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Deworming Your Cat

Along with vaccinations and regular treatments for fleas, you should consider periodically deworming your cat. It's important to educate yourself on the subject so that you can recognize the symptoms of a cat suffering from worms. It's a major part of their health maintenance and is especially important if you've got a new cat from the pound or some other public agency.

Virtually all kittens are born infected with some form of a worm. These worms can be and most frequently are transmitted via the mother's milk or while the same time the kittens are still inside the mother's womb. Unless the mother lives in pristine circumstances (think sterile pure rooms), expect that your newborn kitten will have worms. The same goes for an aged cat as well. It takes a lot of effort to keep cats worm-free. For the most part, veterinarians will suggest deworming your cat, as needed. But how do you determine exactly what "as needed" means? There are a few indicators which will aid you in deciding when the deworming procedure is essential.

If your kitten was found as a stray, don't assume anything. If you choose to keep the kitten, be sure that a veterinarian visit is on your list of priorities. Deworming will be a given. If your cat is a pet that likes to prowl, catch mice or other little animals, it is more probable than not highly susceptible to worms. Wild animals are the perfect hosts for carrying worm larvae and if your cat consumes it, they will develop a worm problem.

Suppose your cat is predominantly an indoor pet. They can still produce worms but the problem could be harder to determine. If your cat develops a heaving problem or occasionally has retching episodes, these behaviors are a prime indicator that your cat is attempting to rid itself of worms. Also, vomiting the worms up is, of course, a clear indication that your cat needs to be dewormed immediately. More than probable, the worms vomited up are roundworms and resemble spaghetti in appearance. Occasionally, tapeworms are a culprit. Tapeworms are flat and segmented.

To make matters more confusing, tests can give a false negative. Vets test cat feces when looking for worms, and sometimes, even though worms are present in the cat's body, they don't show up in the feces because they're essentially dormant. Worms can remain dormant for long periods of time and then become suddenly active if your cat undergoes some type of stress, like a pregnancy or an injury.

If your cat's appetite changes or it develops diarrhea, those are some possible indicators of a worm ailment. A dull coat of fur or the growth of a pot-belly are other indicators. In addition, if you ever see your cat feed on the feces of another creature, you might as well be prepared to go through a deworming of your cat.

For the most part, testing of your cat's feces is the best bet to decide what type of worm sickness your cat may have. Barring a proper worm diagnosis, your cat cannot receive the proper medication. This means that medication for roundworms occasionally does not work for tapeworms or other species like the hookworm or whipworm. By determining the correct species, you can be ensured of a successful deworming.

It is important to note that predominantly medications come in liquid or in some type of pill. Since cats can be a bit ornery, you have to ensure that they indeed take their medicine and swallow it. Disguising the deworming medication in their cat food or other treat is the simplest way. Another thing to be aware of is that it may take numerous treatments of deworming medication to completely rid your cat of worms. The reason for the chance of multiple treatments is that the worms may be in various stages of growth and not all stages are susceptible to the treatments. However, multiple treatments will ensure a worm-free kitty.

Worms can be tricky. It's important to test for them periodically, and to see that your cat has regular examinations from your vet. You want to deworm only when it's actually needed, and you want to know when it is needed. Paying attention to your cats health and habits is the best way to know how they're doing.

Copyright 2007 by Ron King

For more info, see Cat tips or Cat health. Ron King is a web developer; visit his website Authoring Articles. Copyright 2007 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact and the links live.

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