Felicola subrostratus

From Cat
Adult Felicola subrostratus louse

Felicola subrostrata is a parasitic louse that occurs on cats[1], reported throughout North America[2], Australia[3] and Europe.

The head is triangular with the point directed forwards and notched at the apex. Ventrally there is a median longitudinal groove on the head which fits around the hair of host. As an ectoparasite, biting or chewing lice have mouth parts that are designed for chewing, not sucking, and they can feed on hair or skin scales. Adult females lay their egg cases with in the animals hair by cementing the egg case to the hair shaft[4].

The louse is of minor importance, being found in large numbers only on elderly or sick cats especially if they are long-haired.

Ivermectin dosed at 200 micrograms/kg SQ[5] or selamectin[6] applied one time at the label dose are apparently effective at eliminating this parasite.

Fipronil has also been shown to be an effective treatment against this parasite[7].


  1. Schwassman, M & Logas, D (2010) How to treat common parasites safely. In August, JR (Ed): Consultations in feline internal medicine. Vol 6. Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia. pp:390
  2. Akucewich LH et al (2002) Prevalence of ectoparasites in a population of feral cats from north central Florida during the summer. Vet Parasitol 109(1-2):129-139
  3. Coman BJ et al (1981) Helminth parasites and arthropods of feral cats. Aust Vet J 57(7):324-327
  4. Burrows, A (2009) Avermectins in dermatology. In: Bonagura, JD & Twedt, DC (Eds): Kirk's current veterinary therapy XIV. Mosby, St Louis. pp:390
  5. Scott, DW, Miller, WH & Griffin, CE (2001) Small animal dermatology. Saunders, Philadelphia. pp:423
  6. Shanks DJ et al (2003) Efficacy of selamectin against biting lice on dogs and cats. Vet Rec 152(8):234-237
  7. Pollmeier M et al (2004) Effective treatment and control of biting lice, Felicola subrostratus (Nitzsch in Burmeister, 1838), on cats using fipronil formulations. Vet Parasitol 121(1-2):157-165