All cats at some point in their life will get worms. Kittens are often infected by their mother’s milk, as the Toxocara roundworm larvae can find their way into mammary ducts. The mother is a constant source of infection, this is why regular worming every two weeks for kittens until weaning is recommended.
Throughout their lives, parasites pose risks in many ways and we need to be aware in order to protect our cats properly.
Roundworm eggs pass out in the faeces of infected cats and then mature into an infective stage. Infective larvae are then able to establish infection if eaten. Contaminated grass, food and water can transmit infection, so picking up faeces is really important to stop the spread.
Nursing mothers are often reinfected when they clean up after their litter, and the cycle continues as larvae are passed on via the milk again.
Most cats are active hunters so they run a high risk of being infected by the creatures they catch, as prey animals like rabbits and rodents act as middle-men for many nasty types of roundworm and tapeworm.
Lungworm is a growing concern in the UK. Cats can pick up infection by eating slugs and snails. If lungworm is prevalent in your area, it is best to discuss options with your vet, as established infection requires careful treatment because the adults live in the heart. To prevent lungworm, a single dose of a non-prescription wormer is not sufficient.
Regular flea treatments go hand-in-hand with worming. Fleas feed on the eggs and carry the larvae of the most common tapeworm and if a cat accidentally swallows a flea while grooming or gulping down unfortunate prey, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll get infected.
Adult animals come across a greater variety of worms and depending on their lifestyle, may need worming more regularly. But the average cat should be wormed every three months. If you have an indoor cat that has no access to the outside world it will still need worming every three months as a precaution, as owners can carry eggs or larvae into the house as well as fleas and ticks.
Cats who spend a lot of time outside hunting or love to scavenge while in the garden are more likely to need worming more regularly, along with a regular flea treatment.
While you may notice the worms themselves in a cat with a high worm count (such as within their faeces or even protruding from the back end) often, there are no visible cues present. Cats that suffer from digestive upsets such as vomiting and diarrhoea, appear to be losing weight and condition, are dehydrated or appear to be in discomfort or unwilling or unable to eat may all be suffering from worm infestation, even if you have not seen any actual worms.
There are a lot of treatments on the market and all by law must have some effectiveness as they cannot make false claims. Your consumer rights protect you from this.
Ron’s Pets stock mainly Beaphar products as this is a name that we can trust and are one of the market leaders in treatments for all our pets. Beaphar have a variety of worming treatments for cats including creams, syrups, tablets, drops, they also produce a Vet Strength tablet. These products cover cats and kittens of all ages and will protect you cat and kittens from both round and tape worms.
We also stock Dorwest natural remedies for Fleas, Ticks & Worms.
If you suspect your cat is carrying any other type of worms such as Lung worm, Hook worm or Ring worm (which is actually a fungal infection) then you should consult with your local veterinary practice.
If you need any help or general advice on which product your cat needs please do not hesitate to contact us.