What are intestinal parasites?

Intestinal parasites are parasites that live inside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Dr. Amanda German
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

How do intestinal parasites impact the health and well-being of a cat?

Intestinal parasites consume some of the nutrition intended for the cat. This can result in weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and overall health deterioration.

What preventative measures can be taken to ensure that my cat doesn't get worms or other parasites?

It's important to maintain a clean litter box and ensure your cat is on a monthly heartworm preventative that contains a dewormer. If your cat is indoor, keep everything clean. If they're outdoor, they should be dewormed once monthly.

What are some signs and symptoms of intestinal parasites in your cat?

Signs and symptoms of intestinal parasites in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, poor coat condition, and in severe cases, it could even lead to death.

Can you see worms in your cat's stools?

Most of the time, no. Most of these worms are microscopic and need to be examined under a microscope. However, sometimes tapeworms can be seen, which look like small moving grains of rice.

How will a veterinarian diagnose intestinal parasites in your cat?

Veterinarians typically ask for a fecal sample that can be examined under a microscope for the presence of parasite eggs.

What are some possible conditions caused by intestinal parasites, and what are the treatments?

Possible conditions caused by intestinal parasites include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite. Treatment generally involves the use of dewormers such as Profender that are applied to the base of their neck, or sometimes, oral medication is necessary.

Why is early detection and diagnosis of intestinal parasites so important?

Early detection is crucial because these parasites affect the cat's GI system, preventing them from getting proper nutrition. If left untreated, it could lead to gastrointestinal issues, immobility, and even death.

When should my cat see a veterinarian for deworming?

I recommend bringing your cat to the vet for deworming as soon as you get them. We like to start deworming kittens at eight weeks, and if you adopt from a shelter, it's best to bring them in for a check-up immediately.

Cat Deworming - FAQs 1

Dr. Amanda German
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

How is my cat tested for worms?

We ask that you bring a fecal sample to your appointment. We can then examine it under a microscope.

What medication is used for deworming?

We use a few different medications, but the most common is a product called Profender, which is applied between the cat's shoulder blades. Additionally, most monthly heartworm preventatives also contain a dewormer.

Can I deworm my cat at home?

Yes, you can deworm your cat at home. However, we recommend using the medications that we prescribe.

How often should my cat be dewormed?

We usually recommend monthly deworming, alongside their heartworm preventative.

What happens when my cat is dewormed?

Typically, there are no noticeable effects. The medication will kill any parasites present. In some cases, you may notice a small amount of diarrhea, but most often there will be no obvious changes.

Is deworming necessary for cats?

Yes, I strongly recommend deworming. Cats are always in and out of a litter box, so their paws are never fully clean, making it easy for them to pick up parasites.

What would happen if my cat isn't dewormed?

If your cat gets worms, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and a dull hair coat. In severe cases, it can lead to death.

Cat Deworming - FAQs 2

Dr. Amanda German
Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

Can all intestinal parasites be prevented?

Yes, all intestinal parasites can be prevented.

How does my cat get intestinal parasites?

Cats can acquire parasites when they clean their feet after using the litter box or going outside. The parasites could possibly get picked up during this process.

Can my indoor cat still get intestinal parasites?

Unfortunately, yes, indoor cats can also get intestinal parasites because we could inadvertently bring the parasite eggs in on our shoes.

What can I do to prevent tapeworm?

To prevent tapeworms, it is essential to prevent fleas as well. This can be done by ensuring that your cat is on a monthly flea preventative treatment.

Is there a medication to prevent my cat from getting intestinal parasites?

Yes, there is. I usually recommend a monthly heartworm preventative treatment, which typically includes a dewormer.

How can I keep my cat from passing on intestinal parasites to other pets in the household?

Keeping the litter box clean is crucial. I recommend cleaning it at least weekly, if not daily.

Can intestinal parasites be passed on to people?

Yes, some intestinal worms can also affect humans. Hence, it is important to maintain cleanliness and wash your hands after cleaning the litter box.

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