They live in a host organism, become involved in its metabolism, and, after a successful mating, lay their eggs. What sounds like a nightmare out of a monster movie is common on a smaller scale among mammals. Parasitic worms are common in cats, affecting kittens and sometimes spreading to humans. That is why you should deworm the kitten regularly. Read what you need to know about it here.
How does the worm get into the kitten?
A stubborn misconception among cat owners is that only outdoor cats are infected with worms, that their own cat is obviously healthy and therefore does not need worm protection. Far from it: A study by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover showed that one-fifth of all roundworm patients is purely indoor cats.
How do I recognize a kitten infestation with worms?
Since the small cat’s organism does not yet have a solid defense mechanism, an infestation with worms in kittens can usually be recognized by clear symptoms. In addition, worms, especially in the gastrointestinal tract, are dangerous for a kitten because they impair the absorption of nutrients from food. Worms also impair the development of a healthy immune system. Further consequences are the increased formation of white blood cells and changes in liver enzymes.
If your mini tiger shows one or more of these symptoms, it is high time for a visit to the vet.
When should you deworm the kitten?
Since the kitten can get its first infestation of worms from the mother’s organism, early testing and treatment are advisable.
What is the difference between the different wormers?
The medical term for an anti-worm agent is anthelmintics. The active ingredients in these drugs specifically kill or paralyze the worms. Dewormers are commercially available in various dosage forms. Unfortunately, cats, especially kittens, are not cooperative patients. Oral medication with tablets is the most difficult. Attempts to administer a pill directly or hidden in the food are not easy. On the other hand, the cat cannot sort out and spit out a paste-like agent as a foreign body, so that it can be mixed with food or spread on a treat. Alternatively, it can be applied with a needle-free syringe. Modern spot-on preparations, which are applied to the skin in the neck, neck, or back area, have proven themselves for use in kittens.
A large number of wormers today have a broad-spectrum effect. However, preparations against hookworms and roundworms are usually not effective against tapeworms at the same time due to different active ingredients.
The amount of wormer depends on the kitten’s body weight. If you are unsure about the calculation, trust the veterinarian’s expertise when choosing and dosing the remedy. An underdose promotes resistance in the worms, too much can trigger other side effects. There is no general answer to the question of how expensive kitten deworming is. The costs for a worming treatment by the vet are limited.
How can I prevent a worm infestation?
Deworming neutralizes an existing worm infestation by killing the various stages of development of the worm in the cat. However, deworming is never a prophylactic against re-infection. Therefore, it must be refreshed regularly. Depending on the preparation used, it is recommended to repeat the worming treatment every three months; for indoor cats with a lower (but not impossible!) risk of infection, an annual or semi-annual cycle may be sufficient. If necessary, further deworming is carried out after fecal examinations with corresponding findings. Medicated wormers for cats are available from pharmacies with a prescription. However, you should definitely get advice from your veterinarian to choose the right remedy. At the same time, it cannot be overemphasized how important absolute hygiene of the litter box and the environment is: this alone reduces the risk of transmission for the kitten.