Parasites do affect us all, also our dear cats. Now that the summer is nearby it would be a good idea to talk about parasites and cats, because they can be a threat to both your cat and to you.
Common Parasites In Cats
The most common parasites in cats are:
There are many different types of worms. Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Whipworms and Stomachworms. They all are more or less dangerous to cats as they will make the general health of the cat weaker. What is more, most of these parasitical worms can also infect humans. Worms end up in the intestines of cats.
These very small organisms (3mm) they live on the blood of their hosts. Their larva live by the debris. Fleas have managed to spread the black death in the past from rats to humans. Fleas live in the fur of your cat. Fleas can jump 50 times their body size in length.
The tick is a common parasitic arachnid creature. Like all other parasites they live on blood. Ticks are unfortunately transmitters of evil diseases to humans, such as Lyme’s Disease. Ticks crawl and walk over your or your cats skin through the hairs / fur until they find a good spot to bite through your skin to the bloodstream.
Mites and Fleas are in the same department. Mites tend to infect your cat in their ear. Its extremely itchy, like fleas and hard to get rid of. There are however good medicines available through your veterinary. A veterinary visit for treating mites is necessary.
- Single Celled Micro Organisms
A number of single celled micro organisms are also identified as being parasites in cats. They are however less common and are often only affecting the weak such as older cats or young kittens.
Signs of Micro Organisms and Worms
In the cases of micro organisms or worms, cats will have similar problems. They will get diarrhea and they will vomit. They will be weaker and can therefore easier get ill. These signs are maybe less obvious. The more obvious signs is that your cat loses weight, because the parasite is feeding on your cat. Even better visible in case of worms is the actual worms part of the cat’s feces. It is therefore important to scoop your toilet often. Toilets are the monitor of the health of your cat.
You can treat your cat against worms, after they have obtained it. There is no preventive medicine against worms.
Kittens obtain them at birth or right after through the mothers milk. Therefore kittens should be treated immediately and every two to three weeks, afterwards the same as with adult cats, every three months.
Adult cats should be treated against worms every three months. The best product against worms is in pill form. The products that are put on the skin between the cat’s shoulders, is less effective and doesn’t help against all types of worms.
Humans can also obtain the worms from their cats, it is therefore important to clean your hands thoroughly after cuddling your cat when they have worms, as well as wash your hands after cleaning their cat litter.
Signs and treatment of Fleas
Fleas are little creatures of about 3 millimeter in size and crawl and jump in the fur. Fleas can also affect humans and will leave a very itchy red rash on us. Fleas can also be infected with diseases. You can easily find out about fleas and ticks by periodically combing your cat. There is a special flea brush available to easily comb through your cats fur and detect any fleas.
Signs and treatment of Ticks
Ticks are nasty little buggers that penetrate your cats skin head-first for their food (blood). If you do not remove them properly, their head can be still stuck in the cat’s (or your) skin. You need to use a tick removal tool or tweezers and pull the tick straight upwards out by its neck/head. Note that these ticks can also walk from your cat/dog on your lap onto your skin. Ticks can transfer diseases to us humans too, such as Lyme’s Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Signs and treatment of Mites
Mites usually go in your cats ears. If you see your cat scratching its ear a lot (and it is not a certain habit he/she has), it is perhaps time to visit the veterinary and see if your cat obtained mites. It can be treated with medicine that is applied to the ear of your cat.
Got any experience with any of these? Share your experiences below