Lice in cats are quite common parasites, but even especially attentive owners do not always notice these insects in time due to their small size, inactivity and generally secretive lifestyle. Very often, cat lice infect an animal when fleas are already parasitizing on it, and therefore fleas, clearly visible, very mobile and constantly jumping, create a kind of disguise to the lice. The presence of itching in cats, dermatitis on the skin, and other problems, is also often attributed to fleas.
It is not surprising that many owners do not even know if cats have lice, and having met these pet parasites for a long time, they doubt whether it really is.
Meanwhile, the presence of lice in a cat can be very dangerous for a pet. With a serious infection, the animal constantly experiences intolerable itching, itches and scratches the skin in places of the most intense irritations.If time does not take action, lice can lead to hair loss in cats, baldness and the development of her dermatitis.
Moreover, lice carry helminth eggs, as a result of which, in an infected animal, helminth infections and general exhaustion are associated with skin lesions. Therefore, a really caring owner definitely needs to know the "enemy" in person, and also be able to lice out in a cat if infected by it.
About how these parasites look and what to do if your favorite pet picked them up, we will talk further.
Cat Lice: The Parasite Detail
Felicola subrostratus, a parasite that specializes in nourishing the upper peeling skin and hair, is called cat louse. Only very rarely does a cat louse feed on blood on accidental wounds and scratches. Biting a cat and drinking its blood as a head louse on a person does is not capable of lashing. However, with their strong jaws, the lice in cats and cats constantly gnaw off pieces of the skin in an animal and cause severe itching.
Photo of the cat eater:
So, cats have lice, which it would be more correct to call lashes, and typical blood-sucking louses (head, pubic and linen) on cats do not parasitize.
Lice in cats look like very small, elongated, but rather dense insects with a large triangular-shaped head. The photo shows the eater under the microscope - it has a clearly visible deep notch on the front of the head, which is ideal for capturing the hair and biting it off:
The following photo shows cat lice directly on the animal's fur:
Lice and fleas in cats are easily distinguished from each other by body color - lice have a light yellow, almost white color, and fleas are dark brown, almost black. In addition, lice are inactive and do not know how to jump.
Photo of cat flea:
The way of life of cat lice is quite similar to the way of life of human lice. Insects spend most of their time attaching their legs to the hair at their base, and for feeding they descend onto the animal's skin and bite it, biting off pieces of the epidermis.
Females lice lay eggs covered with thick mucous membrane, crawling over the hair. Immediately after exiting the oviduct, this mucous secret envelops the hair and quickly hardens - this is how a nit is formed, from which, in a few days, the young louse, which differs from adults only in size, will emerge.Nits in cats come across the eyes more often than lice, and are a good diagnostic sign of these parasites.
On the photo - nits cat:
In greatest quantities, cat lice accumulate on the head, neck, and near the base of the tail.
On a note
Everything types of lice very specific to their owners. This means that cat lice cannot parasitize a person, and human cats' lice in wool will die within a few days. Therefore, a person cannot get lice from a cat, and vice versa - the cat is not threatened with lice infestation from a patient with head lice. Also not dangerous for cats lice in cattle.
Lice infect any cats other than hairless animals. In this case, they are most often found in street cats, as well as pets with very long and thick hair.
Symptoms of an animal louse infection
The complex of symptoms that occur in an animal after infection with lice is called trikhodektoz, and in veterinary medicine it is considered a separate parasitic disease.
The following are typical symptoms of lice in an animal:
- the cat has a constant severe itching, the animal itches, does not find a place for itself.
- Wool begins to pour heavily from the animal.Especially a lot of it appears on the litter and where the Kosha spends a lot of time during the day.
- A large amount of lice excrement appears in the pet's hair - small black dots, which are especially noticeable on the light hair, if you separate your hair with your fingers.
- Signs of dermatitis appear on certain parts of the animal's body — crusts on the skin, cracks, redness.
But the main diagnostic sign, by which one can say for sure if a cat has lice, are insects themselves. If there is a suspicion of infection, it is usually sufficient to take a few minutes to find the parasites in especially itchy areas of the pet's body.
In the photo - cat lice with serious infection. A large amount of excrement on the skin of an animal catches the eye:
As a rule, it rarely comes to serious infection with head lice in adult cats and cats, and parasites die when fleas or ticks are killed. But in advanced cases, especially in animals suffering from other infectious diseases, lice multiply in large numbers and can lead to complete baldness of the cat.
The photo below shows a few examples of the effects of copious breeding lice in cats:
Rules and means of removing lice in cats
To remove lice in a cat, you can use the same drugs that are used to remove fleas:
- drops on withers Hartz, Frontline, Bayer, Bars - they are rubbed into the skin of the animal at the base of the skull or in several places along the spine, after which the existing parasites on the animal die, and new ones do not attack for at least a few weeks. Special cat head lice drops are not available, but flea drops do a great job.
- Insecticoacaricidal sprays Blochnet, Hartz, Frontline and others - they treat animal hair all over the body and do not wash from several hours to several days.
- Shampoos for fleas Lugovoy, Phytoelite, Rolf Club, with which the cat bathes the same way as with simple means for grooming.
Given the resistance of nits to most insecticides, the treatment of the animal for lice usually has to be repeated 10-14 days after the first hatching (during this time, young lice larvae hatch).
You can also use flea collars to remove lice if they do not cause an allergic reaction in the animal. Collars are very convenient because they do not require additional special treatments of the animal with insecticidal preparations and at the same time destroy the lice, and protect against reinfection. Very effective collars Kiltix, Hartz, Barsik.
In veterinary clinics for lice are usually used 0.1-0.2% solutions of Stomazan or Butox. At home, it is better not to use them.
After the successful removal of the cat's lice, worms should also be etched.
Safety in breeding parasites: what you need to know?
When removing lice in cats, you should always carefully study the instructions for the drug that you plan to use, and get acquainted with all the contraindications and side effects. Thus, permethrin insecticide preparations are dangerous enough for cats and can cause animal intoxication, increased salivation.
But even with the absolutely correct application of one or another remedy, with the individual sensitivity of the animal, it may have various side effects:
- Muscle tremor
- Nervous excitement
- Allergy to the skin.
Usually such reactions pass quickly enough, but when they appear, the use of the agent should be stopped, and when the effect is enhanced, the pet should be shown to the veterinarian.
In the future, you need to make sure that the cat is not in contact with homeless or sick animals, and when you go out or had a louse collar, or was treated with fleas on withers.Such precautions will reliably protect the animal from lice infestation and will relieve the owner from the unpleasant troubles of removing parasites.
Useful video: choose a parasite treatment for your pet
How and what to treat a cat from parasites at home