Worm Control in Cats
Your cat is one of the family and you enjoy the closeness and companionship that comes with sharing your life with your cat. However, there’s one thing you certainly won’t want to share, and that’s worms!
The problem is more common than you might think. Any cat is at risk of infection, however well cared for – and most will be infected at some stage in their life. Left untreated, worms have the potential to cause real health problems for your cat: vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and anaemia to name just a few.
A few worms (in particular Toxocara – the common roundworm) can be transmitted to people – and children are particularly vulnerable. That’s why, as a responsible pet owner, you should make regular worming part of your pet-care routine, to help protect the health of your pet, yourself and your family.
The Different Types of Worms
Cat worms can come in a number of different forms: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms – there are in fact more than a dozen different intestinal worms that can affect cats and dogs in the UK.
Roundworms live in the pet’s gut, living off the contents and growing to around 100mm or so in cats. (Remember, there maybe dozens of them in a heavily infected animal). These worms can be passed from the queen to the kittens. Infected animals pass eggs which can survive on the environment for a long period of time.
Tapeworms can be much longer. The commonest is the flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) which affects both cats and dogs, and grows to around half a metre. Other tapeworms can reach a staggering and frightening 5 metres! Cats that hunt are particularly at risk from tapeworm as mice and other animals can be a source of infection.
Hookworms are only 10mm long but they attach themselves to the gut wall to feed on the pet’s blood.
Whilst all of these worms can damage your pet’s health, the good news is that they can all be controlled.
So what can you do to protect your pet against worms?
Sadly, it is very difficult to prevent worm infection in cats. Worming treatments do not prevent infection in adult cats – so your pet could become re-infected shortly after being wormed. Worms can grow fast – from egg to adult in as little as 3 weeks, depending on the species of the worm. But what you can do is to help protect your pet against the effects of infection, by killing worms before they can cause serious damage to your pet's health. Worming your cat at least every three months, not only ensures that your cat stays healthy but can reduce the risk of certain diseases being passed on to you and your family.
Worming your cat has just got a whole lot easier!
A broad spectrum wormer that kills tapeworms and roundworms is ideal, and such wormers in tablet form are available from your veterinary practice. But many cats are not very agreeable to taking tablets - and it can sometimes be something of a battle!
There is now an alternative to take the stress out of worming! An easy-to-give, effective multi wormer for cats that kills all the roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms that your cat can get is now available from your veterinary practice. It is straightforward and easy to apply (just a drop on the back of the neck) and will make worming a much less stressful process for both you and your cat. As your veterinary practice for more information.
How often you should worm your pet depends on your pet’s lifestyle. If they eat raw meat, hunt birds, mice or rabbits then they will need to be wormed more frequently compared to cats that tend to stay indoors. But for most cats, worming every three months is ideal. Your veterinary practice will be able to recommend a parasite prevention plan that is most appropriate for you and your cat.