Dewormer in cats: why, when, how to deworm in your animal?

Dewormer in cats: why, when, how to deworm in your animal?

Dewormer in cats: why, when, how to deworm in your animal?

Intestinal worms can threaten the health of your cat and the humans around it. It is therefore important to deworm it regularly and to know how to detect the signs of possible infestation to act quickly against the parasites.
Like fleas, the spread of worms to other animals in the house or neighborhood can
be rapid, and it will be even more difficult to eliminate them... How to recognize the infestation, and when and how to administer the treatment?

Why deworm in cat?

Worms can cause significant damage to your cat's organs, as well as an illness if the infestation persists. Ascariasis, for example, is common in kittens and can be transmitted through the mother's milk or by contact with feces. Without your cat even going outside, he can catch worms from contact with your other pets, especially dogs and rodents.

And if your cat has access to a garden, the risk of contamination is increased because he can meet other cats, but also come into contact with animals during the hunt: rats, mice, birds, etc. If the cat ingests a contaminated animal, it will in turn be contaminated and the worms transmitted by birds and wild rodents are sometimes virulent, in particular heartworm and lungworm. Finally, your cat may transmit some of these parasites to you and to your more vulnerable children especially if they spend time with the animal.

Dewormer in cats: why, when, how to deworm in your animal?

The different types of worms

If your cat is a carrier of worms, only the veterinarian will be able to identify the species with certainty; however, if you happen to see them in the animal's feces, you may be able to distinguish between roundworms and flatworms. The first, also called Ascaris, are the most common in cats while flatworms, or Cestodes, are rarer.

Smaller worms, hookworms, are more common in dogs and affect the small intestine. Contamination can occur by ingestion or through the skin. More remarkable, tapeworms (or tapeworms) are ringed worms that can be spotted in the fur of the animal at the level of the anus.

It even happens to find a "ring" of it in the cat's stool. There are also bladder worms, only detectable by specific urine tests; they can cause painful urinary tract infections (cystitis). Cardiopulmonary worms, the most dangerous, are fortunately rare in France but can be found in southern Europe. So be careful if you have to travel with your cat to Spain, Portugal or Greece.

How to diagnose the infestation?

As said above, worms can be spotted in the stool but sometimes the diagnosis is not so simple. Other signs, however, indicate that the cat is infested, in particular vomiting or a decrease in appetite and anemia for roundworms, and on the contrary, an increased appetite if the animal is suffering from solitary worms because the latter will draw nutrients in the intestinal wall. Thus, the cat can also experience weight loss or swelling of the lower abdomen, particularly in cases of ascariasis.

Also remember to examine the cat's gums, which are normally pink: if they show discoloration, pallor, or grayish color, he may be suffering from anemia which is one of the consequences of the presence of intestinal worms. If in doubt, make an appointment quickly with the veterinarian, who will be able to make a definitive diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment depending on the type of parasites.

Choice and administration of dewormer for cats

Most of the time in tablet form, the dewormer can be administered directly by the veterinarian, or by yourself if you have to pick it up at the pharmacy. The dosage should be made according to weight and age, on the advice of the veterinarian or pharmacist. There are also treatments against worms in the form of a pipette, the contents of which are applied to the skin at neck level (such as anti-flea pipettes). The product will diffuse through the epidermis and pass into the blood to eliminate the worms.

If you are going to get the dewormer yourself, without recommendation or prescription, be sure to choose a product with the greatest possible scope of action, that is to say, that can treat a maximum of species of digestive worms. Tablets and pipettes generally have the same effectiveness, pipettes having the advantage of not having to make the cat swallow medication, which is not always easy... This is why the veterinarian will surely suggest doing it for you while showing you the procedure for next time. Otherwise, hiding the stamp in a treat (meatball...) is a good solution, but it is important to make sure that the cat does not spit it out behind your back!

Preventive measures against worms

First of all, a quarterly treatment is recommended to prevent the appearance of intestinal parasites, especially if your cat is taken outside. For an apartment cat, the administration of a preventive dewormer two to three times a year may be sufficient if it only eats industrial food and is not in contact with other domestic animals.

At each treatment, remember to treat all the animals in the house in the same way for greater safety. Also treat them regularly against fleas and ticks, potential vectors of tapeworm worms. The litter should be cleaned daily (it is important to remove all excrement) and the tray scalded each time the litter is changed to destroy the roundworm eggs.

Take care to place the tray far enough from the cat's feeding point to avoid contamination by stool and clean the bowls regularly. Finally, natural herbal treatments (thyme, mugwort) or certain foods (garlic, cloves) can prevent the development of parasites: mix them in small quantities with the cat's food for eight days, two to three times a year.

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