How Do Cats Get Lice
Lice is mostly spread through direct contact, meaning the cats have to actually touch each other. It is also possible to spread lice through indirect contact. If lice eggs end up on a brush or other grooming supplies it is possible to spread lice to another cat if the item is not cleaned properly. This is less likely than direct contact because lice dries up and dies when not with the host. The longest length of time these insects can live without their host is seven days.
Cats typically get lice when living in poor, dirty conditions indoors or outdoors. They must live around other cats in order to contract the parasite. When cats live in poor conditions, they often suffer from a poor diet and lack of medical care, which leads to the development of a number of other medical concerns as well.
What Are Treatments And Home Remedies For Lice And Fleas
Body and head lice treatment
Body lice are usually managed by washing the body well along with any personal belongings that could be contaminated. There are a number of over-the-counter products available that kill head lice and pubic lice. Prescription medications are available if over-the-counter products are not effective.
Home remedies for fleas
Home remedies that may manage fleabites include over-the-counter cortisone creams, tea tree oil, calamine lotion, and vinegar. Antihistamine medications may be necessary for allergic reactions to fleabites.
What You Need To Know About Cat Lice
4 min read
If you are a parent you probably have heard about lice. Maybe your kid has already got some at school.
Although a lice infestation doesn’t cause serious health problems to cats, it may create an uncomfortable situation. And sometimes, schools require that infested children stay at home until they get rid of the parasites, to prevent the transmission of lice to other pupils.
The treatment usually takes a couple of days.
In cats, it is pretty much the same except that cats don’t go to school and that the treatment is both quicker and fully effective.
Nevertheless, you need to take the problem seriously. If you do nothing, the situation will get worse and eventually affect your cat’s health.
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Natural Cat Lice Treatment
There are a lot of natural cat lice treatments. Some of theingredients needed are found in the kitchen cupboard. In order to makea natural cat lice treatment, a pet owner has to make sure that thetreatment is safe for their pet. It’s also important to make sure thatthe pet isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients.
Our Favorite Is Revolution Plus Topical Solution For Cats
Sarah Scott is a fact checker with more than 16 years of experience in researching, writing, and editing digital and print media. She has verified and edited articles on a variety of subjects for The Spruce Pets, including pet behavior, health, and care as well as the latest trends in products for animals in the home.
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The best overall flea treatment is Revolution Plus Topical Solution for Cats, which kills fleas and provides preventative protection. To clean up an infestation, such as fleas spread to your cat’s bed, check out Virbac Knockout Area Treatment Spray.
Fleas can transmit serious diseases to your cats, making preventative treatments a useful tool for cat owners with animals at risk for picking up fleas. Flea treatments for cats, including preventatives, are available in a variety of forms, including as a topical solution and as an oral treatment.
But not all flea treatments work well with cats, especially because they are very sensitive to certain chemicals . Using vetted, cat-specific treatments is key to maintaining you cat’s health while getting rid of their flea problem. We evaluated products for reliability, safety, and ease of use.
Here are the best flea treatments for cats.
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Treatment For Cat Lice
There are a wide variety of shampoos, as well as insecticidal sprays and powders that are effective in killing lice. In addition, products such as fipronil and selamectin can also be used. It may be necessary to treat your cat more than once to kill the developing nits as they hatch. Follow your veterinarians directions closely, as these products can be harsh on some cats.
In cases where your cats fur is badly matted, it may be necessary to shave the fur to be sure of getting to the deeper lice and their nits.
To prevent reinfection, dispose of or wash all of your cats bedding, as well as thoroughly cleaning all of the places your cat spends time. Some items that cannot be laundered or washed down may be sealed tightly in plastic bags for a few weeks. Disinfect all grooming utensils and anything else your cat comes into contact with regularly, such as litter boxes and crates, and of course, all of the furniture, rugs, carpeting and hard flooring.
Causes & Risk Factors
So how do you get lice? Head lice can spread extremely easily, especially among school children consistently in close contact. The number-one way that head lice spreads is through direct head-to-head contact with an infected individual. With kids, there are a lot of opportunities for this head-to-head contact on a regular basis.
It is uncommon, but the sharing of items that come in close contact with the head or body are also another way for head lice to make the rounds. This method of transmission can occur since lice crawl and lice eggs can be in hair that sheds and then the eggs hatch. Sharing combs and brushes is another way for head lice to spread. Other items that can carry and spread head lice include: barrettes, hair ribbons, hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, towels, blankets and stuffed animals. You can also pick up head lice by lying down on a carpet, couch, bed, pillow or blanket that a person with head lice recently spent time on. So there are many ways to pick up head lice. Thankfully, pets like dogs and cats cannot spread human lice.
