Cats And Head Lice – Can They Catch Them?

If you have children you may want to know if cats can catch head lice, or alternatively whether humans can catch lice from cats.

I am happy to report that the answer on both counts is no. A different type of lice exists for each type of host. A cat lice is different to human lice. Each type of lice needs its specific home.

And by home, we actually mean blood. As ghastly as it sounds, cat lice need cat blood in order to survive, human lice need human blood to survive.

Any parent with a child in preschool will know that head lice is always a risk. With the above in mind, you can rest easy that your cat will not catch them from your child or have the little parasites laying eggs in their fur.

cat lice

Cat Head Lice Is Rare

A healthy house cat is unlikely to ever catch head lice. Stray cats are more likely to have lice as they are generally more susceptible to them. Poor nutrition, overall bad health and neglect make it easy for the lice to pass from cat to cat and breed in numbers.

Symptoms of Cat Lice

The symptoms of head lice in cats are the same as any other ectoparasite (ie fleas) and/or seasonal allergy – you will find that your cat is excessively scratching and is very irritable.

If this occurs you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Cat lice are easier to treat than other parasites such as fleas.  Your vet will be able to give you a specially medicated shampoo. Sprays can also be used.

So in conclusion, cats can have head lice, however they will not catch them from your children, and your kids will not catch them from your cat. Thankfully, cat lice is also yet easy to treat.

(Image Credits: Wikipedia,

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