Parasites and cats: diagnosis and protection
The cat’s parasite is an animal organism which feeds itself at the cat’s expense. By going outside and meeting other animals, your cat may get in contact with parasites. They may go unnoticed but can also cause serious and dangerous diseases for cats and humans. Hence, it is of utmost importance to be attentive and to give preventative treatments to repel them.
1. External parasites
The most common are the ticks and the flea: they are usually external parasites. Both invade the cat’s fur mainly during spring and summer.
- The flea is a small brown insect visible to the eye, recognisable by its leaps. The parasite bites the cat for its blood and entails scratching and allergies. The flea may transmit taenia and other serious diseases such as haemobartonellosis: the cat has fever, is down and has anaemia.
What to use against fleas?
The best is to protect your cat against flea all year long with a collar (active during several months). You can also use pipettes (efficient for one month), pulverisers (efficient for one month) or even powders and shampoos. Finally, if your cat got into your house with fleas, you should treat your house: rugs, carpets, couches, etc.
- The tick is a brown mite which fixes its head in the animals’ skin and feeds on their blood. It entails a local inflammatory reaction and may transmit diseases. The longer the tick stays, the higher the contamination risks will be. Special rotation tweezers exist to remove ticks. Never remove a tick with bare hands as they carry infectious diseases (Lyme’s disease). Do not forget to disinfect the cat’s wound once the tick has been removed.
2. Internal parasites
Cats may also catch internal parasites: among them, the most common are the ascaris, taenia, coccidias and giardiasis. They often entail vomiting, diarrhoea or weigh loss in contaminated cats. Ascaris may also trigger an exuberant activity in the cat (hyperactivity). Beware as some of those parasites can be transmitted to men and may entail infections such as toxoplasmosis.
What antiparasitic products to use against internal parasites? Deworming products ensure a proper protection for cats. Deworming must then be systematic for your cat’s health but also for those getting in contact with it. Generally speaking, an adult cat must be dewormed 2 to 4 times a year according to contamination risks.