Now, its finally time to talk about how to get rid of lice. There are several conventional and natural options. And, actually, some of the natural options have even been shown to be more effective than the conventional ones.
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Prognosis For Cats With Fleas
A heavy flea infestation can be a challenge to manage because complete eradication requires a multifaceted approach that includes treatment of all household pets and treatment of the home environment. Once the problem is in check, though, cats will generally recover well as their itchiness subsides, wounds heal, and hair regrows.
If a cat has suffered a longstanding or particularly severe case of fleas, then it may be anemic or carry a flea-borne disease that also requires treatment to achieve full recovery.
Adams Plus Flea And Tick Shampoo
The formula of Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor is a concentrated lathering shampoo that is enriched with aloe, coconut extract, oatmeal, and lanolin. It gently cleanses and removes scales, dirt, and loose dandruff. The shampoo is gentle enough for cats that are allergic to shampoos, but still effective against fleas and ticks. The shampoo also leaves the cats coat feeling soft and supple.
This product kills adult fleas and prevents future infestations for up to 28 days. It also contains an insect growth regulator, which kills flea eggs and larvae. This stops re-infestation in its tracks and leaves the cats coat bright and shiny. The shampoo contains no harsh ingredients and is safe for animals over 12 weeks of age. If youre worried about using a shampoo with Precor, you can use a human shampoo instead.
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo contains Precor, an insect growth regulator that kills fleas and ticks on contact. The shampoo also helps cleanse the pets coat and controls flea re-infestation for up to 28 days. Its gentle formula is designed for sensitive skin. Its safe for both cats and dogs. Its effective in killing both adult fleas and their eggs.
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How Can Lice Be Transmitted
Felicola subrostratus is the only louse that can be found in cats.
Cat lice are very specific to their host. It means that cat lice are not the same as human lice or dog lice. They can only be transmitted from one cat to another cat.
The practical consequence is that a cat can only be contaminated by another cat.
Cats cant be infested by human or dog lice. And vice versa cats cant transmit lice to humans and dogs.
But it is very contagious between cats. In a household of several cats, it is very likely that when one cat is infested, the others are infested as well.
The complete life cycle is about 4 weeks.
Lice cant live for more than 1 to 2 days away from their host eggs and mobile forms can’t stand the cold. Thus lice in the environment are not a source of contamination for your cat.
Repeated infestations by lice often indicate poor hygiene conditions, or that the cat meets regularly other cats that are themselves infested
How To Treat Cat Lice
Hurtig says there are no effective natural home remedies for treating cat lice infestations that would also be safe for felines. In fact, certain insecticides containing permethrins are highly toxic to cats.”Veterinarians can recommend the use of safe and effective products for control of lice,” he says. “Several of these treatments, such as Senergy , are applied as a few drops on the cat once a month and help control several other parasites as well.”
Animal Medical Hospital also notes that treatment with pet-safe insecticidal shampoos and other flea and tick control products might be recommended. But treatment takes a while, as there’s nothing that kills cat lice eggsyou’re waiting out that life cycle until lice reach at least the nymph stage to rid your kitty of them. So it might take two months or more before he feels betterwithout being re-infested that entire time. Also, make sure to check and clean bedding and other frequent places your cat hangs out. Excessive heat, such as putting your kitty’s bed and blanket in the dryer, will help kill any remaining pests.
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Lice Signs & Symptoms
If youre wondering how to tell if you or a loved one currently has lice, these are some of the lice symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Intense itching
- A tickling feeling when hair moves.
- Seeing lice on your scalp, body, body hair or clothing.
- Finding lice eggs, which are called nits, on hair shafts.
- Small red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders.
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping .
- Sores on the lice-infested area caused by scratching
So what do lice look like again? Full-grown adult lice are only around the size of a sesame seed or a little bigger. So, they can definitely be hard to spot. What about their eggs? Their egg, or nits, look similar to little . They can appear yellow or white. Live nits also can appear to be the same color as the hair of the lice-infested person.
Its important to note that lice eggs, or nits, are commonly confused with dandruff. So how do you tell the difference? While you can brush dandruff out of the hair, lice does not budge so easily and will remain in the hair/on the scalp. You might also mistake nits for scabs or droplets of hair spray.
