7 Best Cat Lice Shampoos With Our 2019 Budget-Friendly Pick

The thought of your cat contracting lice can be extremely disheartening, but don’t worry! Cat lice is highly treatable with the help of a quality shampoo. Cats can contract lice in several different ways, and once you start treating your cat with a lice shampoo it’s important to disinfect other areas of your home.

In this article we’ll discuss why it’s important to use a cat lice shampoo if your kitty is battling a pesky infestation. We also dive into associated benefits of using a lice shampoo formulated for cats. While it’s important to seek veterinary advice if you have questions about your cat’s health, we can offer a list of recommended cat lice shampoos in the meantime.

5 Benefits of Using a Cat Lice Shampoo

A good cat lice shampoo will come equipped with a wide variety of helpful benefits. Generally, lice shampoos are multi-purpose, making them great for helping with a multitude of health concerns. The most important benefits of using a cat lice shampoo include:

  1. Kills lice: The most obvious benefit of using a cat lice shampoo is the fact that it will kill lice on contact. It’s recommended to leave the shampoo on your cat’s coat for 5 minutes so the ingredients will be completely effective.
  2. Repels and kill other pests: Lice shampoos double as flea and tick shampoos. Many of them also kill flea eggs and larvae. Some repel mosquitoes as well.
  3. Soothe skin: Your cat’s skin is no doubt irritated and dry from dealing with lice. Cat lice shampoos are formulated with ingredients that will soothe, nourish and hydrate your kitty’s skin and coat.
  4. Cleanse the coat: Lice shampoos will lather nicely to cleanse your cat’s skin and coat of dirt, debris and dandruff. Many will also condition the fur for easier grooming.
  5. Prevents spread to other animals: Lice is contagious from cat to cat, but once you kill the lice with an appropriate shampoo you reduce the risk of parasites spreading to other household pets.

Symptoms and Causes of Lice in Cats

Lice are tiny insect that feed on the skin of your cat. The will continue to live and spread on a cat’s skin until properly treated. Lice can spread from species to species, but it will not spread from cat to human or cat to dog, etc. This parasite is contagious through direct contact with the infected cat. Lice can also be spread via grooming tools, bedding or other contaminated objects.

Symptoms of lice in cats include:

  • Excessive itchiness
  • Incessant scratching
  • Hair loss, especially around the ears, groin, rectal area or neck

Lice is generally caused by poor sanitary practices. You can typically see lice on a cat, as adult lice are flat and have six legs. Lice cannot fly as other parasites can. Often you can view lice as a small white dot attached to your kitty’s hair. Thankfully lice on cats is highly treatable with a quality shampoo. It’s also recommended to clean your cat’s bedding or any items they may have been in contact with while infected with lice. Be sure to disinfect grooming tools before using them on your cat or other household pets.

5 Components to Look for in a Cat Lice Shampoo

Ready to purchase a cat lice shampoo? Before we share our recommendations, let’s go over some components to look for in a cat lice shampoo:

  1. Effectiveness against pests: Most cat lice shampoos also kill fleas and ticks. Some even kill flea eggs and larvae. Not all flea and tick shampoos also skill lice, however, so read the shampoo’s label carefully.
  2. Soothing ingredients: Your cat probably has dry, itchy skin from scratching at the lice. A good lice shampoo will be formulated with soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and oatmeal. These elements will assist in the skin’s healing process so your cat can get back to feeling feisty again!
  3. Conditioner: Some lice shampoos don’t contain any sort of fur conditioner, but others do! We have some 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner formulas on our list so your cat’s fur will be easily groomable after bath time.
  4. Natural: A majority of effective cat lice shampoos aren’t all-natural, but the option does exist! You may need to pay more for an all-natural lice shampoo, but it all comes down to preference.
  5. Multi-pet use: If you have cats, dogs and other pets in your home, you may consider purchasing a lice shampoo that can be used on multiple species. This will save you money, which is important to every cat parent!

Now we present to you our favorite cat lice shampoos!

Overall Best Cat Lice Shampoo

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets

Key Benefits:

  • Cleans and conditions your cat’s skin and coat
  • Treats lice and other parasites
  • Rich and creamy formula
  • Baby fresh scent

This cat lice shampoo comes in a rich, creamy formula that is designed to kill fleas, ticks and lice. After killing parasites on contact, this medicated shampoo will clean and condition your cat’s delicate skin and fur. Vet-Kem Ovitrol lice shampoo helps soothe and renew your cat’s skin by way of aloe, oatmeal, coconut extract and lanolin. This blend will moisturize and hydrate your kitty’s skin and coat to offer them relief from itching and irritation.

Vet-Kem Ovitrol will immediately kill and treat lice. This lice shampoo will also kill fleas and ticks, and it will continue to kill any additional flea eggs for up to 28 days. The shampoo acts as a reliable cleanser, removing extra dirt and debris from your cat’s coat. After bath time, your kitty will be feeling relief and their coat will once again be lustrous and manageable.

Pros:

  • Also acts as a preventative against parasites
  • Leaves your cat smelling pleasant via the baby fresh scent
  • Soothes irritation associated with lice
  • Natural ingredients to nourish skin and coat

Cons:

  • Does not repel mosquitoes like some of the other shampoos

Bio Spot Active Care F&T Shampoo for Cats and Kittens

Key Benefits:

  • Kill lice, fleas, ticks, flea eggs and flea larvae
  • Soothes skin with aloe, lanolin and oatmeal
  • Kills lice on contact
  • Appropriate for adult cats and kittens

Runner-Up Best Cat Lice Shampoo – Bio Spot flea and tick shampoo is also designed to kill lice on contact. This trusted shampoo will kill parasites and prevent further infestation. Big Spot will continue to kill flea eggs and larvae for up to 28 days so the life cycle is broken. This is a great shampoo to kill your cat’s lice, heal their skin and protect against other pests.

