How to Remove Ticks from Cats

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. November 10, 2019
How to Remove Ticks from Cats

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Cats can be affected by ticks in multiple ways. Normally, we tend to associate these parasites with dogs, but they can affect cats too. In addition, we often assume that ticks attach themselves only to animals, but the truth is that humans can also be bitten by ticks. Ticks are carriers of multiple diseases, some of which, such as Lyme disease can affect humans as well. These parasites can also cause serious diseases in cats, including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and tularemia. Therefore, for the health of both our pets and ourselves, regular deworming is crucial. Deworming should be a preventive measure, even if the cat does not have access to the outside.

A cat that has ticks will show symptoms that range from slight scratching to severe scratching, bleeding, inflammation, redness and even anemia, fever or paralysis if the cat has a severe tick infestation. If you notice any symptoms of illness, it is best to consult your veterinarian, who can prescribe the best antiparasitic drug. Furthermore, if you find a tick on your cat, you must check for others and make sure you remove them all. If your cat has just one or two ticks, you can remove them at home. In this AnimalWised article we discuss how to remove ticks from cats using effective home remedies. We also look at the best natural tick repellents for cats, and how to prevent ticks on your cat.

You may also be interested in: Home Remedies to Remove Ticks from a Dog

Natural tick repellents for cats - vinegar

If you are wondering how remove ticks from a cat at home without using tweezers, natural repellents are a good option. Vinegar is one of the best natural tick repellents. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is what gives it its sour taste. As it happens, acetic acid is also a substance that parasites such as ticks and fleas hate. Therefore, when a tick comes in contact with vinegar, it usually abandons the animal that it will no longer consider an optimal host.

There are different ways in which you can use vinegar to remove ticks from a cat. You can also use different types of vinegar, although white vinegar or apple cider vinegar are considered the most effective. Here is how to use vinegar to remove ticks from your cats:

  • Mix water and vinegar in equal parts, moisten a clean cloth with the solution and gently rub or massage the cat with it. Take care that the mixture does not enter the cat's eyes or ears.
  • Mix the vinegar with your usual cat shampoo, in equal parts, and bathe the cat being careful not to pull at the tick when washing the area. If you break the tick, the head could stay inside the cat and cause a serious infection. Simply bathe your cat with the vinegar-shampoo solution and then dry it with a towel. The parasite should leave on its own. Here is a recipe for homemade anti-flea shampoo for cats using vinegar, which can also be useful against ticks.

Natural tick repellents for cats - almond oil

Natural oils are also excellent for removing ticks from cats. Almond oil is one of the most effective oils, thanks to its natural tick repelling properties. It also has the additional benefits of helping to heal the tick bite wound, moisturizing the skin and promoting its regeneration.

To enhance these effects for your cat, we recommend mixing 20 ml of almond oil with a vitamin E capsule. If you do not have vitamin E capsules, you can apply just the almond oil, which is also useful on its own. Soak a cloth in almond oil and rub this carefully over the tick on your cat. The tick should eventually fall off. This remedy is especially effective for removing ticks from cats in areas where their skin is very thin, such as the ears, eyes or between the toes.

How to Remove Ticks from Cats - Natural tick repellents for cats - almond oil

How to remove ticks from cats using olive oil

As with almond oil, olive oil is also effective for removing ticks from cats and dogs. To use it, moisten a piece of gauze with extra virgin olive oil and pass the gauze over the tick, being careful not to pull at it or break it. The tick should slowly detach from the cat's the skin, until it falls off completely. At this point you should make sure to pick it up to prevent it from biting the cat again.

Olive oil is not only useful as an antiparasitic, but it is also a natural moisturizer and helps regenerate skin. Therefore, using olive oil to remove a tick from a cat also helps the skin damaged by the tick bite recover more quickly. Olive oil has a number of other uses and benefits for cats which you can read about in this article on the benefits of olive oil for cats.

How to remove ticks from cats with tweezers

Natural tick repellents for cats can be used along with the more common method for removing ticks from cats, which is using tweezers. In fact, a natural repellent can be applied to the area first, to help facilitate removal of the tick with tweezers.

