|Posted on April 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM|
You'll never forget the first time you see little wriggling rice grains on your kitten's behind, probably because you'll be so grossed out by the sight. It may be the first time, but it probably won't be the last…unless you use the information below:
Two types of intestinal worms, tapeworms and roundworms, are commonly found in cats.
Tapeworms are the source of the wriggling rice grains, known as proglottids—essentially, body segments full of tapeworm eggs. Cats can also be hosts to hookworms and whipworms, two other types of roundworms. Although it's almost impossible for humans to get tapeworms from cats, roundworms and protozoan parasites such as giardia and toxoplasmosis, can be transmitted to people. If you allow outside (cat run) access, or raw feed, worm for tapeworms monthly with Drontal. Do this two weeks before or after her heartworm preventative treatment. Drontal can be purchased from your Vet.
Heartworms are found mostly in dogs, but cats can be infected. Vets think one reason cats don't get heartworms as often as dogs is because their immune systems fight off the microfilaria (baby worms). But because cats' hearts are so small, even one or two worms can cause very serious problems, and treatment is complex and potentially very dangerous to the cat. To avoid this death sentence, be sure to keep your Siberian on the product Revolution year round. You can get this at the Vet's.
The best way to control worms is to keep your kitten inside and prevent fleas. Fleas, lice, cockroaches, beetles, and waterbugs are intermediate hosts of tapeworms and roundworms, so you must keep your home free from pests. Mosquitoes are the primary vector for heartworms. If you keep your cat indoors, she is much less likely to come in contact with the pests that are the sources of intestinal parasites. The product Revolution kills fleas and flea eggs.
If you let your kitten outdoors in an enclosure, make sure it has a waterproof floor, hose it down daily, and let it dry in the sun. Remove stools from the enclosure every day. Clean up areas of stagnant water that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and for the protozoa that causes giardia. Keep your lawn short and water it only when necessary; shaded and moist earth is an ideal breeding ground for worm eggs and larvae.
Clean your kitten's litter box every day, removing the stools and wet spots. The box should be kept clean and dry, and if your cat should bring home worms or other internal parasites such as giardia, dump the box daily and sterlize while treating for giardia under your Vet's supervision. Always be sure to wash the litter box weekly or more frequently with boiling water and bleach. Let the bleach stand wet on the cleaned litter box for at least 10 minutes to disinfect. Rinse box and let air dry. Cleaning the litter box at least once a day will eliminate risk of contracting toxoplasmosis if your cat is a carrier (many cats are not), because cat feces don't begin shedding the toxoplasma parasite until one day after the stool as been deposited.
If your kitten does get worms, ask your Vet for a dewormer. Some over-the-counter wormers are effective, but worms have developed a resistance to some of them. The way to be really sure your dewormer will work is to get it from your vet and to give it to your kitten as directed. Again, ForestWind Siberians urges you to use the products Revolution and Drontal.