Cat Lice Treatment with Pyrethrin

If you notice your cat scratching himself constantly and losing unusual amounts of hair for no apparent reason, or if you notice patches of red, irritated skin, he may be experiencing an infestation of cat lice. Lice are a common problem among pets. They spread quickly and easily from one animal to another and can be very difficult to eradicate due to their speedy reproduction cycle and resistance to drugs. If your cat has lice, consider treating his condition with pyrethrin.

Feline Lice Treatment with Pyrethrin

Pyrethrin is a form of insecticide that is effective at eliminating live mites and their eggs. It comes available as the active ingredient in a specialized shampoo and also in sprays or powders to be applied directly to your cat's skin.

If you suspect that your cat has lice, the first step is to have him examined by a veterinarian. While lice are a relatively benign condition and are easily treatable, a lice infestation may present similar symptoms to other, more serious diseases. It is best to have your pet checked over by a vet in order to make sure that he is only suffering from lice and not some other condition.

Once your veterinarian makes a diagnosis of lice, typically based on a physical examination and skin scraping, you should discuss treatment options. Pyrethrin is typically used in moderate to severe cases of lice, and there may be other treatment options available at less cost for milder cases. If you and your veterinarian determine that a pyrethrin shampoo, powder or spray are appropriate, he will write you a prescription.

Treatment Procedure

Bathe your cat and wash his fur thoroughly using the medicated pyrethrin shampoo. Follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian and the manufacturer, and be sure to wear protective gloves so that the substance does not injure you in any way. Lather your pet completely and wash all traces of the shampoo from his coat.

Once he is dry, use a pyrethrin powder or spray to coat his skin and fur. Between these two treatment methods, which are usually prescribed together, you stand a good chance of eliminating your pet's lice.

Because mites are persistent and it is virtually impossible to kill all of them at one time, most veterinarians recommend repeating this procedure somewhere between 10 and 12 days after the initial treatment. You should start to notice an improvement in your cat's symptoms after the first procedure, but the second is necessary in order to ensure that you eliminate all lice and their eggs.

In some cases, you may need to repeat the procedure further beyond the first two treatments. However, if you find that two baths with pyrethrin shampoo and the subsequent spraying is not sufficient to address your cat's lice, consult with your veterinarian. The lice may be resistant to the drug, or your cat may be experiencing some sort of compounding or similar condition. Overall, pyrethrin treatments are highly effective at eliminating all traces of lice from your pet's skin and coat.