There are many words we associate with cats and kittens such as companionship, playfulness, fluffiness but worms is usually not one of them. Yes, your cat can have gastrointestinal worms, picked up either from its mother or from contact with other cats.
Most young kittens will have worms unless treated and they can sometimes cause the death of the kitten. Older cats can also be infested and have health problems if they have not been regularly wormed as kittens or if they have become reinfested from contact with other cats.
The good news is that, although it is not a nice subject to think about, most worms generally cannot be transmitted to humans and the problem is easily dealt with.
Although humans cannot get gastrointestinal worms from pets, the larvae from roundworm eggs, if swallowed, can cause a rare condition called visceral larval migrans that can lead to blindness. Young children and toddlers are most vulnerable as they love to cuddle and kiss their cats and worm eggs can be swallowed in the process. Practicing good hygiene by teaching the children to wash their hands after playing with their cat will reduce the risk but the main prevention is regular worming of the pet.
Kittens should be wormed every fortnight until 3 months, then monthly for the next 3 months. After reaching 6 months of age, worming every 3 months is usually fine, depending on the product you use.
Apart from trying to give a cat a bath, the hardest thing is probably trying to give it a pill! Most cats don’t take kindly to having a pill pushed down their throat and this is probably the main reason that worming the family cat is neglected. Unlike dogs that usually gulp down a pill thinking it is a treat, cats are much more discerning, or should that be suspicious?
However, today there are products on the market that make worming simple and less stressful for cat and owner. In most cases the cat won’t even know it has been wormed!
Using a product such as Revolution provides treatment and protection against gastrointestinal worms as well as heartworm, and at the same time controls fleas and ear mites – and it is as easy as putting a spot of liquid on the back of the cat’s neck.
Just sneakily administer the product while the cat is relaxed on your knee. No excuse now for not worming your cat regularly
v always wash your hands after handling your pet and before eating.
v be sure to keep your pet’s bedding clean and
v make sure you worm all pets in your household at the same time – dogs included