How to remove a tick from your cat
Ticks are most commonly found on moorland and in long grass, or woodland and they can carry Lyme disease – although more prevalent in the USA – which can affect humans and animals.
If left untreated, ticks can cause infection, sore patches and abscesses. If your cat comes home with a tick (the first sign is a small dot attached to your cat’s skin but as it feeds it gets larger and can be mistaken for a wart or lump) it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.
How to identify a tick
- Ticks are small, spider-like creatures. Once attached, they look like small, grey lumps on your cat’s skin, often around your cat’s head or neck.
- If you live in a high-risk area (wood, grass or heathland), check your cat for ticks regularly.
- Speak to your vet about preventative measures to protect your cat from ticks.
How to get rid of a tick on your cat
- You can take your cat to the vet to have the tick removed, or if your vet has shown you how, you can use a tick hook to remove it yourself.
- Do not burn, apply alcohol or petroleum jelly to the attached tick.
- Don’t leave the tick attached to your cat for longer than necessary or crush the tick, either while attached or after removal, as it can increase the risk of disease.
After you’ve removed the tick
- Ensure none of the mouthparts are still on your cat. If they are, consult your vet because they can lead to infection or an abscess.
- Dispose of the tick by folding it in a strip of sticky tape and putting it in an outside bin and then thoroughly wash your hands.
For more information on making sure your cat is healthy, read our quick guide to cat health.
Consult your vet for further advice, or if you notice any change in your cat’s health or behaviour.