PARASITE CONTROL FOR CATS
As with dogs, it’s important to protect kittens and cats from harmful parasites, the two main categories being intestinal worms and fleas. At Casey and Cranbourne Veterinary Hospital, we can provide effective feline parasite control advice and preventative treatment, for your ultimate peace of mind.
Roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms all pose a danger to cats and kittens, with many babies born with roundworms and many more acquiring hookworms from their mother’s milk. Worms can result in anaemia (loss of red blood cells), weight loss and dull coats, as well as causing intestinal obstruction in severe cases. Some can also spread to people, with children most at risk, and can cause problems such as blindness or large cysts in the organs.
Some intestinal wormers are more effective than others and at Casey and Cranbourne Veterinary Hospital, we recommend Milbemax or Popantel tablets, or Profender Spot-on. Kittens should be given intestinal wormers every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age, and every three months after that throughout their adult life.
NB Profender is a liquid treatment that’s applied to the back of neck, and the required dose will vary according to your pet’s weight. Combination products are also available for treating intestinal worms alongside other parasites (see below for more details).
If your cat gets fleas, then this will cause major irritation to their skin, resulting in excessive biting and scratching or over-grooming behaviour. This can damage their skin, and some cats can also be allergic to flea bites.
Fleas are picked up in any infested area, and even small numbers on your cat will result in many more, as they lay vast amounts of eggs and can quickly infest bedding and carpets. A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which may not hatch until six months later.
It should be noted that flea collars, powders and shampoos are NOT enough to control a flea problem in the long-term, so spot-on treatments, Advantage, Activyl or Frontline are recommended. Applied to the back of the neck, these treatments should be given every month and are very effective in killing adult fleas.
If fleas have already entered the house, then a flea bomb may be required to kill the eggs and larvae. You should also treat the bedding of any other pets at the same time, as well as the pets themselves. Combination products are also available to treat fleas alongside other parasites.
Combination spot-on treatments Advocate and Revolution treat fleas, prevent heartworm and treat all intestinal worms in cats except tapeworm. We recommend giving cats an all worming tablet every three months even if they are on these combination spot on treatments.