Common Cat Parasites and Prevention

What are the most common feline parasites and how you can prevent them?

Most cat owners do great disservices to their pets ignorantly. How? Of all the health topics on cats, intestinal worms are the least on their minds. It is so low in the order of health priorities.

This is understandable because most cats stay in the home exclusively and never have adventures in the great outdoors. But if your cat has intermittent diarrhea, experiences weight loss despite a healthy diet, and has dull fur or is not as active as you think she should be, then know that internal parasites are to blame.

What? Even if I don’t see my outward signs of parasitism?

Yes and what’s more, you can “catch” it too. Humans can become infected with roundworms and hookworms, so you need to be diligent in the litter box and not allow your out door cats to use the garden and children’s play area as a “potty spot”.

But if you really want to know the worms to watch out for in cats we will gladly oblige you. Dipylidium caninum., T.Taeniaforms, even heard of these? These are tapeworms. And they are parasites that are visible to the naked eye.

Tapeworm pieces vary in length, are usually white and are frequently seen, (while still alive), contracting and expending around the cats rectum immediately after elimination. Once the segments die they will look like grains of uncooked rice, and are often found where cats sleep.

How does a cat get infected with tapeworm?

The most common route occurs when the cats swallow a flea that is carrying the infected cats?

And the prevention mode or treatment for infected cats? Deworm the cat.

Deworming can be done by either oral medication or by injection. You may want to try praziquantel. It is the most common anti parasitic agent used, but it should be followed up by espiprantel.

If you are the studious type, and are in search of the most infectious parasite, then look no further, it might be under your nose!

Toxocara cati Or Roundworms are the most common type of worm to infect the animal kingdom.

If your cat is heavily infected by roundworms, it may vomit these worms or pass them whole in excreta. In addition to causing diarrhea and vomiting, roundworms can have an effect on a cat’s overall health and appearance. Kittens infected with these worms will have pot bellied, bloated look and may be constantly hungry.

Roundworms can be passed to humans and can cause an infection known as Viscent Larra Migrans, which may result in inflammation of the muscles and blindness.

Anthelmintics, or dewormers to the layman, that are frequently used to treat roundworms are pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole and piperanzine.

Vampires also have cousins in the animal kingdom! Hookworms (Ancylostoma, braziliense) are blood sucking intestine parasites, and have the ability to cause anemia and- wait for it- death in kittens and adult cats.

Hookworms are not visible to the naked eye and the severity of its effects depends on the amount of worms in the intestine, the cat’s health, age and acquired immunity. But in one act of generosity, nature bestow on cats great resistance to hookworms as they grow older.

These parasites are known to cause chronic intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Medication for treatment includes Pyrantel Pamoate.

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