How to treat cats with lice

Updated March 21, 2017

Cats can easily catch lice from other cats, causing itching and small bites. Although the cat may be uncomfortable, this form of lice poses no threat to her health and will not transfer to you or your family. The lice may move from pet to pet, however, so it is important that you treat all of your family pets at the same time in order to keep lice at bay.

Bathe your cat in a pyrethrin shampoo. Wear protective gloves when bathing him, making sure you work his coat into a nice lather.

Rinse the cat thoroughly.

Use a hair dryer to dry the cat. After he is completely dry, spray his coat with pyrethrin spray or powder.

Repeat the process two weeks later until your cat is parasite free.

Take your cat to the vet if itching persists, becomes worse or hair loss is present. Your vet may advise more drastic measures such as a dip in 2 per cent lime sulfur or shaving the cat and picking the lice out by hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Pyrethrin shampoo
  • Gloves
  • Pyrethrin spray or powder
  • Hair dryer
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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.