Many people, at some time or another in life, especially during childhood, can get head lice. These parasites live by sucking blood and move on the skin, between the hair. Many are concerned that their pets may become infested with this plague, which spreads rapidly in the fur.
In aHOWTO we want to answer the question “Can cats get lice?“, since there is currently a great variety of these insects that act in a certain way, depending on the host in which they try to survive, and there are those who worry about whether they can also infect people. If you want to know more about the lice in cats, do not stop reading this article.
Can Cats Get Lice?
The answer is yes. And to the question: is it possible that the contagion occurs from humans to cats or vice versa? The answer is no.
More than 3,000 varieties of lice are known, each with a specific name and with certain ways of acting. Lice are small insects that live between the skin and the hair. These parasites in cats, as well as other species, are characterized by having claws that cling to the fur and the most common species in these cats is lice Felicola subrostratus. Being a plague, the females release their eggs, commonly known as nits, in the hair, so the plague can quickly spread through the hair and skin causing itching.
Although humans can also get infected with lice, there are several types of parasites specific to each animal species. Thus, we understand that contagion between people and cats is impossible although there is a possibility that your cat has been infected with lice, either by being in contact with another infested feline or with objects in the environment that are also infested.
On the other hand, you should know that, although it does not represent a serious threat to health, it is a very contagious plague, therefore if you have more than one feline, isolate and treat the affected one to prevent it from infecting others. In the case of cats, the appearance of lice usually indicates poor health of the feline, so it is very difficult for a healthy cat to become infested with lice, unless it is in the middle of a highly infested area.
Signs and symptoms of head lice in cats
How I can know if my cat has lice? This is one of the most frequently asked questions when knowing that a feline can get lice, although the infection is not transmitted from people to animals. The first signs that indicate the presence of lice or nits in the cat’s hair are clear: the feline will dedicate itself to scratching, biting, scratching or rubbing the areas of its body that are infested. In the event that the number of lice is important, you will also notice that the cat’s hair is matted. Thus, the main symptoms of lice in cats are the following:
- disheveled hair
- Dry hair
- Hair loss
- small wounds
Remember that lice are bloodsuckers, so their goal is to move between the hair and the skin to get their food and proliferate. That is why they are easy to spot and see. If you look closely at the cat’s fur, you can see the lice on the move. Nits, or eggs, are also easy to spot.
Treatment of lice in cats
The lice in cats They are an easy pest to control and eliminate. The most important thing is to act quickly and check on your pet frequently to make sure it hasn’t been infested. If you want your feline to stay away from these unwanted insects, you must stay alert and check their coat often in order to find a solution as quickly as possible.
Treating head lice in cats is relatively simple. You should bathe your feline with a specific anti-lice shampoo for cats. Once its fur has dried, you can apply sprays or pyrethrin powder, also suitable for these cats to avoid poisoning, to completely eliminate lice and their nits. This treatment must be repeated after 10 or 14 days, since it is difficult for all the nits to die from the first moment.
Do not doubt consult your vet about your cat’s lice infestation. He or she will help you remove them properly without putting your feline’s health at risk.
Eliminate lice in small cats
One of the domestic felines that can catch these parasites more easily are kittens since the little ones still have a developing immune system and lice, as well as fleas and other parasitic insects, can more easily infest them.
The treatment to deworm small cats when they have a lice infestation changes a bit since they are cats much more sensitive to antiparasitic products. It’s recommended that the veterinarian indicates the best treatment and dose in each case. However, a good cleaning by hand and using products suitable for kittens never for adults, to avoid poisoning.
Discover in this other OneHOWTO article How to know if my cat has internal parasites, other parasites that usually affect these animals and that, in many cases, can also affect us.
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