Even the healthiest looking cat can carry worms, so it is important to deworm on a regular basis. We take a look at the effect of worms on cats, signs that your cat has them and treatments.
What are worms?
Cats can contract worms from a variety of sources, including other animals, eating grass or faeces which contain larvae or eggs or raw meat infected with parasites. With cats being curious creatures, the likelihood of them getting worms is relatively high. Therefore, adult cats should be wormed as often as every three months.
Although many cats look healthy, they may still be carrying worms. There are no obvious signs for worms unless the infection has advanced and made your cat visibly ill. You may see worms in your cat’s faeces or sick. Your vet will be able to advise on a worm control programme to prevent your cat from getting to this stage.
Other symptoms include weight loss, weakness, diarrhoea, and an increase appetite. A change in fur texture may occur where it becomes dry and coarse. Extreme cases, the belly may become bloated or swollen.
It is best to speak to your vet regarding worm control, starting from a young age. Tapeworm eggs are carried by fleas, so treat for fleas regularly. Clean food and water bowls is important, using animal safe disinfectant.
Administering de-worming treatment can be quite stressful for you and your cat. It isn’t pleasant for either but keep in mind that cats pick up on your behaviour and feelings and respond in a similar way. You may need to try a variety of different de-worming treatments until there is one that works.
As with all medicines for cats, it is important to ensure you are calm throughout the process, offering praise and reward after the pill has been swallowed. Discussing the best treatment and delivery methods for deworming with your vet will ensure your cat enjoys a comfortable and worm free life.