Although cats are extremely clean animals, they need the assistance of humans to stay protected from parasites. In fact, if they are not eradicated in time or if they are young felines, these parasites can be lethal.
If your pet does not have access to the outside, you should not trust yourself, since you can carry them on your clothes or in your shoes , in the form of larvae or eggs, and these can reach your pussycat. Discover how to keep your cat free of parasites in a simple way. Ready?
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Types of parasites in cats
Knowing exactly which parasite is the one that has infested your cat is essential so that the veterinarian can prescribe the ideal treatment. Observing your stool and vomit , if any, will facilitate the work of gathering information that will be very useful to the professional. Based on your state of health, a deworming calendar will be scheduled.
Cats can be attacked by internal and / or external parasites. The first group includes tapeworms, roundworms , hookworms, and heartworm immitis . Among the ectoparasites we find, mainly, fleas and ticks.
Internal parasites and cat puppies
Puppies are especially vulnerable to the presence of these endoparasites in their digestive system as they have an immature immune system. Not surprisingly, hookworms cling to the intestinal walls to feed on the blood causing severe anemia in the kitten that can even end its life in just 2 weeks .
Flatworms, called nematode worms , cause severe bloody diarrhea and, in the most severe cases, hydatid cysts in the lung, most of the time life-threatening.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal parasite infestation
In the case of internal parasites, the most obvious signs of their existence are the following:
- Threw up.
- Gums pale as a result of anemia.
- Apathy and decay.
- Little lustrous coat.
- Prominent abdomen, in proportion to the rest of the body, in the case of roundworm infestation.
Symptoms of external parasite infestation
If we refer to external parasites, when they are housed in your cat’s mantle, the symptoms that will warn you of their presence are:
- Your pet won’t stop scratching behind the ears or on the neck.
- It appears duller than usual.
- You have less appetite.
- Their fur looks dull and, even, you see bald spots.
- If your cat is allergic to flea bites, it could manifest an allergic reaction: a severe dermatitis that causes eczema and wounds on the skin.
In the case of ectoparasites, it deserves your attention that even once the infestation is over, their eggs and larvae can develop in the digestive system of your cat, giving rise to an endogenous infestation. Therefore, as you can see, it is not a minor issue.
Treatment for internal parasites
This group of parasites is fought with pills, tablets, syrups and drops. Therefore, the routes of administration are oral or topical. The vet will show you how you should give it, for how long, how often and in what dose. The latter is determined by its weight . In the container itself you will find the corresponding range.
Epsiprantel or praziquantel are often prescribed for tapeworms , while pyrantel paomate and milbemycin oxime are effective for roundworms and hookworms, or topical selamectin . The anthelmintic paste is applied in a tube until the kitten turns one year old. From that age and 2 kg in weight, it is applied as a pill.
You must make sure that it does not spit or bite it . To do this, insert it down your cat’s throat and wait for it to swallow. From the second or third week of life it is necessary to deworm the kitten, since its mother can transmit them through the placenta. No cat should stay more than 3 or 4 months without being dewormed.
Do you know that there are some foods that will naturally cause your cat to expel internal parasites? If you find yourself in this situation, try adding dried thyme, pumpkin seeds or apple cider vinegar to your pet’s food.
Treatment for external parasites
There is a wide variety of products on the market, although pipettes are the most widely used due to their extreme ease of use and high effectiveness. However, you can also use antiparasitic collars, pills, shampoos or sprays. If you need guidance, check with your veterinarian.
They are used to eliminate fleas and ticks, as well as their larvae and eggs. All you have to do is break its nozzle and pour its contents on the nape of your pet, removing its hair. On contact with the skin, its effect spreads throughout the body through the bloodstream and lasts for about 21 or 30 days. Consequently, you will have to repeat the operation every month.
Its effect is longer lasting, since it can last from 12 to 20 weeks. This collar is coated with insecticide and is very comfortable if your pet frequents the garden or areas with vegetation. Of course, never use this method if your cat is not more than 4 months old.
In general, they are indicated to eradicate internal parasites, but some brands also neutralize external ones. Its usual dosage is one tablet every 15 days for 3 months in adult cats . After that, you will need to rest for several weeks.
Never pick a tick, because its legs will stick to your cat and could cause an infection.
Shampoos and sprays
This group of antiparasitics is the one that is experiencing the most progress. In addition to killing existing fleas or ticks, they also repel potential new infestations. Some brands even sell sprays to spray in the environment and protect the environment in which the cat lives.
Although we are dealing with parasites that usually attack felines, your kitten can infect you by playing with it or by stroking it. The changes of season, due to the changes in temperature that they entail, reduce the defenses of the animal. Therefore, provide him with a nutritious diet and avoid drafts. Never give raw guts .
And remember, after 6 months of life you cannot neglect the 3 annual deworming. Never use products for dogs, since they can be toxic for your kitten or exceed the dose indicated by the veterinarian, especially in the case of puppies.