I know we have recently discussed the allergies that your feline family can get in the Spring caused by pollen and the like. Now, let’s take a look at those dangers caused by outdoor pests.
So, the answer is a resounding YES, indoor cats can get fleas and worms. You may think because she never goes out so she must be immune to this outdoor hazard, but that is simply not the case. My indoor cat had fleas last year, so I can testify to it.
How do they get fleas or worms? It seems there are two different ways: 1. You can be the unknowing carrier, bringing fleas inside on your clothes. 2. Or, your home could become infested. This is especially true if you are an apartment dweller. Fleas can live in one apartment and move towards the unit where they sense cats are residing. Fleas can then have a ripple effect that leads to worms. It is said that fleas are the intermediary hosts for tapeworms. Further, any newly adopted animals may bring fleas and worms with them into their new home.
What are the ill effects of fleas and worms? Both fleas and worms can cause your cat extreme discomfort and secondary infections. They rob her of nutrients as well as causing her to scratch her skin to the point of sores. Fleas can lead to her developing gastrointestinal issues since cats’ digestive systems are so sensitive. Finally, any worms can be transferred onto people. Yech!
What are the signs to look for? You may notice excessive grooming, particularly around the hind quarters. Their skin can become inflamed and red, and they may develop bald patches where the fur once was. Intestinal issues can include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Tapeworms can be seen in stool samples.
How do I Get Rid of Kitty’s Fleas? It is most important to contact your vet right away. In my case, I took a sample of what looked like it might be a flea and emailed a photograph of it to the vet’s office. This saved a lot of time. It is advised that you do not buy over-the-counter medications unless advised to do so. Most vets will testify to the speed and efficacy of their preferred prescription plan. When dealing with worms, it is especially important to have Kitty tested since not all worms are treated in the same manner. Even if you think you fur friend can never get fleas or worms, be sure the test is part of her annual exam.
Can fleas & worms be prevented for the Indoor cat? The answer, again, is to visit the vet. They can set up a parasite protection protocol involving monthly or bi-monthly treatments. This way, your favorite feline won’t ever need to suffer the physical discomforts and digestive illnesses associated with either fleas or worms.
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