Jump to content

Can Chickens give Cats fleas?

Recommended Posts

Hi - for the first time in 11 years my 2 house cats are infested with fleas and I am covered in bites. I know it is flea season and fleas can get into the house via many routes but I was wondering if chicken lice/fleas are carried on human shoes and clothing and live happily on cats? I got my chickens about 8 weeks ago.


I am treating the cats with Frontline and am spraying the house so I hopefully will cure that problem but am not sure what to do with the chickens who are starting to lay. I'm also worried that if hen fleas can live on cats that I'm going to continue to have a problem.


Last Saturday after spending sometime reading the stickies I decided that a touch of Diatom on the hens would do no harm so off I went with gloved hands armed with a tub of Diatom to try to destroy any creepy crawlies that might bite. As the girls just eat the play sand dust bath I sprinkled Diatom on any bare patch of dry soil in the run and tried rubbing Diatom on the girls backs and under their wings - didn't seem to worry Priscilla she's in lay so squats down nicely, Kate started to squat but screamed as if i was about to wring her neck and Ursula (not squating at all) just ran round the pen - no joy there managed to throw a little on her back from a distance.



Am I Ok using Diatom in this way?

Can Hen fleas live on cats?

Do Hen fleas or lice bite humans?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one seems to have answered this question, so I will have a go.


I don't think you would get lice easily from hens, unless you rub your hair on their feathers.


But bird fleas will feed on humans and other mammals, I am afraid. I know this from experience, having opened up a used bird box to clean it and a lot of hungry fleas sprang out.


The hens have to catch the fleas from somewhere. If you have a bird box anywhere near the run, I would suggest moving it. It is of course possible that the cats are the guilty party, and have given the fleas to the hens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the response -I have not been on the forum for a few days as I've not been able to get to the keyboard without spotting more flea larvae that have to be destroyed (my house has never looked so clean). The cats have now been treated so hopefully that will kill the adult fleas. I'll keep on with the Diatom on the hens just incase.


The good news is that Chicken Kate has now started laying - her first egg was 82g Ouch :shock:


Thanks again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Urm I only have this information 2nd hand but I was told that bird fleas will bit humans but cannot live on them. I was also told that they are not the same as cat fleas. Either way I don't risk it and all our livestock get anti flea treatment. I have an over reaction to insect bites and one bite (unidentifed type) left me with an ankle so swollen I couldn't walk for three days so I'm a bit over the top about parasites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too Trish.


Don't quote me on the Jane, because I'm not 100% certain, but I undrestand that lice and fleas are host specific i.e. they can bite others species, but will only live on those they are 'designed' for (as Gallina said).


I treat my cats with Frontline duo, and new type, which combines the job of the original Frontline in killing fleas and that of Program, which stopped the fleas breeding and living in the house environment. The kitten was infested, but now seems clear.


I treat my chooks with Ivomec Eprinex (which is NOT licensed for poultry in the UK); it gets rid of fleas, lice, mites and internal parasites like worms too. You would need a farm vet who is happy to prescribe this in order to get it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice - a regular regime of cat combing, Frontline application, garlic powder in the cat food and three cans of RIP Fleas seems to have reduced the numbers of fleas but I'm still getting some live ones when I comb the cats - drowning them is so satisfying!!


I'll check out the hens tomorrow when I clean them out - at last count I had 105 bites but fingers crossed the last couple of days has seen the bites go down and I don't think I'm getting many if any new bites (or maybe I'm now immune).


I had great plans for going organic and had done really well over the last few years switching to majority of food organic etc - in the last 2 weeks I've ingested so many chemicals that it's not funny.


If I get bitten tomorrow I'll know the hens have fleas as well - hope not as I love having laying hens getting 2 eggs a day at moment and don't want to have to waste them if I have to use chemicals.


PS Chicken Kate's first egg 82g was a double yoker - worth waiting for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try adding powdered brewers yeast or something called nutritional yeast ( the brand name is Engervita) to te cats diet. Animals with it in there diet are much less likely to get fleas in the first place and we find the cats like it where as sometimes they can get fuss about garlic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...