There are different types of intestinal parasites that can harm your beloved cat. These worms are commonly known as tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms and roundworms. These parasites can cause danger in your cat’s life and eventually affect other pets and overall health of the family.
Cat owners must understand that deworming your kitten is necessary especially those adopted cats and those that manifest signs and symptoms of having intestinal parasites.
This method should be discussed with your vet to know when is the best time to start deworming and learn how to deworm a cat by implementing the right procedure. There are 2 strategies to deworm your cat:
1. Assess the stool
Check for the stool if there are any worm present. Segments of tapeworms are usually separated and will appear on your cat’s stool. The worm should look like rice grains. When these worms are new, it will appear the way it is. Collect these worms and take it to the vet to examine. Your cat may also experience diarrhea and vomiting. Watch out for these signs. Vomiting can cause by roundworms. It may appear just like the same as spaghetti noodles. Heartworms can also be a cause of vomiting.
For you to be able to know what type of worm is present, collect the worms and place it in a bag and take it to the vet to diagnose the cause and right medication should be given.
2. Watch out for weight loss
Cats may also experience weight loss. It is important for pet owners to be aware of their weight. There are times that the change of weight may be extreme. It depends on the size and number of intestinal parasites. If a large amount of these worms are present, your cat may appear to have a large stomach which is often called as “pot belly”. If this happens, your friend may be experiencing roundworms.
3. Determine the color of the gums
Check for the color of the gums, it should be pink. Infected with worms can cause these gums to pale. If your cat has this sign, immediately contact your vet for an appointment. For emergency cases, watch out for difficult of breathing and appear to be lethargic.
4. Analyze what type of worm is present on your cat
It is necessary for pet owners to know the different types of worms your cat may have to start the right treatment immediately. The vet may prescribe treatment and instructions to follow. To be able to understand the specification of these intestinal parasites, here are the things you need to know:
- The most popular type of worm is roundworms. New born kittens can get this from their mother’s milk and adult cats may acquire it from infected stools coming from the other cat.
- Segmented worms are commonly knowns as tapeworms. It can be notice from the hair near the anus of the cat and can be obtain from eating an infected flea.
- There are worms that inhabit the intestines and these are hookworms. They are much smaller that roundworms. Cat may acquire this from direct contact or ingestion. Hookworms are more prone to dogs.
- Most less common parasite is called lungworm and it is usually reside in the lungs. It can be obtained from ingestion an infected host like rodent and birds.
- The most dangerous type of worm is heartworms. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it will get heartworm larvae from the blood of the victim. This larvae will grow and when the mosquito finds another victim, the heartworm larvae will be transfer to this pet.
5. Take your beloved cat to the vet
Immediately take your cat to the vet when you suspect for any presence of intestinal parasites. Do not do this on your own. Your vet may check the stool sample and confirm for any presence of worms. If possible, collect the stool as early as possible to start the test and get the results immediately. Specific treatment is rendered for each type of worms. Not all deworming treatment is effective for all. In this case, it is necessary to diagnose what type of worm is present so the vet may start the course of treatment.
1. Get the medications ready
Prepare the needed medications. Do not forget to shake the bottle well if it comes in a liquid form. Use a syringe or eyedropper for this type of medication. Your vet may instruct you about the things you need to do. Look for an area where your cat cannot run away and place them here. Prepare all the things you need then wait for couple of minutes for your cat to be relaxed. Pet them and safely handle them with care.
2. Keep them calm
Once the vet has prescribed the treatment to eliminate worms, pet owners must know how to give the treatment properly. Oral treatment is a bit challenging but it can be done as long as the cat is relaxed and happy. Home medication usually takes a lot of time and effort.
3. Wrap your cat
Look for a blanket or towel which you can use to wrap your cat. Remember not to wrap the head, it should be visible. This method will keep the owners away from accidents and scratches. Just make sure that your cat is not afraid or choked when you wrap him. If you think you are not comfortable doing this, it’s okay. You can still administer the treatment without wrapping your precious cat. This may lessen the fear of your cat but hardly manageable. With a little effort, it should work.
4. Securely hold the cat
Place the cat in between your legs while sitting on the floor. You can ask help from someone to hold the cat for you. It is easier this way having another person to help you.
5. Hold the head
Properly hold the head. Position your thumb on the side of the mouth while the forefinger is placed on the opposite side. Do not hold tight, it will make your cat anxious. Be calm as much as possible. Be extra careful as to prevent your cat from harming you.
6. Tilt the head
Tilt the head back and apply a gentle pressure on the side of the mouth until it is widely open. Use the other hand to press down the jaw in order to open the mouth.
7. Administer the medication
Gently administer the medication on your cat’s mouth. If the treatment is available in pill, place it at the back of the mouth or dissolve it in the water and gently press it on the side of the mouth. Do not directly put the medication on the throat as it could cause suffocation.
8. Help your cat consume the worming medication
After administering the medication, help your cat swallow the treatment by rubbing his throat gently to encourage swallowing reflex. Elevate the jaw pointing the nose upwards. Establish this position for few seconds until the medication is completely swallowed. Remember to remain calm throughout the process.
Offer reward after the process and praise him for having a good behavior. Give love and attention needed. This will make the worming procedure easier next time. Let your cat identify it as a good event and not a traumatic one. Don’t encourage bad experience with this process.
Use only deworming products that are created for cats. Treatment for dogs are stronger for cats. Before giving the medication, if you think your cat is weak, lethargic or old, always consult this to your vet for safety. The vet may adjust the dosage that is right for their body preferences.