The tweezers method is considered the most effective one because you physically remove the tick from the cat yourself. With the previous techniques, such as a vinegar bath, you may not notice the results immediately. To have the benefit of both methods, we suggest first applying one of the natural repellents (vinegar, almond or olive oil) on the tick. Wait for a minute for it to penetrate and loosen the tick, and then proceed to remove the parasite from your cat using tweezers.

Steps to remove a tick from a cat using tweezers

  1. The clamp of the tweezers should be as close to the tick's mouth as possible. This is to ensure you remove the tick completely. As we have mentioned, removing only a part of the parasite could leave the head inside and cause a serious infection.
  2. Once you have positioned the clamp correctly, pull gently upwards. Don't make a sharp movement or twist the tick as you pull.
  3. After you have removed the tick, make sure to clean and disinfect the wound caused by the bite. Put the tick in rubbing alcohol to neutralize it.
  4. Keep an eye on your cat in the following days to make sure it hasn't caught a tick-transmitted disease. If you suspect that your cat is ill, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

How to remove ticks from kittens - natural remedies

Kittens are even more susceptible to disease and infections because a kitten's immune system is still developing. Therefore, if you detect ticks on your kitten it is important to act quickly and remove the tick from the kitten's body. Especially if the kitten is newborn, regular antiparasitic drugs are not recommended because of the levels of toxicity in these drugs. It is better to use products designed exclusively for kittens or natural antiparasitic remedies against ticks. It you have any doubts about your kitten's health, it is best to consult the vet.

When it comes to natural remedies the most advisable method for removing ticks from kittens is to use chamomile. Chamomile has important anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic and healing properties. In addition to aiding the extraction of the tick, it allows the skin to regenerate faster. Importantly, chamomile is not toxic to cats or kittens.

To use chamomile to remove a tick from a kitten, first prepare an infusion of organic chamomile. Allow it to cool, wet a piece of gauze in the infusion, and gently rub the affected area. If the tick does not come out by itself, you should remove it with tweezers (the chamomile solution will help loosen it and it should come out more easily). You can also use diluted vinegar or olive oil, as explained above, for removing ticks in kittens. Apply them following the indications given for adult cats, and making sure they do not get into the kitten's eyes or ear canal.

How to Remove Ticks from Cats - How to remove ticks from kittens - natural remedies

How to prevent ticks on cats

Once you remove all the ticks from your cat, we recommend you brush its coat with a fine-tooth flea comb. This will allow you to remove any eggs that may remain, or ticks in larval stages, in order to prevent their growth. Although ticks tend to lay their eggs in other places, there is always a possibility that some may be left on the cat's body.

Now that your cat is completely tick free, it is important to take preventive measures to ensure that your cat is not infested by ticks again. As always, prevention is the best cure, and all the natural tick repellents we have described can also be used to prevent your cat from getting ticks again. For example, you can regularly add vinegar to your cat's shampoo when you give them a bath. You can also occasionally massage your cat's body with almond or olive oil. Similarly, you can add a spoonful of olive oil to your cat's meal once or twice a week, as it provides great benefits when ingested as well. Of course, visiting the veterinarian to establish a deworming schedule is essential.

If you want to know about more home remedies for parasites in cats, here are some articles that may interest you:

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Ticks from Cats, we recommend you visit our Home Remedies category.

  • Cebrian, J. (2017). Dictionary of medicinal plants. RBA Books.
  • N.A. (2008). Home remedies for dogs and cats: Over 1000 solutions for your pet's problems. Libros Cúpula.

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What did you think of this article?
I’ve always heard of the petroleum jelly to remove ticks but not the other home remedies
Thank You
Where can I get one of those tick remover tool thing
Administrador AnimalWised
They are sometimes called ‘Tick Twisters’ and they are available from most larger pet stores and can be found easily online. Hope this helps!
Not dangerous if my cat lick his/her body when I use vinegar to remove the tick in the body?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Tan,

No, cats shouldn't eat vinegar, but the amount on their coat after removing a tick shouldn't cause them much harm. It is best to wipe the area after application so they can lick it again.
Liam Smith
Great explanation! Thanks for sharing such an informative blog. Really I was searching for this kind of information, I understood all the vital points that you have shared. You gave me wonderful information. Thank you very much! Keep Sharing. Right Cat Grooming Tips For You
Administrador AnimalWised
We are very happy to help, Liam!
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