Parasites are all around us, but that does not mean that you should accept them as an inevitable part of your cat’s life. In fact, it is crucial to keep your cat parasite free. Parasites can strip your pet of vital nutrients, causing malnutrition and weight loss, and can cause illnesses ranging from mild gastrointestinal disorders to life-threatening diseases. Parasites can also transmit serious diseases to your human family.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for cats, even those kept indoors, to pick up parasites. Here is how to fight back against some of the most common parasites:
To minimize your cat’s exposure to parasites, take basic precautions. Keep your cat indoors, and reduce exposure to cats who regularly go outside or whose parasite status is unknown. Provide fresh, potable water at all times. Feed only prepared, cooked foods and never allow your cat access to raw meat.
Also consider using a year-round product for parasite prevention. Revolution for Cats is the most comprehensive solution, treating fleas, internal worms and ear mites, and providing effective heartworm prevention. Many pet owners like the simplicity of using just one product for all of the most common parasites.
Several topical flea products are highly safe and effective, and we will work with you to choose the solution that is best for your cat. Vectra for Cats treats all stages of the flea life cycle, and is often the best choice for cats with a current flea infestation. Frontline Plus for Cats treats not only fleas, but lice and ticks as well.
Roundworms are common, especially among feral cats and those living in less than ideal conditions. Kittens easily pick them up through nursing from an infected mother. As a result, all kittens are dewormed as part of their routine care.
Roundworms, as well as less common types of internal worms, are easily spotted via fecal testing. It is highly recommended that both kittens and adult cats have regular fecal testing performed, to protect both the cat and its human family.
Cats are not a natural host for heartworms, but they can easily be transmitted to a cat through a mosquito bite. In fact, research shows that 25% of cats affected with heartworm disease live exclusively indoors. Heartworm disease presents very differently in cats than in dogs, but it is no less serious.
Most cats with heartworm disease develop Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD). This is an asthma-like reaction that can cause coughing and trouble breathing. Other symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and trouble walking. However, some cats show no symptoms at all. Cats with heartworm disease are at risk for sudden death, even if they do not show symptoms.
Fortunately, though they are not treatable, heartworms are preventable. Your veterinarian will help you choose a full-spectrum preventative medication such as Revolution for Cats or a heartworm-specific preventative medication such as Heartgard for Cats.
Why Choose The Cat Hospital?
Established in 1994, The Cat Hospital focuses solely on the health and well-being of cats. Our veterinarian, Dr. Maureen Ricksgers, graduated from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. Since 1988, she has worked exclusively with cats.
Our entire team consists of cat lovers who work hard to create a calm, quiet, feline-friendly hospital setting. We understand that even routine wellness visits can be extremely hard on both cats and their human families, but with our extensive knowledge of feline behavior and the latest in cat handling techniques, we believe that we can bring the stress level down to a minimum.