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How to deworm your cat

Updated on October 29, 2007

Cats need all sorts of things to be well and thrive and it includes things such as premium cat food (which is more important then ever with all the food recalls) to plenty of toys that will keep them occupied. But another important aspect that no responsible cat owner can and should ignore is the regular vet check-ups and making sure your cat is a healthy cat. One part of the process is de-worming of your cat. It does constitute a large part of health maintenance.

But what are worms actually and what type of worms can your cats have? And even more importantly how to recognize the signs your cat has worms to begin with? When it comes to my cats, I was told by our vet that I should treat the kittens and then repeat the process again after 14 days and then when needed. This is why you should be able to recognize the symptoms and signs that your cat has worms to be able to treat it with anti-worm medication. If you have a kitten the chance are about 99,9% that your kitten has worms. They can be transferred while the kitten is still in the womb or during nursing through cat's milk. So de-worming will be necessary. The same applies if you have found a stray kitten or a cat.

The signs can be a bit more difficult to detect if your cat is predominantly an indoor cat. Some of the signs that might point to the fact your cat has worms would include: heaving, retching, appetite change, diarrhea, dull coat of fur and/or potbelly. If your cat does vomit and the worms come out you will have to de-worm your cat immediately. The chances are these are probably roundworms and they resemble spaghetti in their appearance. Another type of worms that your cat might have are the tapeworms which are segmented and flat.

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat certain behaviors can also mean you will have to de-worm your cat on regular basis. For example if your cat likes to prowl and catch birds or mice, you will have to de-worm. Wild animals can carry worm larvae and if your cat eats the wild animals they can develop a worm problem. Also if you catch your cat nibbling on other animal's feces, be prepared to de-worm your cat immediately. The best way to determine if your cat has a worm problem is to have the feces tested at your pet clinic. The down side is that the test does not necessarily show the worms as unless they are moving or actively migrating, they can lay dormant for quite a while within the cat's body that acts as a host. However feces test is still the best way to determine a worm problem as it will tell you which type of worms your cat has (the treatment for tapeworms does not necessarily work on roundworms and vice versa) so correct diagnosis is essential. Also be prepared that your cat might need several treatments to get rid of worms completely, which is due to the fact worms can be in different stages of development and not all stages of worm development react to the prescribed medication. When it comes to cat's health observation is the key and if your observe your cat you should be able to tell if it has a worm problem.


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