Lice in Cats

Feline Lice - by Dr. Jill Kirk

Lice are a species-specific mite found in cats. Cats must have direct contact with another cat in order to contract lice. There is only one species of lice that cats get, but there is a mite that is also commonly confused with lice (which cats get from wild birds).
 
Cats with lice can range from asymptomatic or they may have itching, scaling and hair loss, and can even be restless and irritable. Lice glue their eggs (nits) to the hair shaft and they are very visible. 
 
Treatment must cover the entire coat. The cat should be bathed and long haired cats often must be shaved. Nits can be loosed with a 1:4 dilution of water and white vinegar.
 
The life cycle is 3 weeks, so treatment is generally carried out for 4 weeks. Whole body treatments include: lime sulfur rinses, fipronil (Frontline) spray and pyrethrin sprays. Concurrent systemic treatment can include ivermectin or milbemycin. Selamectin (Revolution) can be used every two weeks for three treatments. 
 
Information from: “The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management”, Susan E. Little. 

Newsletter Signup

More Resources