Lice in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

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In cats, the fur-eating lice Felicola subrostratus occurs. Lice live their entire lives on the host animal. The development from egg to adult lice takes two to three weeks.

Fur-eating lice are mobile and can be difficult to find. Lice are much more common in winter, partly due to the fact that during the hot time of the year, funds are used against ticks, which are also effective against lice.

Cat lice do not infect dogs or vice versa, and no type of lice can infect humans.


Lice cause itching that can be severe. The itching can in turn cause tear damage and infections in the skin. Dry skin and increased dandruff can also be a sign of lice infestation.


Blood-sucking lice are most commonly found in the soft skin behind the ears, in the armpits or in the groin. You can also see lice’s eggs (gnats) glued to the hairs. The gnats do not disappear during treatment but remain as empty shells and are thus not a sign that the animal still has lice.


Because lice are contagious in direct contact, all cats that have contact with each other should be treated at the same time. Bedding should be washed, combs and brushes cleaned and the area where the cat stayed, in connection with the first treatment, should also be cleaned.

There are both over-the-counter and over-the-counter remedies for lice. The treatment should be repeated. Be careful not to treat cats with preparations intended for dogs only.

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