Is your cat constantly scratching? Could it be a possible case of fleas ? Maybe you are right. But there may be something else, although it is rare, your cat may have lice.
Lice are common in stray cats that live in unsanitary conditions with other cats. Cats that also share the same toys, bedding, cat trees are prone to lice.
Head lice are a mild health problem that is easily identifiable. With the use of topical insecticidal shampoos, you can help your cat get rid of lice.
But lice are sometimes difficult to find, especially in long-haired cats . Itchy skin problems are usually a sign of fleas, allergies, mites, etc. And therefore most of us don’t even think about head lice.
Assuming the worst, lice can also transmit tapeworms and spread on your grooming tools, beds and brushes, so you need to take action quickly.
Here are some simple tips to get rid of lice on your cat .
Symptoms of lice in cats
It is not difficult to detect lice on a cat’s fur . They are usually seen with the naked eye. They are dark in color and you may see them moving through your cat’s fur
The whitish eggs that adhere to the hair very easily are usually seen. The eggs adhere to the base of their hairs to scale to the skin. To verify that they are there, it is best to use a lice brush .
Otherwise, here are some other symptoms that are also likely:
- It scratches often, sometimes with the presence of wounds that can become infected.
- Hair loss, tangles and mats.
- White and brown spots on the cat’s skin and coat.
- In severe cases, lice can cause insomnia, anxiety, and tapeworms in cats.
Use a shampoo and a comb to counteract lice
If your feline is infested with lice, you should start with a bath with an antiparasitic shampoo. And then use a lice comb with fine teeth and remove the lice and eggs from their fur. You will need patience and dedication to remove lice from your cat’s hair.
This method is time consuming and you should assume that your cat will lose patience at any moment and start to move.
One of the most common treatments for cat lice is bathing your cat with a shampoo that contains pyrethrin , a safe insecticide for cats. This method is useful in severe infestations to get rid of all adult hair lice.
After the bath, when the cat’s hair dries, you should apply a pyrethrin-based spray or powder to the fur to kill any remaining lice. You will need to repeat the bath and treatment within 10 to 14 days, as the life cycle of a lice is 21 days and pyrethrin does not kill lice eggs. You may need to treat your cat two or four times to get rid of all the lice.
Lemon for lice
Another very simple way to fight our cat’s lice. Add the juice of some lemons to the water where you will bathe the cat and wash it as usual. Rinse that mixture from your cat’s hair with clean water and pat it dry.
Topical treatments that have Fipronil
You can buy fipronil- based products at pharmacies without a prescription. Products that have fipronil include Effipro and Frontline .
Apply these medications between your cat’s shoulder blades. Although the treatment with these products is monthly, to treat a lice infestation, it is best to apply every two weeks for four to six weeks. This ensures that the products are effective in killing successive generations of lice until they are gone.
These products are easy to apply, making them a good choice for cats that cannot tolerate bathing, but may not be safe for young kittens , so you should check with your vet on how to use them.
Use products that have selamectin
As the active ingredient in selamectin , it works in the same way as fipronil-based products to kill lice. However, for the use of this product, you should ask your vet if you can use this medicine for your cat.
Note that fipronil and selamectin-based products are not yet licensed to treat lice infections in cats. These products are only considered effective in killing lice.
Apply with a mixture of 200 milliliters of water and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar , your cat’s hair. This formula if you apply it on their hair will serve as a repellent for external parasites such as fleas and ticks and lice
It consists of adding a few drops of lavender oil to the shampoo that you use for your cat’s bath. You can also spray it diluted in oil on the fur directly.
If you bathe him with shampoo, rinse your cat’s hair well, to remove all the soap that could dry out his skin.
Cleaning the cat’s environment
If one of your cats has lice, you should treat all the cats in your household to prevent them from infecting each other.
You will also need to disinfect your cat’s environment. Wash all your bedding in hot water and swap items that you cannot wash or sanitize, including grooming supplies, for new ones. Use a nebulizer to treat your home if your cat has a severe lice infestation.
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