Lice in cats are quite common parasites, but even the most considerate hosts do not always notice these insects in time because of their small size, lack of mobility and a generally secretive way of life. Very often, cat lice infect an animal when fleas already parasitize on it, and therefore fleas that are well noticeable, very mobile and constantly jump, create a kind of disguise for the lice. Presence of the same itch in a cat, dermatitis on the skin and other problems are also often written off to fleas.
It is not surprising that many owners do not even know if lice are in cats, and when they meet these parasites from a pet, they doubt whether it's lice in the first place.
Meanwhile, the presence of lice in a cat can be very dangerous for the pet. When a serious infection occurs, the animal constantly experiences unbearable itching, itches and scratches the skin in the places of the most intense irritations. If the time is not taken, lice can lead to hair loss in the cat, baldness and development of her dermatitis.
Moreover, lice carry helminth eggs, as a result of which helminthiases and general exhaustion join the infected animal to skin lesions. Therefore, a truly caring owner should always know the "enemy" in person, and also be able to remove lice from a cat in case of infection by them.
About how these parasites look and what to do, if your favorite pet picked them up, we'll go on and talk.
Cat lice: details of the parasite
Cat lice are called witches Felicola subrostratus - a parasite that specializes in feeding the upper peeling layers of the skin and hair. Only very rarely does a cat louse feed on blood on casual wounds and scratches. To bite a cat and drink its blood the way a head louse does on a man, a withered person is not capable. Nevertheless, with their strong jaws, lice in cats and cats constantly chew pieces of skin from the animal and cause it a strong itch.
Photo of a cat's wit:
So, cats have lice, which it would be more correct to call withers, and typical bloodsucking lice (head, pubic and linen) on cats do not parasitize.
Lice in cats look like very small, elongated, but fairly dense insects with a large head of triangular shape. The photo shows a withered under the microscope - it has a deep notch on the front of the head, which is ideal for capturing the hair and biting it off:
In the following photo - cat lice directly on the animal's fur:
Lice and fleas in cats easily differ from each other in 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 the cat flea:
The life style of cat lice is quite similar to that of human lice. Insects spend most of the time sticking their paws to their hair at their base, and for feeding down onto the animal's skin and biting it, gnawing off pieces of the epidermis.
Female lice lay eggs, covered with thick mucous membrane, crawling through the hair. Immediately after the exit from the oviduct this mucous secret envelops the hairline and quickly hardens - this is how the nit is formed, from which in a few days a young louse will appear, which differs from adults only in size. Nits in cats come across more often than lice, and are a good diagnostic sign of these parasites.
In the photo there are nits in the cat:
In the largest amounts of lice, cats accumulate on the head, neck and near the base of the tail.
On a note
All kinds of lice are very specific to their owners. This means that cat lice can not parasitize on humans, and human lice in cats in wool will die within a few days. Therefore, a person can not catch lice from a cat, and vice versa - a cat is not threatened with lice from a person suffering from pediculosis. Also, cattle are not dangerous for cattle in cattle.
Lice infect any cats, except animals of hairless breeds. Most often they are found in street cats, as well as pets with very long and thick hair.
Symptoms of infection of the animal with lice
The complex of symptoms that are manifested in an animal after infection with lice is called triductocosis, and in veterinary medicine it is considered a separate parasitic disease.
The following are typical symptoms of an animal's lice:
- the cat has a constant severe itching, the animal itches, finds no place for itself.
- From the animal begins to pour abundantly wool. Especially a lot of it appears on the litter and where the kosh spends a lot of time during the day.
- In the pet's fur there is a large amount of excrement of lice - small black dots, which are especially striking in light-colored wool, if you spread your hair with your fingers.
- In some parts of the body of the animal there are signs of dermatitis - skin crusts, cracks, redness.
But the main diagnostic sign by which you can accurately say whether a cat has lice, are the insects themselves. If there is a suspicion of infection, it usually takes a few minutes to find parasites in particularly pruritic areas of the pet's body.
In the photo - lice in a cat with a serious infection. A lot of excrement is cast into the eye on the animal's skin:
As a rule, before serious infection with lice of adult cats and cats, it comes rarely, and parasites die when breeding fleas or ticks. But in neglected cases, especially in animals suffering from other infectious diseases, lice multiply in large numbers and can lead to complete baldness of the cat.
In the photo below, several examples of the effects of copious lice multiplication in cats are given:
Rules and means of breeding lice in cats
To remove lice from a cat, you can use the same drugs that are used to remove fleas:
- Drops on the Hartz withers, 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 already existing parasites on the animal die, and new ones do not attack for at least several weeks. Special drops from lice for cats are not produced, but drops from fleas cope with this task perfectly.
- Insectoacaricidal sprays Blochnet, Hartz, Frontline and others - by them the animal's fur is processed all over the body and does not wash from several hours to several days.
- Shampoos from fleas Meadow, Phyto-Elite, Rolf Club, with which the cat is bathed in the same way as with simple means for hair care.
Given the resistance of nits to most insecticides, treatment of the animal against lice usually has to be repeated 10 to 14 days after the first elimination (during this time young larvae of lice are removed).
Also, to remove lice, you can use collars from fleas, if they do not cause the animal an allergic reaction. Collars are very convenient because they do not require additional special treatments of the animal with insecticides and simultaneously destroy lice, and protect against re-infection. Very effective collars Kiltix, Hartz, Barsik.
In veterinary clinics, lice usually use 0.1-0.2% solution of Stomazan or Butoks. At home, it is better not to use them.
After successfully removing lice from the cat, it is also necessary to etch the worms.
Safety at deducing parasites: what it is necessary to know?
When breeding lice in cats, one should always carefully study the instruction for the drug that is to be used and get acquainted with all contraindications and side effects. So, preparations based on insecticide permethrin are quite dangerous for cats and can cause intoxication of the animal, increased salivation.
But even with absolutely correct application of this or that remedy with individual sensitivity of the animal, it may have various side effects:
- Muscle tremors
- Nervous excitement
- Allergies to the skin.
Usually such reactions pass quickly enough, but when they appear, the use of the drug should be discontinued, and when the effect is enhanced, the pet should be shown to the vet.
In the future, you need to ensure that the cat does not contact the homeless or sick animals, and when going out on the street or had a collar of lice on her, or was treated with drops from fleas to the withers. Such precautions will reliably protect the animal from infection with lice and rid the host of unpleasant hassles to remove parasites.
Getting rid of lice and nits at home for 1 procedure: