Deworming is a health act for both the animal and the human environment, especially if there are children in contact with the animal. Indeed, worms are dangerous because they can cause significant lesions on the cat’s internal organs and other types of worms can be transmitted (and therefore potentially dangerous) to humans: it is the organs that suffer first from these worms because they do not have the same hygiene as adults. Since the symptoms are often undetectable, it is not easy to tell if the cat is contaminated or not because the eggs of the worms pass mostly in the stool.
What types of worms can be found?
It simply consists of giving the cat one: this product will kill the worm located in the animal’s digestive tract.
There are 2 types of worms, namely ascaris or nematode worms (round worms) and cestode worms (flat worms, known as tapeworms).
Round worms :
There are in fact 3 categories of roundworms: roundworms are 10 cm long and will contaminate mainly kittens, causing diarrhea, bloating and a drop in immunity. They are caught by the placenta or breast milk.
The 2nd category includes hookworms, which are more dangerous and rarer worms because they cause high fever and digestive problems. Contamination occurs through breast milk and the larvae penetrate the kitten’s skin.
Finally, cheating worms are worms that are frequently found and come to encyster the large intestine.
The best known and most widespread is the tapeworm also called Dipylidium, traces of which can be found in the stool in the form of scattered grains of rice. This type of worm causes irritation and dietary deficiencies. It is mainly transmitted by the flea.
Other parasites exist such as :
- The microbes or protozoa of which one counts in particular the giardia which fixes itself on the mucous membrane of the small intestine and causes a progressive slimming and also the coccidia which also come to parasitize the digestive tract of the cat.
- External parasites, recognizable by sight as fleas, which provoke an intense scratching, grooming and licking reflex, favouring the ingestion of hairballs. There are also ticks that are only transmitted when the cat is outside of a habitat, they often settle around the neck and ears and can cause inflammatory reactions. Ear scabies is one of the existing parasites in kittens: it settles in the ear canal of the cat’s ear and causes a painful otitis. Symptoms are a presence of blackish and odorous earwax and the fact that the cat rubs his ear very frequently. Finally, ringworm is a small fungus that eats away the hair at the base: the symptoms are a blackness of the skin and the hair falling out, especially at the head.
For the man :
Eggs and larvae are present in the faeces of contaminated animals and accidental contamination of humans and children is always possible when they play in a sandbox for example.
Symptoms are then visible as fever, fatigue, possible growth disorders.
For the cat :
The symptoms and risks depend on the age of the cat, its health and the degree of infestation. Even if the symptoms are not always characteristic of a particular type of worm, it is recommended, in case of doubt, to deworm the cat with a product that will act on all digestive worms.
However, there are common symptoms such as eggs or larvae in the feces, some anemia, diarrhea, a dull coat, a bloated belly, a decrease in vitality.
Once these symptoms occur, the contamination is beautiful and present: the risks of lesions in the digestive tract are then numerous and can lead to a general deterioration of the cat’s health.
Other worms feed by absorbing the blood of animals or food contained in the digestive tract and this can have serious repercussions, sometimes fatal in cats.
In case of doubt, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian who will know what deworming to turn to to treat the parasite properly and effectively.
For example, for the treatment of fleas in cats, it is also necessary to treat the cat and its direct environment with a liquid insecticide product, either by spray or mist. For ticks, the veterinarian can turn to a total acaricide that will eliminate the ticks without any pain. For scabies of the ears, the treatment is done in 2 steps, first by cleaning the cat’s ears with a humidified compression and then by prescribing the acaricide prescribed by the veterinarian. Finally, for ringworm, the treatment is done with a fungicide administered orally or by bath.
As we can see, treatments to deworm the cat differ according to the type of parasite and other factors that must be taken into consideration.
What products should be used?
There are different ways to deworm a cat, namely :
. deworming with a pipette: very effective against roundworms and tapeworms because the solution is contained in the pipette and is applied directly to the cat’s skin, at the base of its neck.
. the deworming tablets: it exists flavoured with meat to facilitate its ingestion, so the medicine is placed in the cat’s bowl, mixed or not with its food or can be offered as a treat.
. deworming paste : it is a paste in applicator to deworm especially the nursing cats. This paste is placed on the cat’s tongue and swallowed gently. You can also mix this deworming paste with its food.
The veterinarian will know how to indicate the dose of deworming to prescribe to the cat taking into consideration the weight of the cat, his age. But to optimize the intake of deworming, it is highly recommended to change the litter box regularly and to clean the litter tray as well as all potential sources of infestation.
All dewormers are curative and act at the time of taking. They are in no way preventive and this is why we advise to deworm your cat regularly (every 6 months to once a year) to avoid any physical, physiological or immunity decrease. Kittens must be wormed every two weeks before the age of 3 months and once a month until the age of 6 months.
The kitten must be dewormed at the age of 6 weeks because it may have been contaminated in utero by the placenta if the mother is also contaminated. Breast milk can be a cause of contamination.
For an adult cat, it takes about 2 to 4 sessions per year.
For breeding cats, it is necessary to worm 2 to 3 days before mating and 15 days before and 3 weeks after giving birth.
Let us repeat that it is very important to worm your cat regularly even if it does not show signs of contamination. In fact, symptoms only begin to appear when the cat is heavily contaminated.
Be careful, if you have several cats, it is important to worm them all at the same time.
For all these reasons and because the cat’s health is as important to him as it is to his owner, it is essential to keep an eye on his animal because the symptoms are often very discreet and can still have serious repercussions.