Lice and other pests can cause serious itching and irritation on your cat’s skin. Big Spot lice shampoo contains aloe, lanolin and oatmeal to soothe and nourish skin. It will also cleanse your cat’s coat of debris and leave it looking shiny again. You can use this lice shampoo on cats or kittens over 12 weeks old.

Pros:

  • Can be used on all cats over 12 weeks of age
  • Soothes irritated skin with natural ingredients
  • Kills lice, fleas, ticks, flea eggs and flea larvae
  • Prevents the spread of parasite infestation

Cons:

  • Not safe for kittens under 12 weeks old

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea and Tick Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Affordable
  • Offers maximum control of lice, fleas and ticks
  • Soap and paraben-free
  • Made with veterinary-grade ingredients

Best Budget-Friendly Cat Lice Shampoo – Veterinary Formula flea and tick shampoo uses veterinarian-recommended ingredients to kill lice and other pests. It is soap-free, paraben-free and pH balanced to meet your kitty’s specific needs. Veterinary Formula cat lice shampoo is affordable yet effective for parasite control, cleansing and nourishing your cat’s skin and coat.

For the best result using this lice shampoo, allowing it to remain in your cat’s coat for about 5 minutes during bath time. This will ensure all of the lice is killed and the affected areas are being moisturized and cleansed. Gentle ingredients heal areas of irritated skin which have been caused by lice. For a cost-effective lice shampoo that will get the job done for cats, dogs, horses and ferrets, we highly recommend this one!

Pros:

  • Formulated with pyrethrum to kill lice and other pests
  • Great for cats and their canine companions
  • Made with veterinarian-recommended ingredients
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • Pyrethrum may be too harsh for kittens under 12 weeks old

4 More Top Rated Cat Lice Shampoo Picks

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo comes highly recommended by other cat parents. It will effectively kill lice on your cat as well as other nasty pests such as fleas, ticks, flea eggs and flea larvae. This shampoo is formulated with a blend of ingredients that soothe dry and irritated skin. Aloe, lanolin, oatmeal and coconut extract will offer your kitty relief from itching caused by lice. Adams cat lice shampoo emits a pleasant fragrance and it can be used on both cats and dogs.

Sentry PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats

This affordable shampoo will kill lice but won’t kill your budget! Although you may need to bathe your cat with it a couple of times to effectively kill all lice, it’s still a quality option for a great price. This shampoo offers a delightful coconut berry scent, and it’s blended with coconut extract to detangle your long hair cat’s fur. Sentry lice shampoo will also kill fleas and ticks on contact while added a look of luster and shine to your kitty’s coat. This shampoo can be used to kill lice and other parasites on cats and kittens older than 12 weeks.

Pet and Tree Natural Herbal Flea and Tick Removal Shampoo

Looking for a natural shampoo to kill your cat’s lice? We recommend this one from Pet and Tree. It’s an all-natural parasite removal shampoo that uses a blend of essential oils to gently soothe skin. There are no harsh ingredients in this natural cat lice shampoo, so it can be safely used on young kittens. This shampoo has a peppermint and lavender scent. Not only does this Pet and Tree shampoo kill lice, but it also kills fleas, ticks, larvae and flea eggs. Although this cat lice shampoo is a bit more expensive than other options on our list, you are paying for an all-natural formula.

Mycodex Flea and Tick Shampoo

Mycodex cat lice shampoo is a premium pest repellent and cleanser. It’s enriched with a blend of gentle ingredients such as coconut extract, aloe vera and lanolin. This shampoo is suitable for cats who have sensitive skin. Mycodex will kill lice, fleas and ticks on contact. It will gently cleanse your kitty’s coat of pests, dirt and debris while nourishing dry, itchy skin. After bath time your cat’s coat will be soft and clean, and their skin will begin healing from the shampoos rejuvenating properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I treat my cat for lice at home? – Choosing a quality cat lice shampoo is the best way to start treating your cat. Giving them a bath as directed with the shampoo will kill lice on your cat and get them on the road to feeling better. In the meantime, you will want to wash bedding, rugs, grooming utensils and anything else that your infected cat may have come in contact with. Make sure to use hot water when washing everything!
  • Can cat lice transfer to humans? – No. Cat lice can only transfer to cats. It cannot transfer to humans, dogs or other species. Humans can only contract lice from other humans.
  • Can cat lice jump? – Thankfully cat lice cannot jump or fly. Lice will die if not in contact with your cat’s skin, or upon contact with the lice shampoo.
  • What color is cat lice? – Cat lice is white or tan in color and it may look like dandruff upon first glance. Lice will be moving in your cat’s fur. Lice have triangular heads and dark spots on their bodies.

Conclusion

Lice is a nasty parasite, but it’s easily and effectively treated by way of a quality lice shampoo. It’s handy to have a lice shampoo on hand considering they also kill fleas and ticks while preventing further spread of pests. Many of the recommendations on our list can be used for multiple species, so even your dog or other pet with fleas, ticks or lice can benefit from the shampoo. Remember to seek veterinary counsel if you have specific questions about your cat’s lice or other health concerns.

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