Roundworms (Nematodes) are a group of worms which can vary considerably in their life cycle, how they infect the host (the cat in this article) and where they live. Many of the more common varieties live in the intestines, but others can live in the airways. The article will concentrate on the more common varieties, those with a public health aspect and those with a life threatening potential.
Toxocara Cati is the main roundworm in the cat, belonging to a group of Nematodes called Ascarids. Toxocara Cati is zoonotic, and perhaps Toxocara Leonina as well so a program of regular worming for your cat is very important, as cats mess in flower beds and sleep on furniture in the house.
Kittens show signs of worm infestation mainly as unthriftiness, a pot belly and diarrhoea with increasing weakness, vomiting, emaciation and even death. Kittens and sometimes older cats may well vomit up large quantities of worms which owners occasionally mistake for elastic bands as they are often coiled, With very heavy infestation there may be a complete blockage of the bowel or an intussusception (where the bowel folds up on itself.) A condition requiring immediate veterinary attention. The worms themselves are usually a buff colour.
There are many products which will adequately treat these Ascarid worms. The secret to success is to limit the problem as far as is possible. Preferably feed a proprietary brand of food if you do feed meat make sure it is cooked. Regularly worm all cats from kittenhood. Worm at the appropriate intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. Maintain good hygiene such as clearing up cat faeces from litter trays and disposing of safely. If possible restrict cats on beds and chairs, do not share food plates, wash hands after handling. We can supply many products that are very effective against roundworms in the kitten. In the adult cat, dual wormers which treat tapeworms as well are useful.
We would like to introduce you to the Pet Health Club from Isabelle Vets that aims to bring you peace of mind by covering nearly all of the routine costs and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance.