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Tapeworms and roundworms are the most common intestinal worms that infect cats. Most of the worm infested cats do not show any external signs. However, when the worms start to multiply, it usually results in diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and an itchy anus. Tapeworms can also be passed on to human beings, which can be quite deadly as they can remain dormant for a long time and hitch a ride to the brain.Types of worms
De-worming your cat
- Roundworms – They are the most common intestinal parasites and their eggs are passed through feces. They can remain dormant in the external environment for years. If your cat eats eggs from a contaminated environment or eats another contaminated animal, he/she can get infected. Once your cat is infested with roundworms, some of the larvae can remain dormant in his/her body tissues. It is especially risky in the case of female cats as the eggs can migrate to their mammary glands and get excreted through the milk they produce, infecting the kittens in the process.
- Hookworms – They are intestinal roundworms that damage the intestinal lining and cause bleeding, weight loss and anemia. Cats can get infected by hookworms when they ingest eggs from their surroundings. This can happen if they eat an intermediary host or if the larvae present in the environment manage to burrow their way through their skin.
- Tapeworms – These are multi-segmented worms that are long and flat. They need the mediating presence of an intermediary host to complete their life cycle. They will only get infected by eating an intermediary host. If they accidentally ingest fleas while they groom themselves or if they eat an infected rodent, they stand a good chance of contracting tapeworms.
Roundworms are very common in kittens as they can pick up the infection from their mothers’ mammary glands. It is safe to assume that all newborn kittens are infected and start treating them at a very young age.
- Treat your kittens for a roundworm infection once every 2 weeks starting from when they are three weeks old till they turn six months old.
- Treat adult cats once a month.
Tapeworms are usually more common in senior cats. However, in rare instances, even kittens can fall prey to a flea infestation.
What deworming product should you use?
- Adult cats need to be treated once every month with a product that can effectively combat both roundworms and tapeworms.
- Kittens need to be treated once every 2 weeks.
There are a number of deworming products available in the market, and the availability of a drug varies between countries. If you are in doubt, seek the advice of your pet’s veterinarian. He/she will be able to draw up a treatment plan that is suited to your cat’s needs. The deworming products found on the shelves of supermarkets are not that effective and the ones sold in veterinary pharmacies are quite costly. It is better to buy them online if you want to save money without compromising on the quality. You can go for both topical creams
. The topical creams are designed to enter your cat’s blood stream through his/her hair follicles. They are also easier to administer than a pill or an injection. If your vet gives you the go ahead, they are the easiest deworming option.