Lice, although not found on cats as commonly as fleas, are Just as much of a pest. Small, wingless insects and lice are of two types—biting and sucking. A biting louse, Felicola substrata, is the one most frequently found on cats. It spends its entire life, from egg to adult, on the cat. The life cycle is a simple one. The female lays her eggs on the cat’s hair and this hatch in from two to three weeks.
Adult lice are dependent upon warm-blooded animals for their existence and will not voluntarily leave the host. They are transferred by direct contact it an infected cat or hair that contains the lice eggs or nits. Lice are not as active as fleas and cannot jump or leap from animal to animal. They will freely infest different animals, including man. If you have children and one or more pets, the chances are good that you will have to delouse all of them when an infestation is found in one.
Lice cause severe anemia in kittens by feeding on their blood. Kittens infested with lice usually acquire them through direct contact with an infected mother while nursing or climbing over her. In addition to being a pest to the cat, lice are carriers of organisms causing typhus fever and trench fever in human beings.
Lice can easily be eradicated from the cat by the technique used in eliminating fleas. After dusting or spraying the cat, put it into a bag or wrap it in a towel. Comb out dead lice and burn them. Be sure to use a safe insecticide.
See more: Cat Ticks
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