We all want the best for our pets but sometimes we’re working off the wrong information. Learn the truth about these 7 common cat parasite myths so you can give your feline friend the right care.
Myth: Parasites are only a risk in summer
Truth: Hot and humid weather can increase the risk of fleas and ticks but these parasites are very much a risk to your cat no matter what the season. Make sure to provide your cat with flea, tick and worming treatments all year round.
Myth: My indoor cat is safe from parasites
Truth: While any indoor pet will be less vulnerable to picking up ticks and worms, being indoors doesn’t make a cat parasite-proof, so preventative treatments are still necessary. Parasites can still make their way into your home for example by hitching a ride on your clothing, on the soles of your shoes, or on the coat of your other pets. Parasites like fleas are incredibly resilient and can lay dormant in your environment for months before jumping onto a passing cat.
Myth: A single product can protect my cat from all parasites
Truth: No single product can provide your cat with protection against 100% of the parasites in your area, so you must always use a combination of two products to keep your cat safe. It can be hard to understand which two products go together which is why we’ve developed our Flea, Tick and Worm Treatment Finder in collaboration with Greencross Vets so you can make sure you’re providing your cat with the right care.
Myth: I can give my cat dog medication
Truth: Though they’re just as adorable on the outside, cats and dogs have different compositions, meaning that while dogs may thrive off a certain medication, the same medication could be lethal for a cat. It’s essential that you read all labels very carefully and only provide your pet with medication specified to their species, age and weight.
Myth: My cat can’t have worms because I can’t see any
Truth: Even if your cat has already contracted worms, you will often not see the worms themselves as they are living in your cat’s intestines. What you might notice are small, white worm segments or eggs in your cat’s faeces, although these are often microscopic and too small to spot with the naked human eye.
Instead, look out for symptoms like bottom dragging, diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Or better yet, prevent your cat from getting intestinal worms in the first place by ensuring they’re up to date on their worming treatment.
Myth: My new kitten is too young to have contracted a parasite
Truth: Kittens can contract intestinal worms such as roundworm from their mother’s milk and some are even born with worms already. In addition, they have a weaker immune system and are more vulnerable to parasites which is why you need to begin your cat’s parasite prevention program from a young age.
Myth: Humans can’t contract parasites from cats
Truth: Many of the parasites that your cat is at risk of can also be spread to humans, for example fleas and intestinal worms. Due to their rapid multiplication, a few fleas on your cat can soon infest your entire home which is why it’s so necessary to provide your pet with parasite treatments.
Furthermore, some intestinal worms, like roundworm, can pass from cats to humans. Infected cats can produce poos with worm eggs inside so make sure you wash your hands after cleaning their litter box, and after playing with your cat as eggs can also cling to their coat.
Parasite prevention steps you should take
Now that you’re armed with the truth, you’re ready to get the jump on parasites in your area by providing your cat with the right treatments. Use our Flea, Tick and Worm Treatment Finder or speak to a friendly Petbarn team member to understand the parasite treatments that will best suit your cat.