Medicines To Kill Lice
There are some medicines available either by prescription or over-the-counter purchase that purport to get rid of lice, however, they have diminished in efficacy.
Pyrethrin is a pesticide treatment used by families to get rid of lice. This is the active ingredient in many OTC lice treatments like RID. By following the instructions included, you can potentially get rid of lice, however, it is losing its effectiveness, as the bugs have become resistant and it does not kill lice eggs. It can also come with undesirable side effects. We receive many calls from parents who have followed the instructions exactly but have still been unable to find relief from their lice infestation, leading them to seek out alternative head lice solutions like natural treatments or hiring a professional service.
Lindane is a prescription head lice treatment that can be prescribed when there are no other safer options. If this is prescribed to you or a family member to treat head lice, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the prescribing physician. We do not recommend these pesticide treatments because there are safer alternatives available. All pesticide treatments come with potential risks and side effects, but there are some pretty hefty side effects and warnings that come along with this particular treatment. Some of these side effects include seizures and death. Be sure to do research and ask your provider any questions you may have.
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How Can Cats Get Lice
Good news, cats can’t get lice from humans. Better news? We can’t get lice from cats, either.
Frank Hurtig, DVM, is the director of veterinary technical services at Virbac US. He says lice are species-specific. “Lice are very particular about the host they’ll live on, so the lice that live on cats don’t live on other animals and vice versa.” Unfortunately, these parasites are highly contagious within the same species.
Hurtig explains the life cycle of cat lice:
- Lice attach their eggs to the base of hairs on the cat.
- When new lice hatch, they live the rest of their life on that cat unless they happen to brush off to another cat.
- Lice eggs can fall off the hairs when a cat is being brushed or combed and be transmitted to another cat that is subsequently brushed or combed.
- Adult lice mature and reproduce in about three weeks after hatching from an egg, or nit. They become nymphs and then adults within this timeframe.
Animal Medical Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. states that lice don’t leave their furry abodes willingly, either. “All lice have powerful claws on all six legs, with which they cling to the hair shafts. They’re able to hang on tightly enough that even vigorous scratching and biting won’t dislodge them.”
Home Treatment For Cuts Scrapes Abrasions
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Best Oral: Comfortis Chewable Tablet
No topical application to have to let dry
Good for cats that cannot tolerate topical products
Lasts for one month
May be difficult to get your cat to eat the tablet
Does not protect against any other parasites
Flea prevention for up to one month in cats and kittens 14 weeks and older can be found in the chewable tablet option called Comfortis. This tablet works very quickly to kill fleas in as few as 30 minutes and can be crushed and mixed in your cats wet food if necessary. Its a great option for cats that dont tolerate spot-on or other topical treatments. It requires veterinary approval but for fast-acting and long-lasting flea protection, Comfortis fits the bill.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Lice
The most common symptom of cat lice is extreme itching or pruritus. The lice bite and chew the cats skin, which is irritating and causes the cat to itch, rub, bite, and scratch itself.
The itching can, in turn, cause hair loss, a scruffy or unkempt haircoat, thin hair, matted hair, broken hairs, and sometimes even cause skin irritation such as scratches, scabs, and general dermatitis as well as a secondary skin infection. Sometimes the infested cat acts anxious or agitated because they are uncomfortable and itchy.
In severe lice infestations, an infected cat or kitten can become anemic. When anemia occurs, it is most often found in a small kitten with a large infestation of lice. The lice bite and chew and can cause blood loss which is more pronounced in a tiny young kitten.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Lice On My Cat
If your cat has mats or clumps of hair, start by clipping their fur. You can also use a flea comb to remove the eggs as well as any lice that have already hatched.
Your best option is to talk to your veterinarian about a cat-specific treatment they may also prescribe an antibiotic or deworming medication, as lice can transmit tapeworms. Even after removing the adult lice, eggs may continue to hatch, so its important to repeat the treatment as necessary and keep a close eye on your cat for at least two weeks after you see the last insect. Re-treatment will vary based on the product you use , so make sure to read the directions before use.
Also be sure to wash anything your cat uses regularly with hot water and soap or with the spray treatment you used on your cat. And since other cats in your household are also at risk of a lice infestation, make sure to treat them as well.
Though its relatively uncommon for cats to get lice, its important to be aware and prepared so you can resolve the issue quickly if it does occur.