Tick, Flea, and Worm Prevention for Cats
Your feline friend can be at risk of contracting parasites all year round with them being ever-present in our environment. However, regularly providing them with tick, flea and worm treatment with us at 608 Vets s the best way to protect them, your home and yourselves from infestation.
Ticks in cats
Ticks are 8-legged creatures related to spiders and are most commonly found in long grass and woodlands in and around the Birmingham area. Ticks can be harmful to cats as they can transmit disease and can be locally irritating. Although you are most likely to come across ticks during the spring and autumn seasons, they are active throughout the year.
Ticks will attach themselves to your cat as they pass by, jumping from the foliage and climbing up their legs. Once attached, they remain there for five days, drinking your cat’s blood. Ticks are visible with the naked eye but can be hard to spot amongst the fur. They prefer to attach around the head and ears.
As the well-known saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, and there are various products we provide at 608 Vets available to help treat your cat to prevent them from becoming infested by ticks. We can recommend the best product for your pet. If your cat has a tick, then contact us to arrange an appointment to remove it, as if they are not removed correctly the mouthparts of the tick can remain in the skin leading to infection.
Fleas in cats
Fleas are small, dark brown insects that are found year-round across the United Kingdom and are the most prevalent skin parasite found in cats.
Cats typically get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or from their environment. A house with central heating and fitted carpets creates a warm and humid condition that is perfect for fleas to flourish. Fleas feed on blood and then lay eggs. One flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day which fall off wherever your cat goes. The eggs hatch into larvae which live in dark recesses of your home. Eventually, the larvae spin a cocoon which can be present in the environment for as long as two years, waiting for the right signals to hatch into an adult flea, when the whole cycle starts again.
Fleas are likely to make your cat uncomfortable and itchy, and you may notice they have inflamed skin or small scabs at the base of their tails or around their necks. Flea infestations can cause anaemia due to blood loss caused by the parasites, which can be especially dangerous in kittens. Fleas also don’t mind who they bite and will commonly feed on you and your family.
There are numerous flea treatments on the market which provide year-round prevention. It is best to contact us to find out what we can offer and recommend. Spot on treatments and medication in tablets and injections are the preferred long-term flea control methods. Some products attack adult fleas, while others work by interrupting fleas' development – and some newer products on the market do both! Products intended for treating fleas in the home must not be used on cats as they can be toxic.
Treating your cat will only go part way to controlling any flea infestation – it is also crucial to ensure that they are killed and removed from the environment to prevent reinfestation.
Worms in cats: tapeworm and roundworm
The thought of worms in your beloved cat can be very unpleasant. However, understanding prevention options for worms in cats is an integral part of responsible pet ownership.
There are two types of internal parasites that are commonly found in the gut of cats – tapeworms and roundworms.
Tapeworms are flat, tape-like worms that attach to the wall of the gut. Your cat may become infected with tapeworm if they were to ingest something that was a host for the tapeworm eggs, such as a flea or rodent. As fleas can transmit tapeworm, if your cat shows signs of having fleas, then there is a good chance they have tapeworm too.
Roundworms live in the intestine of your cat and are more resembling of an earthworm. Like tapeworms, their eggs are passed in the faeces and although not infectious straight away after being passed, they will be after only a couple of days and remain infectious for years! It is also common for roundworms to be passed on from a mother to her kittens through the milk.
Although not fatal, the presence of worms in cats can lead to symptoms such as weight loss, irritation and diarrhoea.
For most cats, it is recommended to take year-round worm prevention. We can advise you on the best product based on the type of worm found and your cat's lifestyle.
Parasite prevention for indoor cats: Do they need flea and worm treatment?
Many people believe that indoor cats do not need parasite prevention, but the reality is that indoor cats are still at risk of certain parasites, including fleas and worms. Here's what you need to know about parasite prevention for indoor cats.
Indoor cats can still be at risk of fleas and worms, so it is important to use preventative products to protect them. Fleas can be carried inside on clothes or other pets and can cause discomfort and health problems for cats. Worms can be transmitted through contact with contaminated faeces or by ingesting insects. Common worms that affect cats include roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms, which can cause a range of health problems. In addition to using preventative products, keeping your cat's environment clean is also important to reduce the risk of infestations.
Spread the Cost of Parasite Prevention With Pet Health for Life
At 608 Vets our Pet Health for Life Plan is a great way to spread the cost and save on your pet’s routine healthcare. You will receive all the essential treatments to keep your cat free from ticks, fleas, worms and ear mites alongside routine checks which keeps your cat in the best possible health and helps them lead happier lives.