Cat dewormer: how to deworm your cat?
In their lifetime, cats are exposed to many internal parasites. While most rob them of only a small portion of their food, some can have more serious consequences, including touching the cat’s heart or lungs.
Deworming is an essential preventive measure to fight your cat’s internal parasites and help control their numbers.
Worms, the cause of serious problems in cats
Two types of worms exist in our cats. The first and most common are roundworms. They are roundworms transmissible to other animals and to humans. The second, less common type of worms are tapeworms called Cestodes. Finally, there are also tapeworms which are long ringed worms. These parasites are of veterinary importance because they can cause major lesions in the organs they contaminate, and can be transmitted to humans.
Most of these worms will settle and grow in the digestive tract of the animal, and in particular in the intestine. They will then deprive the cat of some of the nutrients, but also feed on the blood of the cat they parasitize.
Sometimes the larvae migrate to the different organs of the animal, which can seriously damage them and cause serious health problems for your cat. Certain worms, fortunately less frequent, will also attach themselves to the heart, lungs or at the level of the bladder. Depending on where they are implanted, they can be the cause of heart failure, breathing problems or recurrent cystitis. Finally, in kittens, significant ascariasis can be very serious and sometimes fatal. However, it is a common parasitosis that is transmitted in the mother’s womb, through breastfeeding, or through contact with contaminated feces and can be transmitted through the mother’s milk or through contact with feces.
Cats become infected mainly by coming into contact with other infected animals. Since worms are not specific to a species, they easily pass from dogs or rodents to cats. For cats that go out, it is possible that they become infected by hunting and eating rats, mice, or birds. Finally, even indoor cats that never go out can be parasitized because it is possible that we bring back on our shoes worms, eggs or larvae.
When to deworm my cat?
It is important to know that most infected animals do not show symptoms at first. Your cat can therefore appear healthy, as worms feed and breed in them.
In other cases, and in the event of a massive infestation by worms, it will be possible to observe the eggs or larvae of the worms directly in the faeces of the animal. In addition, internal parasitosis should be mentioned as soon as your cat vomits or has diarrhea, if he appears pale or anemic, or if his general condition decreases. A drop in weight or in vitality can also be an important call sign. Finally, in kittens significant bloating and a swollen belly are also a sign.
Dewormers for cats have no preventive effect, but are only used as a cure. They will act when taken, with a “flush” effect that will kill all the adult worms present at that time. To prevent the animal from being too contaminated, it is therefore important to treat it on a regular basis.
Depending on the cat’s lifestyle, the treatment will be carried out 2 to 4 times a year. For indoor cats, where parasite pressure is relatively low, treatment twice a year is sufficient. On the contrary, for cats who go out a lot, the dewormer should be administered at least four times a year, at each change of season.
Kittens, particularly sensitive to internal parasites, must receive special and appropriate treatment. They must therefore be dewormed from the age of 15 days and the treatment must be repeated every month, until the age of 6 months.
Pregnant cats should also be treated so as not to transmit parasites to their kittens. They must be dewormed a few days before mating, then around the 45th day of gestation and at birth.
With which foods to deworm it?
To find a dewormer adapted to your animal, its weight and its lifestyle, talk to your veterinarian. Most dewormers take the form of tablets or pipettes.
The tablets, the most common treatments, should be swallowed by the cat. If necessary, they can be hidden in a little bit of food to ensure that the animal takes them correctly. Pipettes are generally easier to apply. In any case, it will be important to choose a dewormer with a wide spectrum of action with which it fights as well against ascaris, cestodes, etc.
Be wary of grandmother’s remedies intended to deworm a cat. Often they are ineffective and sometimes even toxic to the animal. Finally, despite popular belief, a cat that eats grass does not deworm itself.
Since worms are easily transmitted from one animal to another, it will be necessary to remember to treat all the animals in the house at the same time. It will also be necessary to combine this treatment with a treatment against fleas a few days before, because these can transmit tapeworm eggs. Finally, the cat litter must be cleaned very regularly to avoid recontamination.