We all know that worming our cats (and dogs) on a regular basis is an important part of keeping our furry friends healthy but many people often forget or do not really bother with worming products at all. This can cause real problems if your cat develops an infestation and it is something that is so easily managed.
What are worms and how can they be caught?
There are two main types of worms that cats can become infected with which are roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites for cats and can be passed on through faeces which are infected with eggs that a cat then eats, or by eating a small rodent that is infected with roundworms. Roundworms can also be passed from a mother to her kittens through her milk which is why many kittens are often infected with roundworms from birth. Tapeworms are long, flat parasites that have bodies made up of different segments. These segments carry the eggs and can be passed onto other cats either through the ingestion of infected faeces or by the consumption of infected prey. Some tapeworms can also be transmitted through fleas which carry the eggs, that are consumed by the cat when grooming.
What are the effects of worms on cats?
Many cats do not show any signs or symptoms of having worms and simply carry them without any discomfort to the cat or knowledge to their owners. Others can become incredibly poorly when they have an infestation that can cause drastic weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea.
How can you treat worms?
Although worms are impossible to prevent, there are numerous products that can kill worms. What you choose to use is really somthing of personal preference with options including both spot on treatments (a liquid applied directly to the skin of the cat at the back of their neck) and tablets. For kittens there are also creams and syrups that can be used to treat worm infestations. Baring in mind that tapeworms can also be transmitted through infected fleas, it is also important to ensure that you treat your cat for fleas on a regular basis too.