Look What I Pulled Out of the Cat

We have this cat that spends about 40% of her time in our farmhouse. I recently discovered that she had several ticks, grossly engorged with blood, attached to her head and shoulders.

I alerted the cat’s owners–two retired British fellows who live down the street–but they seemed a little prissy on the removal. So, I consulted the Internet, put on some gardening gloves and got to work. The quarter is for scale (it, happily, didn’t come out of the cat), and to instruct my victims of the nationality of their killer:

What I Pulled Out of the Cat

I was quite pleased with myself–this sort of hands-on-mammals stuff really isn’t my domain of expertise.

There was a little parable in how we went about it, too. For the first tick, one of us held the cat while I tried to pull out the offending insect. There was plenty of drama, as the cat doesn’t like to be held, and I suspect she could tell everybody was tense. So, there were several aborted attempts and she only let us do it once.

The next time, I just walked up to her while she was sleeping and quietly went to work. She let me take out all three without so much as batting a, uh, claw. The lesson, I guess, is that sometimes a haiku beats a sonnet. Or is that too abstract?


  1. Robin: That’s what somebody told me, but all the Web resources I consulted said not to twist (or burn or freeze or any other curious strategies). They just grab it as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out, away from the animal, with a firm, continuous motion. That seemed to work.

  2. I’ve heard that you can also put vaseline on ticks and they will suffocate and come out because they breathe through their bottoms.

  3. Alexis: Another myth debunked by my research. This sounds like a job for MythBusters, eh?

  4. Hi there. I found your site by accident looking to find what a gidra was! So I browsed on and saw the article about the water bottles and as I am from Ireland and now living in Malta I knew the answer. Then I saw the one on ticks! Now coming from Ireland I am very used to my cats having them, but here is a warning!!!! Never just pull out a tick! You may leave the head behind, which can infect the cat or person. ( yes they do attach themselves to humans aswell) Always get the tick drunk first. Put any alcohol on some cotton wool and press it against the tick for 20 sec’s the tick will be drunk and its head will be pulled out easily! Plus the cat will not feel the tick being removed, if you don’t get the tick drunk first it can hurt as you pull!

  5. Studies show that the head does not contain anything harmful so you can pullit right out! Gently of course 🙂

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