Cat Deworming

Parasite control is an important part of good health care for your cat and yourself. A clean cat is a public health necessity.

What are some internal cat parasites?

There are several types of internal parasites that cause problems in cats. These include nematodes or roundworms, Toxocara cats, toxascaris leonine (intestinal roundworm) and Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm). Cestodes or tapeworms of which dipylidium caninum, Taenia species and Echinococcus species are also some important examples. A colostomy species (hookworms) are also common internal parasites in many parts of Canada and the United States.

What are worm infestation symptoms in cats?

In kittens, a severe worm infestation can stunt growth, cause serious digestive upsets and result in excessive gas formation. Hookworms infection is serious and as a result of blood-sucking can cause severe anemia. The infective larvae can enter the host either by mouth or through the skin, particularly the feet. Tapeworms are acquired from eating an intermediate host, such as a flea or mice. These can cause digestive issues and if severe digestive blockage.

Do worms affect humans?

Certainly some worms can transmit to humans. Roundworms can be transmitted along some other intestinal parasites such as coccidiosis. Routine hand cleaning and regular (daily) cleaning of the litter boxes dramatically reduces the risk for humans.

What is the deworming schedule?

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) have the following recommendations for cats: have fecal exams done 2-4 times during the first year of life and then, 1-2 times a year adults. Administer deworming to puppies and kittens bi-weekly, from 2-8 weeks of age, then monthly until six months. As adults, twice yearly deworming is recommended unless exposure risks dictate more frequent deworming.

Any deworming medication side effects?

Although routinely used in dogs and cats, anthelmintic medications are not without possible adverse effects. These are very mild and can be hair loss at the site of application or vomiting and some diarrhea. In extreme overdose of the products, more serious effects can be seen. Usually just stopping the medication will suffice, but if you are not sure, then the best thing you can do is call your veterinarian.


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Last updated: January 6, 2021


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