From a very young age, cats can be infested with both external and internal parasites.
If treated properly, these are not a problem to your kitten or your family.
Flea bites cause irritations, the loss of blood and serious skin allergies in sensitive cats.
Severe itching can cause hair loss, scabs and skin ulceration particularly on the skin of the back towards the tail.
How do Fleas Develop?
Adult fleas stay on the same animal for extended periods.
Once they leave the animal, they can survive only 1 to 4 days in the environment before they must return to feed.
Each female adult flea may lay up to 50 eggs per day for several weeks.
These eggs develop into microscopic larvae which spin a cocoon from which a new adult emerges about 10 days later.
The whole development cycle may be completed in 3 weeks.
The fleas seen on your cat represent only about 5% of the problem.
The other 95% exists in the environment as eggs, larvae and pupae.
How to Protect Against Fleas?
It is recommended to treat the cat with a flea product like Frontline Plus.
A flea bomb can be used to rid the environment of the eggs, cocoons and larvae.
These things, coupled with vacuuming, steam cleaning, washing bedding, etc. should eradicate the problem.
Care should always be taken when using flea products including flea bombs—read all instructions before using.
Monthly treatment is recommended for effective flea control.
Treat all cats and dogs in your household at the same time.
Regular vacuuming will remove eggs and stimulate fleas to emerge.
Wash pet blankets and bedding regularly in hot water and bleach.
Ticks - Where are Paralysis Ticks Found?
Paralysis tick is found on the eastern seaboard, from North Queensland to Victoria.
They are found on animals that live in or near bush or scrubland.
Internal Parasites -
Cats can get a variety of intestinal parasites, including some that are commonly referred to as “worms.”
Infestations of intestinal worms can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes cats demonstrate few to no outward signs of infection, and the infestation can go undetected despite being a potentially serious health problem.
Some feline parasitic worms are hazards for humane health as well.
What Are the Most Common Types of Worms in Cats?
Roundwormsare the most common internal parasites in cats.
Resembling spaghetti, adult worms are three to four inches long.
There are several ways cats can become infected.
Nursing kittens can get roundworms from an infected mother’s milk, while adult cats can acquire them by ingesting an infected rodent or the faeces of an infected cat.
Hookwormsare much smaller than roundworms - less than an inch long-and reside primarily in the small intestine.
Because they feed on an animal’s blood, hookworms can cause life-threateninganaemia especially in kittens.
Hookworm eggs are passed in the stool and hatch into larvae, and a cat can become infected either through ingestion or skin contact.
Please note, hookworms are more common in dogs than in cats.
Tapeworms are long and flat andare segmented parasites, ranging 4 to 28 inches in length.
An infestation can cause vomiting or weight loss.
Cats acquire tapeworms by ingesting an intermediate host, like an infected flea or rodent. When cats are infected, tapeworm segments - actual pieces of the worm that resemble grains of rice - can often be seen on the fur around a cat’s hind end.
How Do Cats Get Worms?
Though means of transmission can vary, one of the main ways that cats get worms is through the ingestion of the faeces of infected felines.
Mother cats can also pass on worms to their kittens.
What Are the General Symptoms of Worms?
Symptoms differ depending on the type of parasite and the location of infection, but some common clinical signs include:
· Worms visible in stool or segments of worm seen near anus
· Bloody stool
· Bloating or round, potbellied appearance to abdomen
· Weight loss
· Trouble breathing
Are Certain Cats Prone to Worms?
Outdoor cats that hunt and eat rodents, and those who are routinely exposed to soil where other animals defecate are prone to worms.
Cats that have fleasare also likely to get tapeworms.
Kittens and cats who do not receive regular preventative health care are most at risk for developing complications associated with internal parasites.
How Are Worms Treated?
Ask your vet for a recommended ‘all worm’ treatment, which may be in the form of a tablet, paste or a drop for the back of the neck.
All Oz Catz’ kittens are wormed with an ‘all wormer’ compound at 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks old.
Treatment should be provided to your kitten on a regular basis.
Can I Catch Worms from My Cat?
A large number of roundworm eggs can accumulate where cats defecate.
People, especially children, who ingest such eggs can develop serious health problems.
It is recommended that you treat all family members at least twice each year with a worming medication available from your local Chemist.
Combantrim is one such medication.
How Can I Prevent My Cat from Getting Worms?
Keep your cat indoors to avoid exposure to infected cats, rodents, fleas and faeces.
Make sure your home, yard and pets are flea-free.
Practice good hygiene and wear gloves when changing cat litteror handling faeces.