You love your furry friend, and you never want them to encounter dangerous critters like ticks. While these pests are small, they can pose a real threat to animals because of the diseases they carry.
To get rid of ticks on cats naturally, use a variety of topical oils and vinegar. Ticks hate eucalyptus, neem, and essential oils like peppermint and cinnamon. You can also remove ticks with tweezers or with tick removal accessories.
Ticks are a menace to housepets and humans, but you don’t need strong chemicals to get rid of them. Read on and use the following tactics to remove ticks naturally.
What Are Ticks?
Ticks are a type of arachnid, which are invertebrate creatures that have eight legs. While most people think of spiders as the “scariest” arachnid, ticks can be deadlier than spiders. These small pests are blood-sucking bugs that attach themselves to warm-blooded creatures in search of a long-drawn-out meal.
Ticks live in tall grasses, greenery, and natural debris like piles of leaves. They wait for an animal to walk through their territory and then jump or crawl onto them if they have the chance. Once these blood-suckers get on their prey, they look for a warm, damp section, like an armpit or the groin. Then, they sink their pincers in and begin to feed.
The blood-drawing can continue for up to 10 days if the insect isn’t removed. During this time, the tick can pass on any diseases that it may have picked up from a previous victim. This transmission is what makes tick bites so dangerous.
Why Are Ticks Dangerous?
These arachnids can carry a variety of harmful and deadly diseases that affect humans and animals alike. If a tick bites you or your cat, immediate removal and ensuing observation are key to your health and safety. Take a look at the following diseases that a tick could infect you with.
|Disease||Disease Description||Health Risk|
|Lyme Disease||Whole-body infection||Can cause heart disease, kidney failure, lameness, and fatigue|
|Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever||Whole-body infection||Can cause severe illness and death|
|Anaplasmosis||Blood infection||Lowers blood cell count leading to lethargy, fevers, and possible anemia|
|Ehrlichiosis||Blood infection||Can cause bleeding disorders, anemia, severe weight, and energy loss, suppressed immunity|
Remove Ticks With Tweezers
You can remove these dangerous critters from your cat and yourself by using a pair of tweezers. If you’re going to attempt this, it’s important to understand the proper method. Ticks have a very strong bite, and if you don’t have the tweezers in the right position, you can break the tick’s mouthparts off, and they can remain in the skin.
To remove a tick with tweezers, do the following:
- Select a pair of strong, thin-nosed tweezers.
- Position the tweezers on the top and bottom of the tick.
- Place the tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
- Squeeze the tweezers firmly.
- Pull the tick directly out from the skin – do not twist or turn the tick.
- Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
- Flush the tick down the toilet.
Eucalyptus oil can kill ticks and get them to drop off of your cat. You can safely apply eucalyptus oil to your cat without harming them, making this a perfect natural solution for ticks.
To use eucalyptus oil on ticks:
- Mix 20-30 drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle with 4oz (118.29 ml) of water.
- Don’t add too much water, or the solution won’t be potent enough to kill the ticks.
- Locate the ticks on your cat and spray the solution directly onto them. You may need to repeat this once or twice to completely kill the ticks.
Neem oil is another natural remedy often used for ticks. This product is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree and is touted as a natural pesticide. While it is better used as a pest deterrent, you can also apply neem oil after you’ve found a tick to try and drive them away.
Neem oil can be quite potent, however, and you should dilute it in one to two parts water before applying three drops directly to the tick. The tick should release its hold quickly, but you should follow up with a tweezer or tick-removal accessory if it doesn’t.
Tick Removal Accessories
While tweezers are highly effective in getting rid of ticks, some people can find it tricky to get the hang of the precise pinch-and-pull motion required to remove the arachnids. To make it easier, you can buy specialized tools that create a pinch point for you.
The Tick Key is a favorite of hikers, hunters, and pet owners alike. This simple metal device has a teardrop-shaped cut into the handle, which allows you to encircle the tick and pull it out, pincers, and all.
Certain scents drive ticks away, and you can use these smells to remove ticks from your cat naturally. Essential oils are concentrated liquids that are imbibed with plant extracts. They may drop off from displeasure by putting a few drops of a tick-hated essential oil directly onto the bug.
Some of the scents that ticks hate the most include:
Cedar oil is an essential oil that you can use as an insect deterrent and a tick killer. It is derived from conifer trees and is a potent product that has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can dilute cedar oil in a spray bottle with water and spray it around your garden to keep pests at bay.
This liquid is also toxic to insects like ticks, fleas, and mosquitos. If your cat has a tick embedded in its skin, you can apply a few drops directly to the tick to get it to release or to kill it altogether. Cedar oil is also safe for your cats, children, and other pets in the home.
Disposing of Ticks
Once you remove the ticks from your cat’s fur, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Even dead ticks can spread diseases if another animal ingests them or the tick’s blood comes in contact with another pet. Ticks are also known for being hard to kill, so you may think that the critter is dead, only to have it come back to life in a few hours.
There are a few approved ways to dispose of ticks. You can flush them down the toilet immediately, where they are sure to die and be swept into the sewage system.
You can also put the tick in a small amount of rubbing alcohol where it will suffocate and be sanitized before you put it in the garbage. Alternatively, wrapping the tick in tape or a sealed bag to ensure that it can’t access air is an effective way of killing the tick before you throw it out.
Your local center for disease control may also be collecting tick samples to note the current risk of infection in your area. If you successfully remove ticks from your cat, you can save them in an airtight jar and contact your local department to see if they are taking any more samples at the time.
Cats are at risk of collecting ticks and the many diseases they carry. You don’t have to resort to harsh chemicals or medical treatments to get rid of the bugs, though.
You can use natural products like essential oils, neem oil, or cedar oil to deter and kill the bugs. You can also use accessories such as specially-made tick removal tools that make removing the pests easy. You can also get rid of ticks the most common way by pinching them off with tweezers.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Arachnid
- My Pet & I: What Diseases do Ticks Carry
- CDC: Tick Removal and Testing
- PetMD: Neem Oil for Pets
- Healthline: What are Essential Oils
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.