Who takes care of a cat cannot avoid deworming the feline: but what does this operation consist of and what is it for?
The owner of the cat knows it well: taking care of the feline involves not only time and financial expenses but also attention to its needs and those of its health. The attentive and diligent owner must also not miss visits to the vet, respect the vaccination calendar and first of all make sure that his organism is free from worms. Here is what is meant by ‘deworming’ the cat and what are the positive effects of this operation.
Deworming the cat: what it means
As indicated by the word itself, it is a question of eliminating the presence of dangerous parasites from the feline’s body, ensuring the development of the immune defenses. Unfortunately, worms in the cat’s stomach are quite frequent and we must not make a drama of them, but it is good to intervene as soon as possible to avoid unpleasant consequences in the long run. Naturally, in this operation and in the treatment that will follow, the help of the expert will be fundamental, who will indicate to the owner the best way to proceed.
Deworming the cat: how to notice their presence
Although they do not have the opportunity to express it in words, cats have a rather varied symptomatology to indicate the problem that is afflicting their health. When the cat is not well it sends us a series of signals which, however, can easily lead to numerous pathologies, and not just to worms in the stomach.
If we can identify the presence of worms in the cat’s feces then it means that the problem is already quite advanced and there is no need to waste time. Before it reaches such a worrying level, however, the cat could have numerous other ailments that will tire it and make it less lively than usual: gastro-intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting and even difficulty defecating. Often those who suffer from these symptoms are puppy dogs , which present, in addition to these, also other symptoms such as bad breath, opacity of the coat and swelling of the abdomen.
Deworming the cat: which worms are responsible
As we have seen, the symptoms are not always the same, but they vary according to the parasite that has hit the feline. This is why it is important to distinguish the various types of worms and understand how to proceed to eliminate them. A veterinary expert may be able to identify the presence of worms even just by feeling the animal’s belly: this is why his help can never be replaced by any other do-it-yourself method. Here are the most common types of worms that can attack the body of our cat.
They are among the most common and easiest parasites to recognize in cats: roundworms have the classic long and round shape, sometimes attributable to spaghetti. The attack of roundworms can also affect humans, thus being one of the most annoying zoonoses for animals and humans. There are two species, Toxocara and Toxocaris: they are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, when the faeces of the infected animal contaminate water, food and soil.
This parasite manages to navigate the body until it reaches and crosses the placental barrier and infest the breast milk through the breast. This is why puppy cats are the ones most at risk, especially if the mother cat was not supervised during pregnancy.
They also include roundworms and usually present with diarrhea or constipation, bloating, anemia, and general wasting. They manage to penetrate and settle between the intestinal villi, or in the small intestine, feed on undigested food residues and digestive waste . Their characteristic cylindrical shape can stretch up to 10 or 12 centimeters. Once again, the kittens are the most at risk as it is often the mother cat who transmits nematodes to her young through milk or placenta.
Although they are more common in dogs, cats can also be infested with these little worms. They are transmitted through contact with the skin or through the mouth in contact with infected matter. Usually their infestation presents with diarrhea with blood loss, general feeling of exhaustion and anemia in the dog. Their shape resembles that of a hook: they use this final ‘hook’ to attach themselves to the mucous membranes of the intestine. They are rather difficult to eradicate so as to survive even for a lifetime in the organism of the infected cat. But humans also need to be alert: these worms often settle on the skin and cause itchy and very annoying dermatitis.
Tapeworms and heartworms
These worms are found in the intestines, both small and large, and have a body made of small segments. The latter contains the eggs and, when it detaches, is expelled from the infected cat through the feces. Their presence on the cat’s hind legs can be seen: they usually appear to the naked eye as small whitish seeds. They are usually transmitted when the cat is attacked by fleas. Heartworms, on the other hand, are more dangerous and aggressive and are transmitted through mosquitoes. Heartworm larvae enter the body and are able to grow rapidly.
Deworming the cat: how to do it
The operation must be performed differently depending on the age of the cat. In fact, if it is a puppy cat it will be good to intervene as soon as possible together with a whole series of other useful moves, and of course with the precious (and irreplaceable) help of the veterinarian.
Deworming a puppy cat
If we have adopted a newborn cat kitten, it is necessary to undergo a whole series of visits and checks. Deworming in puppies occurs through a series of vaccinations: be careful not to miss the vaccine calendar and to complete the entire cycle, to prevent the problem from being completely eliminated and from recurring. Generally, the deworming operation should be carried out every two weeks from the completion of the six weeks of life of the little feline, up to 3 months of life. Thereafter, the operation time can be extended every month (and no longer two weeks) up to 6 months of life.
Deworming a young to adult cat
If it is a cat that is no longer a puppy, it will be necessary to hurry up the times and proceed immediately with the deworming operation. Once you have undergone the first drug treatment, you will need to have at least two boosters every two weeks. Even if it is a bigger cat, and therefore with an already formed immune system and a stronger organism, it does not mean that you can do without the intervention of the veterinarian. We do not think that cats living in apartments are safe from this risk: even our shoes could lead them to contact with worms.
Deworming the cat: what are the risks
The consequences of the deworming operation could have side effects: it is good to know them to avoid getting scared when our cat may have some. These are vomiting and diarrhea, but it must be emphasized that their appearance is by no means taken for granted. Be careful not to adopt do-it-yourself remedies, or by purchasing a generic anti-worm product: they are not all the same and each product works against a certain type of intestinal parasite, which can sometimes also affect the digestive system.
Deworming the cat: how much it costs
Of course, it is not possible to draw up a single price list for all veterinarians, who can combine the individual deworming operation with other interventions, naturally increasing the price of their general work. Generally it is possible that the operation is based on the purchase of a drug, the cost of which is around 12.68-15.85 USD. The purchase of the drug must and can only take place upon presentation of the veterinarian’s medical prescription. Also as regards the method of administration of the drug it is necessary to consult with the expert. A stool test will generally be needed to figure out how much medicine the cat needs.