Parasites like fleas, worms & ticks can cause havoc for your cat if not controlled.
Talk to our veterinary team about the best parasite control for cats to keep those nasty critters at bay. Some parasites not only affect your cat, but also your other pets, your human family, and your home too. A lack of parasite control can also affect other cats in the New Forest and beyond.
Cat fleas can be carried by cats and dogs and even brought into the house by you. As the speed of the lifecycle (egg-to-larvae-to-pupae-to-adult-flea) is temperature dependent, we see most issues in the summer months, however, heating our homes means problems do occur year round, especially in multi-animal households.
Fleas will cause itching, hair loss, scabs or may not affect your cat at all, depending on the burden and how sensitive your cat is. Humans will commonly also get itchy bites as 95% of a flea infestation is in the household, with only 5% being on the animal. This means it is important to use a product that will not only kill the adult fleas, but also kill the lifecycle stages that are in your home. If you see fleas on your animal, please call the practice to speak to a nurse who can advise you on the best way to clear your house quickly.
As a general rule, only prescription cat flea treatments from the vet are strong enough to eliminate a flea problem. Fleas lay up to 2000 eggs per day, while most pet shop bought products will take 48 hours to kill all the adults, meaning even if you are really strict about applying the product every 4 weeks you will be still allowing some more eggs to be produced.
TICKS ON CATS
Ticks are picked up from long grass and so will only affect your cat depending on its outdoor habits. They will stay attached and feed from the cat’s blood stream, with the potential to pass on Lyme’s disease. Cat ticks will also cause skin irritation and sometimes infection from where they attach.
Ticks can be manually removed with a tick hook – available from both of our New Forest vet practices – (never just pull directly out, a twisting motion ensures the tick’s head comes out too), or be killed by applying a spot on treatment (lasts 4 weeks) or a quick-release tick collar (lasts 8 months).
ROUNDWORMS IN CATS
As an adult cat these worms will be picked up by eating eggs passed from cat poo, or eating prey that have managed to eat the eggs. Roundworm eggs survive in the environment for several years and while only heavy infestation causes illness in cats (vomiting up worms and poor growth), the eggs are dangerous to children, most commonly causing blindness. It is recommended that cats are wormed at least every 3 months.
TAPEWORMS IN CATS
These worms grow to a great length within the gut of your cat and release segments that can be seen around the bottom area, causing itching. They are either picked up from eating fleas during grooming, or from hunting rodent prey. We recommend worming every 3-6 months to treat this, depending on your cat’s hunting habits.
Parasite Control Products for your Cat
We stock a range of spot-ons and tablets to suit your cat’s requirements and your preferred method of administration. In order to provide you with categorised “prescription-only” treatments, we will need to have seen your cat within the last 6 months.
We also stock a small range of flea and worm products which we can supply you without having recently seen your cat. If you would like to get the prescription only treatments, please make an appointment to see one of our nurses free of charge.
All-round preventative care for your cat
As well as parasite prevention, your cat’s preventative healthcare routine should include annual vaccinations, microchipping and regular health checks with a vet. You can get all of this when you sign up for our Cat Wellness Plan – find out more.