My cat is just over one year old; she's an ex-feral who we trapped at about nine weeks. Since then she's been 95% indoor cat with no direct contact with other cats, but occasionally she slips out of the back door and sits in the back yard for a little while before coming back inside.
She likes to cuddle, but just in the last few weeks, I find myself coming up with itchy red bumps a couple of hours after cuddling her. They look and feel similar to mosquito bites, and they only appear in the areas where we've been in contact. I don't have any history of allergies, and I haven't had any allergic-type reaction when she's scratched me. My best guess is that she has some sort of parasite that's biting. Obviously I would like to deal with this, for her sake and for mine.
We took her to the vet, who checked her over and swabbed her ears for mites but found nothing. (We do have birds roosting in the roof and I've seen a few mites inside near there.) My wife tried combing her with a flea comb over white paper, but nothing showed up. She is in very good health; I see her scratching occasionally but not for an extended period. She has long hair and it's in excellent condition. If it weren't for the bites I'd have no reason to suspect any kind of parasites. Some possibilities I've considered:
- Cat fleas: she had a few when we caught her but she was treated at the time. It's possible that she picked up a few on one of her trips into the garden, and it would explain the bites. But neither the vet nor my wife found any fleas on her. (OTOH she does have long hair, so it might be possible for a flea to hide?)
- Mites: the ones I've seen around the house are tiny, so they might evade a flea comb, but I'm not aware of them causing bites like this on humans. Also not sure if bird mites would live on a cat.
- Cat lice: a few weeks back I did see a small white arthropod that looked a bit like a cat louse on her head, but didn't manage to catch it. I haven't seen any since, and it was large enough that I'd expect it to show up in combing, so maybe it was just a random passing bug. Also, I don't think cat lice bite humans?
Is there anything I've missed, that would live on a cat for several weeks and bite humans without being easily noticeable by a vet?
NB: we're in Australia, it's late spring here.
Update: a couple of years later, I still haven't figured out exactly what's causing these occasional reactions, but I've had them occasionally on holiday while away from my cat, so it looks as if she's innocent. Sorry for the confusion!