Intestinal worms are parasites that live in a cat’s intestines. All cats can get worms, but kittens are most at risk! Worms can make your kitten very sick causing weight-loss, diarrhoea and even death.
Cats are infested with worms by everyday contact with eggs in soil that has been contaminated by poo, from eating fleas whilst grooming, or through close contact with other animals.
Whilst uncommon, you and your family can catch worms from your kitten or cat. Babies and small children are most at risk as their immune systems are not fully developed and they often forget to wash their hands after playing with their kitten. Therefore, it is important to teach children to wash their hands.
The common intestinal worms that we medicate against are Roundworm, Hookworm and tapeworm. Worming should be done regardless of whether worms are seen in poo or not, as many are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Symptoms of a worm infestation can be varied. Signs to look out for are:
- Poor growth
- Poor coat, loss of vitality and lethargy
- Pot-bellied appearance
- Abdominal pain as a result of inflammation of the intestinal wall
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Blood in poo as a result of intestinal bleeding
- Itchy sores (often on paws)
Recommended worming prevention program:
- 6-12wks old: Fortnightly tablet
- 3-6mths olds: Monthly tablet
- 6mths onwards: Tablet every three months
Alternatively, there are products available that incorporate intestinal worming with fleas and heart worm prevention
Regular poo picking in your garden is also extremely important!