Cat Deworming

Deworming is an important component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your cat especially since some worms can be transmitted to humans. While the possibility of contracting worms is definitely greater for outdoor felines, your indoor cat is also susceptible. Fleas and worm eggs can enter the home via our shoes, clothing, other pets, and even potting soil or the common house fly.

What are some internal cat parasites?

There are many internal parasites that we see in cats such as roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, giardia and coccidia. It is not uncommon for indoor cats to get internal parasites so regular deworming is important. The most common type of worm is roundworm and can be passed to kittens from their mother. If you’ve brought a new kitten into your family, deworming and fecal testing is important because there are human health risks that can be directly linked to pets having untreated parasites. The parasites also steal valuable nutrients from the cat. Even indoor cats should be dewormed two to four times a year.

What are worm infestation symptoms in cats?

Worm infestation symptoms can include a potbellied appearance, vomiting and diarrhea, (bloody diarrhea as well). Worm segments can be seen in stool or near the anus and entire worms may pass in the stool as well.

Do worms affect humans?

Yes! Some internal parasites can affect humans, the most common being roundworm. Humans can accidentally ingest infective worm eggs that have been passed through the pet’s feces in the environment. The eggs then hatch in the human’s intestinal tract and the immature worms can migrate to various tissues in the body.

What is the deworming schedule?

Kittens should be dewormed every 2 weeks until they are 4 months of age. Adult outdoor cats should be dewormed monthly for several parasites including roundworm, tapeworm, and hookworm. Indoor cats are at a reduced risk of contracting parasites but are still able to become infected by ingesting fleas, houseflies, potted plant soil or rodents. Monthly dewormer is recommended. A thorough deworming every 6 months is effective for most indoor cats.

Any deworming medication side effects?

There may be a small chance of a skin reaction with topical parasite products. Side effects could include localized fur loss and minor irritation. Oral parasite products may cause vomiting. To reduce this risk, oral deworming should be given directly after feeding a meal. Should either reaction occur, your veterinarian should be contacted to determine when to administer another dose or consider a different approach.

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