Regular worming is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Unless you are routinely using an effective de-wormer, your cat will almost certainly be infected by this parasite, especially if they are regularly hunting.
Even if your cat is not showing any obvious signs of a worm infestation, it could be suffering health problems, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss, dull coat and lack of energy.
We recommend a spot-on tapeworm treatment such as Quantex.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. My cat looks healthy. How do I know if it has worms?
If your cat goes outdoors and you are not currently using an effective de-wormer, it is almost certain that your cat will have worms. If pregnant females have not been thoroughly treated for worms, the kittens will be infected from birth.
In the early stages of infestation there may be so signs at all. Common symptoms in later stages are chronic diarrhoea (often blood-stained), weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, a pot belly, and increased or decreased appetite, depending on the type of worm.
Cats pick up microscopic roundworm eggs and larvae on their paws and muzzle when they are outside, from contaminated soil and the faeces of other infested cats. The parasite is then ingested when the cat grooms itself. Hunting cats in particular have a high risk of recurring roundworm and tapeworm infestations because rodents and birds act as intermediate hosts.
2. I have wormed my cat. Why do I need to keep repeating it?
Worming treatments do not persist in the body, which is why animals need to be treated at least every three months. Worm eggs and larvae are so common in the environment that your cat is constantly vulnerable to re-infestation. Regular worming not only ensures the well-being of your pet but also reduces environmental contamination (with parasite eggs from your cat’s faeces).
3. My cat is an indoor cat. Do I still need to worm it?
There is far less risk with indoor cats. However, you could be bringing microscopic worm eggs into the house on your shoes and clothing from contaminated soil or grass – after being in your garden, for example – so there is still a risk. The flea is also an intermediate host for the tapeworm, so flea prevention is essential to comprehensive worm control. If you're using a flea and multi-worm treatment such as Endectrid, a separate wormer might not be necessary.
Always consult your vet about all parasite treatments.
The cat flea can breed inside your house within 12 days. Each female flea can lay several hundred eggs per week, starting 24-48 hours after her first blood feed from your cat.
Use flea treatment regularly to ensure cat fleas don't return.
Where pets are concerned, fleas are a fact of life. But you and your cat do not have to suffer the misery that fleas can bring, as it is relatively easy and inexpensive to prevent a problem from taking hold.
We recommend spot-on treatments such as Endectrid TM, a flea and multi-wormer.
Dosage and frequency is as follows:
small cats weighing less than 4kg, or elderly cats, and kittens over 8 weeks: 0.4ml pipette
Large cats weighing over 4kg: 0.8ml pipette/
if in any doubt consult a vet about the correct dosage for your pet.
Apply every 4 weeks. The flea-killing active remains effective on the cat’s skin for approx 4 weeks. After this time, your cat (and your house) will be vulnerable to fleas without regular preventive treatment.
NEVER use a dog product on a cat – it could be fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. My cat is an indoor cat. Do I still need to de-flea it?
Yes. Anyone can unknowingly bring a flea into the house on their clothing – after using public transport, sitting in a pub or visiting someone else’s house. Once a flea is in your home it will infest your cat, potentially lay eggs, and the problem could escalate from there. The flea is also an intermediate host for the tapeworm, so flea prevention is essential to the welfare of your pet.
2. Do I still need to treat my cat in the winter months?
Yes. Due to milder winters and central heating, fleas and their eggs can survive all year round. Missing even one month’s treatment can leave your cat vulnerable to infestation. One adult flea can lay 50 eggs per day, so the problem can very quickly get out of control.
3. My cat dislikes the spot-on. Is there any alternative?
There are other products but none as effective as the spot-ons. The carrier liquid for the active is alcohol-based which will feel cold on the cat’s skin – it is this cold, wet sensation and the distinctive odour that the cat dislikes. These symptoms are temporary and will pass quickly once the product dries.
More flea facts:
The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is visible to the naked eye, about 2-4mm, brown and flattened from side-to-side. They can jump but tend to run through the fur. Owners often notice flea droppings as black, gritty dust in the fur which, if rubbed or dropped onto wet kitchen paper, will mark the paper red due to the blood content.
The adult flea sucks blood from the cat before laying eggs that fall to the ground from wherever the cat is resting. This could be outside, on their bedding or on your carpet. In the right conditions the eggs will hatch in 10 days and the larvae will feed on flea droppings and dust in the carpet, before pupating.
During this stage the pupae also act as a host for the tapeworm. The pupae can remain dormant in the carpet for months and only hatch when they sense vibration, warmth or carbon dioxide – indicating the presence of an animal. They hatch and jump onto the nearest animal to feed - it could be a human. Now that we tend to have central heating, fleas can survive and breed year-round in our homes and may even survive outdoors in milder winters.
Not only are fleas upsetting to owners, they often cause severe problems in cats. Their movement and biting causes itching and scratching. The most common flea-related problem we see in cats is due to an allergy to flea saliva which leads to flea allergic dermatitis (FAD). A single bite can induce a severe reaction in affected cats. They can show severe scratching leading to self-trauma, scabbing skin, baldness and wet eczema-type reactions.
The available flea treatments work in different ways, targeting different points in the flea life cycle, and they are in their effectiveness.
Always make certain that you only use treatments intended for cats.