Can cats get lice and what to do if they do.

cat itching

Yes, Cats can get lice. Some of us at some point have gotten lice or know someone who has. It is uncomfortable for us and I would even think it would be more uncomfortable for our furry friends due to the number of different places these lice can hide. Cats can have lice and we will go over how they get them and how to get rid of them.

What are Lice in cats?

Cat lice, scientific name Felicola subrostratus, does not affect humans and are specific to cats.

How to spot lice in cats

The most common type of annoying insect that bothers our pets are fleas. However, lice are not completely uncommon. The easiest way to know if your cat has lice is to pay attention to them to see if they scratch often, lick often, or try to bite certain parts of their body. Below is a list of other things to look out for.

  • Hair loss
  • Dry, Rough, or matted coat
  • Lethargy
  • Wounds that appear to have been fed up on by lice

Lice on cats are slow-moving which is the total opposite of lice who try to get away as fast as possible when they realize they have been found. There are also empty eggshells that will be left in the cat's fur called nits. Nits will stick to the fur more easily than dandruff so just a light brush of the fur will not get rid of them.

What causes lice in cats?

Pets are becoming safer since preventative measures have now been put in place for flea and tick infections. Cats get lice in a few different ways, but the main way that they do is through other cats. Cats can get lice whenever they have play dates with other pets or when they visit the outdoors.

Can head lice get on cats

Lice are species-specific parasites and will only feed on the blood of the species they chose. This means that lice that are in humans will not try to feed on cats or other animals. Lice from pets will also stay clear of humans.

How do you get rid of lice on a cat?

Treating human lice is more difficult than treating cat lice. Cat lice are however easier to treat than mites or fleas. The first step to take in treating cat lice is to contact your veterinarian. A veterinarian will prescribe a medicated shampoo for your pet.

Some people think you can suffocate lice on cats by using substances such as olive oil or grease. However, the best thing to do is to follow the veterinarian's instructions. Follow these simple steps while using the medicated shampoo.

  1. Get the pet's fur damp then apply shampoo
  2. Use a fine teeth comb to comb through your pet's fur to disturb the lice and the lice eggs
  3. Rinse and repeat at least one more time.

How long does it take to get rid of lice on a cat?

Treating lice on a cat will defer for each different cat as each cat will be different in size as will the amount or severity of lice will be different. Treating lice on a cat is not an overnight job as it will take many days, weeks or sometimes even months to get rid of lice on your cats permanently. Be sur eto contact a veterinarian to find out the steps you need to take.

What does lice look like on a cat?

It is easy to spot lice on cats. Some are easier to identify than others. Some lice infestations have gotten so bad that you can see lice falling out of the cats fur. Other types of infestations are not as bad and you will have to look carefully under the cat's fur..

What are lice?

Lice come in 3000 different species. Some species are more prone to attack certain types of hosts like humans, cats, or dogs. There is only one species of lice in cats and that specie is the Felicola subrostrata. Dogs attract two different types namely, Trichodectes canis, and Linognathus setosus. Out of all 3000 species of lice in the world, only 3 species are considered to carry diseases that affect humans. So lice in humans will not affect lice in certain pets and vice versa.


Getting rid of cat lice is not the hardest thing to do if you know exactly what to do. Remember to always contact a veterinarian with anything you might be unsure of. A medicated dandruff will be the most helpful.