Do cats carry or spread lice?

@momiecat (997)
United States
September 15, 2008 12:52am CST
A friend of mine feeds a feral colony of cats in an apartment complex. Supposedly one of the tenants has a 3-year-old boy with head lice. They went to a physician and that doctor told the parent that it was possible that the child got head lice from cats. These cats are outdoors and do not go anywhere near the child. I think it is impossible for the cats to spread lice to a child. There are actually not more than about 7 cats in the colony and they are all well cared for. Does anyone have experience with a situation like this and can you provide me with a professional answer?
1 person likes this
6 responses
@TheCatLady (4697)
• Israel
15 Sep 08
What a stupid doctor. Or maybe the mom is so stupid she doesn't know the difference between possible and impossible. Cats don't and can't have human lice. Why do people blame things on innocent cats.
1 person likes this
@momiecat (997)
• United States
15 Sep 08
I concur with your thoughts 100%. I appreciate your comments. I wanted to have solid evidence to prove my case and all responses have helped with that. Cats take such a bad rap with some people that it is very good and comforting to know that people out there care. I love them so much.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
15 Sep 08
To quote you CatLady..Why do people blame things on innocent cats. Can't agree with you more...people who come up with such bizarre notions about cats are obviously not cat lovers.
• Israel
16 Sep 08
I'm taking care of a woman's indoor only cat for 3 months because she is having chemo. Her doctor said she can't touch a cat for the duration. I've never heard of having to give up your pets because of chemo before, but she is doing as her doctor said. I don't think that touching her cat would interfere with her healing, but I'm not a doctor. In fact the opposite would be more likely. The cat would at least make her feel less awful.
• United States
16 Jun 09
i have never heard of a cat with human lice. or a feral cat that would let a 3 year old that close. sounds like they're trying to justify removing the cats.
@momiecat (997)
• United States
16 Jun 09
Hi again, I think you are right. These people just did not like the cats. I guess their kid had lice and the stupids wanted to blame the cats rather than the other school kids or their own filth. That all happened a few months ago and I have not heard of anything since then. People can be so uncaring sometimes. Thanks for your comments my friend.
@CatGods (4602)
• United States
29 Jan 09
That doctor heeds their head examined. And to think that they went to medical school and people are trusting not only their health but their lives with this doctor. Like your other posters have stated, head lice does not come from cats. Also if these are feral cats how is the kid even getting that close to them. Most feral cats won't let humans get within 5 feet of them. So either the parent of this child is a liar or the doctor is a quack.
@momiecat (997)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I think some of the other posters were right. The family was just using it as an excuse to get the cats removed. However, as anyone who knows anything about ferals knows, it is not that easy nor advisable to just wave a magic wand and have the cats disappear. I really cannot say I could ever be friends with people like this who disregard an animal's life so carelessly. But that is okay, I have a lot of cat-crazy friends!
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
15 Sep 08
What kind of stupid physician is this to suggest that the child got head lice from cats...that has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard...One can only get head lice from another human being...Here's a whole article about it which I give an excerpt here {Quote) [i]How are head lice spread? * Head lice spread through direct contact among children or indirectly on items such as hats, combs, hairbrushes and head phones. They don’t fly or hop, but they can crawl very quickly. * Although head lice often make the scalp itchy, it is possible to have them without any symptoms. * Head lice can’t live on pets, such as cats or dogs. * Head lice can live up to 3 days off the scalp. Although the eggs can also survive for up to 3 days, they need a warm environment to develop. They are not likely to hatch at room temperature. [/i] Here's the entire article http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/whensick/headlice.htm {Warning:This is NOT a referral link but a link to the article in my response} This woman should change doctors or at least this particular doctor goes back to medical school and learn some more about his profession
@momiecat (997)
• United States
15 Sep 08
I very much appreciate your response. I appreciate the link to the article. I recently lost a good percentage of my vision due to a retinal bleed from myopic macular degeneration, 0and it is hard for me to do a lot of reading on the Internet. I did not think you could get head lice from cats and yes I think the doctor is stupid if he in fact suggested that. The situation I believe is one of the tenants in the building not liking cats and wanting to find an excuse to blame them. I needed solid evidence to prove that cats are not to blame and you have provided this. I am grateful for your help. :)
28 Feb 12
They might be able to carry the lice for a short time but head lice can't be away from humans for a day or two as they only feed on human blood. There are a number of common head lice myths knocking around these days, for anyone interested, I found this page (http://www.vosenekids.co.uk/headlice-knowledge/) particularity helpful.
@heaven11 (1161)
• United States
15 Sep 08
i have been told that cats do carry lice but humans can not be infected by it and cats can not get infected by human lice i do not know if its true try googling it you should be able to find out