Why should you deworm kittens?

Worming cat and kitten

Cat deworming - how often should you deworm a cat?

Outdoor adult cats usually need to be dewormed more often than indoor cats because they often hunt mice and other types of small animals that can be parasitized. Indoor cats are rarely affected by worms, as they do not hunt or eat small animals, but there is a risk that they can become infected with other cats through the litter box.

In Germany, regular deworming or the examination of cat excrement is recommended in principle, but there are also voices who only recommend worming in the event of a possible worm infestation, but not as a prophylactic administration. If the animals are dewormed too often, there is a risk that they will develop resistance to the worming agent, so if the worms reappear it can be difficult to have the cat dewormed. If you are unsure, contact your veterinarian so that they can carry out an examination or a fecal sample.

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Deworming a kitten - when should you start?

Kittens are often infected with roundworms through their mother's milk, which is why you should dewormer a kitten more often than an adult cat.

A kitten should be dewormed for the first time before it is three weeks old. If you buy the animal from a breeder at the earliest 12 weeks of age, there is a high probability that the kitten has already been dewormed. However, if it has not yet received a wormer treatment, you should deworm the kitten - if possible several times up to the age of three months, depending on the preparation. Contact your vet if you are unsure.

Typical symptoms of worm infestation

Cats can be infested with worms without clearly recognizable symptoms, but in the vast majority of cases the parasites show up in the feces or vomit. At the same time, the animal can appear emaciated, have a dull coat or suffer from vomiting and / or diarrhea.

In this way you reduce the risk of worm infestation and further infection

Cats can be attacked by worms in a number of ways.

Both roundworms and tapeworms can pass onto the animals via small animals such as mice, rats or birds that are eaten by cats. If you have several cats in your household, there is also the risk that the invisible eggs of the roundworm will be spread via the litter box or shared blankets, for example. Dogs and cats can also become infected with one another.

It is therefore particularly important to clean the litter box regularly and thoroughly in the event of a worm infestation. Also wash toys, blankets, and other items that the cat uses frequently.

This is what roundworms and tapeworms look like in cats

The roundworm is the most common type of parasite in cats and it is estimated that around 5–15 percent of all outdoor cats are affected by roundworms. The color of the roundworm can vary, but in most cases it is yellowish-white and a few inches long.

Tapeworms, which are also known as cestodes, are a few centimeters long, flat and white in color, and their appearance can often be compared to grains of rice. Since the tapeworm is not transmitted through the cat's excretions, but only through prey in the wild, cestodes are most common in adult cats.