a small bump will appear. While it should dissolve within a few days, watch it carefully for infection. If redness or swelling develops, contact a veterinarian for treatment.

Tips and warnings

  • Inspect your cat daily and remove any ticks as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of disease or infection.
  • Dips are available for cats infected with numerous ticks. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation, since this is a potent treatment and the product must be specifically designed for cats to be deemed relatively safe.
  • According to Purdue University, you should never use chemicals or fire to try to kill a tick that is still attached to the cat.

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