How to Remove a Tick From a Cat's Head

Written by tammy domeier
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How to Remove a Tick From a Cat's Head
Use patience when removing a tick from a cat's head. (cat image by tnk333 from

Cats are notorious for being difficult to handle. They always seem one step ahead of us, anticipating and reacting to our thoughts before we even have a chance to carry them out. Restraining a cat's head to remove a tick can be tricky. An added challenge is using tweezers safely around a cat's head. Done haphazardly, there is potential for significant injury to either you or the cat. The key is to assess the cat's comfort and willingness to cooperate and proceed with caution and patience.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Blanket or cat bag
  • Cardboard (optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Fine-toothed tweezers
  • Alcohol
  • Antibiotic ointment

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  1. 1

    Lift the cat onto a table in quiet surroundings with good lighting. Pet the cat and speak in a soothing voice until the cat relaxes.

  2. 2

    Wrap a blanket around the cat and have an assistant place both hands around the cat's neck or front legs while pressing his or her arms against the cat's sides. If the blanket is not restrictive enough, you can make a cat restraint using a piece of cardboard by cutting a hole large enough to place around the cat's body. After placing the cat through the hole, the assistant then holds the cat underneath the cardboard, restraining the front and back legs.

  3. 3

    Apply gloves and grasp the cat's head. Pull the cat's head gently back with one hand, making sure that you can see where the tick is entering the cat's skin. Have the assistant talk in a soothing voice to the cat.

  4. 4

    Grasp the tick by the mouth parts with a fine-toothed tweezer and pull firmly outward without twisting.

  5. 5

    Place the tick in a jar of alcohol after removing it.

  6. 6

    Clean the bite wound and apply an antibiotic ointment, being careful not to get any near the cat's eyes.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also buy a cat bag that zips tightly around the cat to restrain it. If you still can't restrain it, take it to a vet's office.
  • If a cat is showing signs of extreme stress, such as rapid breathing and pale gums, you should not try to remove the tick yourself and should transport the cat to a veterinarian.
  • Do not try to remove a tick that is lodged deeply in a cat's ear as you could damage the cat's ear. Cats can also suffer from ear infections caused by a lodged tick so it is best to take the cat to a veterinarian.

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