Several types of internal and external parasites can cause problems in cats. Intestinal worms are quite common and can be a very serious issue, especially in kittens. Therefore, it is important to keep our cats protected and properly treated to avoid these pests.
A few of the common intestinal worms include hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Hookworms can cause anemia, roundworms can affect growth and development, and tapeworms often accumulate in the guts and heavy burdens can lead to intestinal blockage. There are myths that only outdoor animals can get fleas. However, they are quite common in indoor cats as well. Fleas can enter a house on the clothing of humans, or on other animals and can be difficult to eradicate from the environment once present. Fleas can have many effects on our cats, including flea bite dermatitis (an allergy to the fleas) and anemia (can occur in severe cases because the fleas feed on blood). Since fleas act as intermediate hosts to a number of parasites, infection with other internal worms can occur.
To keep out cats healthy and happy, the focus needs to be on prevention. There are a number of topical and oral preventatives that can be a great choice for your feline friend; our veterinarians can help decide with you which will be the best fit for your cat. If your cat goes outdoors, it is also a good idea to do periodic routine deworming, which can be achieved with an oral pill obtained from your veterinarian. We all want our cats to be as healthy as can be and keeping them free from parasites is a great first step!
Written by Briarwood Animal Hospital