Fleas, Ticks and Worms in Cats

Fleas, Ticks and Worms in Cats

 

We all know that our cats like to explore the outdoors. Whether they are prowling the garden, or getting further afield, parasites can be picked up as they are on their travels.

Parasites live off a host animal, in this case your cat. They might live on the skin, like fleas and ticks, or in the stomach, like worms. Parasites can affect the health of your cat, causing them distress and discomfort, so it is important to take steps to make sure they are dealt with. As well as affecting your cat, if left untreated they can also affect humans, so keeping a regular anti-parasite routine is key for the health of everyone in your family.

Fleas and ticks live on a cat’s skin. They bite your cat and draw blood. Left untreated, this can lead to anaemia. Fleas can also spread into your home, where they lay eggs which hatch quickly. At this point you will need to treat your home as well as your cat, so prevention is key. Your Best Friends Vet can advise you of the best treatment plan for your cat.

It is best to have a routine when it comes to preventing fleas and ticks on your cat. Treat them monthly with the treatment recommended by your Best Friends Vet. It used to be that fleas were more prevalent in hotter summer months, but as most houses now have central heating your home can be the ideal environment for fleas and ticks to breed, meaning regular monthly treatment is essential to ensure that you are keeping your cats, and by extension your home, parasite-free.

Worms, if left untreated, can cause damage to your cat’s stomach and intestines, affecting how well they can absorb nutrients from the food that they eat. They also spread in faeces and can be picked up by other animals and humans in this way.

As your cat explores the outdoors they will come into contact with parasites and eggs that, if ingested, can cause worms. They might ingest these when they are out hunting, or they might brush up against them and then ingest them later when grooming.

Like flea treatment, it is best to treat for worms regularly using a tablet, or spot-on treatment. You can speak to your Best Friends Vet about which of these is best for your cat.

 

What can I do to treat my cats for parasites?

 

Treatment for parasites is simple. You can get the right product for treating fleas, ticks and worms from your Best Friends Vet. They will recommend the best treatment for your cat based on their weight and size and any other health issues they might have.

The treatment prescribed is always species-specific. Therefore, you must not give a flea treatment for dogs to a cat as it contains an ingredient that is toxic to cats. Only use a treatment that is suitable for cats, and always check you are giving the correct dosage based on their weight.

 

How can I treat my cats for parasites?

 

Treatments for parasites usually come in two types: spot-on treatment or tablets.

Spot-on treatments are a liquid in a small pipette which is applied to the back of the cat’s neck. This is so they aren’t able to lick it or remove it before it is absorbed into their skin. To apply you simply need to push back their fur and apply it directly to their skin.

You can also get tablets. It can be difficult to get cats to eat a tablet, most pet owners have seen their cat eat around them at one time or another! It can help to crush up the tablet and mix it into a favourite food, that you know they will eat quickly, to make sure it is fully ingested. You can also use a pill giver for cats, or ask your Veterinary Nurse to give it to your cat during your consultation.

 

What do I do if I am concerned about my cat?

 

If you have any concerns regarding your cat with fleas, ticks or worms, including if you’re concerned your current treatment type might not be suitable for your cat, please contact your local Best Friends veterinary practice.  Our team is on hand to offer you guidance and support every step of the way.

 

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