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Advice re tea tree

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I found headlice in my 8 year old daughter's hair AGAIN. This is the third time in a few months, I just clear them and she goes to school and picks them straight up again. I'm getting worried about the times I'm using what is a powerful insecticide on her scalp. She also gets very distressed, quite understandably.

What I really want advice on is that the school nurse has recommended that using tea tree shampoo/conditioner or adding a few drops of tea tree oil to regular shampoo deters them and goes a long way towards preventing them.

Now I know that tea tree is poisonous to cats and of course I would never use it directly on them. But how dangerous is it to them - is it so bad I should never even have it in the house, is it OK if I am careful to keep it out of their way, do I have to take care to rinse out the bath/shower when it's been used. The kittens do have a habit of hair chewing when they're cuddling us and they do like to snuggle up in bed with the children. Could they pick up enough of it from chewing someone's hair.

If there is any doubt, I'd rather just not have it in the house. Incidentally our local pet shop has got tea tree oil shampoo for cats on sale - which I just don't understand - will it have been treated to make it safe? My cats have short hair - they don't have to be bathed (thank Goodness!) I just wondered.
post #2 of 7
Having been the one who lost a cat after a groomer bathed him with tea tree oil, I just don't have it in the house. But head lice is serious, and my inclination would be that if you keep the kitten from cuddling with the girl around the head especially, that would be the way to go until the lice is gone. I don't know if cats can get head lice from people? I know that cats get lice. My concern would be not the hair chewing so much, but the shower or bathtub. Often my cats will get in the shower and lick off the condensation from the bottom. I would be very careful about making sure the tub or shower stays scrubbed and dry after treatments.

And about harmful products for cats? There are many out on the market today. Some people are just not well-informed, others it is all about money. According to my vet, Bartee died because he fought the bath and got the stuff into his body, not because it was on it. I have yet to meet a cat that doesn't fight a bath, unless he is a turkish van, sick or almost unconscious. I would use the product, but I would use it with full caution-
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Nuff said. I think I'll give it a miss. I couldn't cope with the worry of missing some - my cats like to jump in the bath as well when the water's just been let out because it's warm. The hair chewing would be difficult to stop because they snuggle up when the children are asleep, she wouldn't be awake to stop him. Then there's the towel she rubbed her hair on, her dressing gown etc etc.

I'll use the insecticide (would you believe it's the same stuff as we spray roses with to kill greenfly!) then I'll comb it through every week with ordinary conditioner and fine combs. And I'll send her to school with a bag on her head!!
post #4 of 7
Can you buy a product called Nix in the UK? It's a lice shampoo that supposidly lasts for a few weeks. I kept getting head lice when I was in grade school, due my best friend constantly getting it from her home (which was one of the dirtiest places I have ever been, sadly). The Nix helped a lot. You can buy lice combs that work very well, too. Otherwise, try to keep her hair in braids or buns. It goes a long way to help!
post #5 of 7
Oh no, I didn't know tea tree was bad for cats! I have some tea tree shampoo and conditioner... I'll stop using it.
post #6 of 7
You can look to see if this is available to you through the internet to purchase. I discovered this product called Lice Guard about 5 years go and my daughter has not had lice since!!! You just spray this on their dry hair and it lasts for 24 hours. This is really the best stuff :bigthumb


Edited to clarify -- this is for human's only!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I'll look into the products mentioned above. Haven't heard of Nix, though there seems to be tons of products available, now I've started looking.

I'm especially interested in the electronic comb mentioned in the liceguard website that Karen kindly posted - that would mean and end of chemicals.

I'll shut up about lice now, let everyone get back to cat topics and stop itching and scratching!!
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