Why Indoor Cats Need Parasite Prevention

Oct 14, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

Most people remember the joys of growing up and either being tormented  by disgusting boys throwing dead worms at you, or being the disgusting  boy enjoying tormenting the object of their grade school affection.  Consequently, the thought of worms tend to hold a fair amount of  emotion for many of us. We cannot believe that our much loved indoor  cat could possibly acquire worms. BUT our indoor cats frequently have  worms and other parasites. How could this occur?

99% of all kittens become infected with roundworms from the mother  cat, through nursing and through contact with her stool. Some of these  roundworms will encyst and become dormant in the muscles and will not  be destroyed by dewormers. When the cat’s immune system becomes  stressed from illness, pregnancy or even aging, some of these juvenile  roundworms will activate and migrate to the intestinal tract and start  reproducing. Also, contact with potting soil can infect cats with  roundworms. In a recent study 15% of potting soils were found to carry  roundworm eggs.

Many cats will chase and consume insects such as moths and beetles  which also can carry a variety of parasites. Indoor cats who are  mighty hunters and catch mice that sneak into the house especially  with the advent of cold weather often eat their prey and become  infected with tapeworms. Even the most sedentary of indoor cats can  become infested with fleas as fleas can come indoors via hitching a  ride with the household humans. When cats groom the fleas off they  swallow them and become infected with tapeworms.

Last but not least, in most areas of the country mosquitoes carry  heart worm larvae. Mosquitoes get into many homes – who has not been  irritated by that annoying buzz? Heartworm infected mosquitoes bite  the indoor cats who then develop heartworm disease. Heartworm disease  can cause asthma type symptoms,or even cause fatal heart and lung  disease.

So, protect your indoor cat from these parasites and give your cat a  monthly parasite preventative from your veterinarian such as  Revolution or Advantage Multi, and deworm your bug and rodent hunting  kitties 3-4 times a year with a tapeworm dewormer!

Dr Tammy Sadek

Dr Tammy Sadek is board certified in Feline Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr Sadek graduated at the top of her veterinary class at the University Of Minnesota College Of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced feline medicine and surgery for over 25 years. Dr Sadek is the owner and founder of two cat hospitals in the Grand Rapids, MI area, the Kentwood Cat Clinic and the Cat Clinic North.

In addition to her cat hospitals, Dr Sadek hosts a website www.litterboxguru.com dedicated to helping cat owners prevent and correct litter box issues along with other behavioral issues with their pets.

Dr Sadek is the author of several chapters in the book Feline Internal Medicine Secrets. Her professional interests include senior cat care, internal medicine, feline behavior, and dermatology.

Dr Sadek is currently owned by 5 cats. In addition to caring for all her feline friends, Dr Sadek enjoys traveling, jewelry making, reading fantasy and science fiction, and gardening. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two soon to fledge children.

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