About Heartworm & Deworming
Using high-quality products to deworm your pet cat at regular intervals is important. Some pet parents think that cats that stay indoors do not need to be dewormed. This is a myth that can severely compromise your cat's health. The truth is most cats are born with worms. This is because worms are often transferred from mothers to kittens in the womb. On the other hand, heartworms in cats are transmitted by mosquitoes and have little to do with your pet staying indoors or outside. The best course of action is to put your cat on a regular deworming plan.
Heartworm and deworming medications are crucial in maintaining a cat's health, particularly in preventing worm infestations that can adversely affect their well-being. Understanding the importance of these medications involves recognizing the various types of worms that can affect cats and the potential risks associated with these infestations.
Types of Worms:
Roundworms: These are common intestinal worms that may be present in a cat's digestive tract. They can be transmitted through the ingestion of worm eggs present in infected feces, litter boxes, or contaminated environments.
Tapeworms: Often transmitted through fleas, tapeworms attach themselves to a cat's intestines and can cause nutritional deficiencies.
Whipworms: These worms primarily affect a cat's large intestine and can lead to symptoms like dehydration and weight loss.
Heartworms: Though more commonly associated with dogs, cats can also be affected by heartworms. Transmitted through mosquito bites, these worms reside in a cat's blood vessels and can cause severe cardiovascular issues.
Transmission and Risks:
Cats, especially those allowed outdoors, may be at an increased risk of worm infestations due to exposure to infected feces, soil, or carriers like fleas. Even indoor cats are not entirely immune, as worm eggs can be easily transmitted through contaminated litter boxes or brought in by their feline friends.
Symptoms of Worm Infestations:
Routine deworming is a crucial part of preventative healthcare for cats. Deworming medications come in various forms, including oral tablets, spot-on treatments, and injectables. These medications work to eliminate different types of worms and can be administered regularly or as needed based on the cat's risk factors and lifestyle.
Spot-on treatments are convenient and effective, often applied to the skin between a cat's shoulder blades. They protect a broad spectrum of worms and fleas.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications:
While some deworming medications are available over the counter, consulting with a veterinarian before administering any treatment is essential. A veterinarian can provide guidance on the most appropriate medication based on the cat's health, age, and potential exposure to worms.
Maintaining a cat's health involves a comprehensive approach that includes regular deworming. By preventing and treating worm infestations, cat owners can ensure the well-being of their feline companions, reducing the risk of complications and promoting a healthy and happy life. Regular veterinary check-ups and discussions about preventative measures with a veterinarian are crucial in safeguarding a cat from the potential harm caused by various types of intestinal worms, including heartworms.
Chewable deworming products such as Heartgard and Drontal Feline work amazingly well as preventives and kill existing worm populations. However, it's important to remember that a single product often does not contain the ingredients to treat all types of worms.
For example, HeartGard, which uses Ivermectin, is specifically manufactured to kill heartworms and does nothing to stop tapeworms in cats. Similarly, Drontal Feline destroys hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms, but it does not contain the ingredients to stop heartworms. Ask a vet to find out the best deworming meds for your cat. No matter what the vet recommends, you can find it right here at PetCareRx.