Cat parasites are not only annoying for animals and owners, they can also permanently damage the four-legged friends and transmit diseases. In order to avoid health problems for the cat, it is therefore important to know the dangers of an infestation and to react quickly.
Some parasites can be seen with the naked eye, while others are more noticeable in the behavior of the house tiger or through physical symptoms. Constant exhaustion, refusal to eat, diarrhea and irritated skin can all be signs of an infection. Which abnormalities occur depends on the type of parasite.
1st plague from April to October: ticks
At the beginning, a widespread misconception is to be corrected: Anyone who thinks that the free-roaming tiger doesn't need tick protection in the city is wrong. The small arachnids can also lurk in green areas and in the home garden from the beginning of April to the end of October. In addition, they are initially only a few millimeters in size and therefore easy to miss. For this reason, the fur check with the naked eye is not sufficient.
Ticks pose a double danger: they sting both cats and humans and gradually soak up blood. They can transmit Lyme disease and other pathogens. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to prevent tick infestation or to remove the bloodsuckers if necessary.
Basic rules for a healthy cat
Cat owners want their kitty to stay fit and happy for a long time. So that a ...
2. Don't just infect the cat: fleas
Especially cats that have a lot of free running tend to bring fleas home. The small bloodsuckers nest in the fur of the four-legged friends and cause constant itching with their bites. They can also transmit tapeworms.
Especially in the case of a flea infestation, it is important not only to treat the animal itself, but to thoroughly clean the entire living space, because fleas reproduce very quickly and can also spread to humans in the further course. Especially blankets, carpets and furniture that have come into contact with the infected cat should be vacuumed or washed.
3. Small but harmful: mites
In addition to ticks and fleas, mites are the most common cat parasites. They cannot be seen with the naked eye. The tiny animals are mostly "collected" by their hosts in the tall grass and cause itching, sore skin and hair loss.
Ear mites, on the other hand, affect the cat's ear canal. If your animal suffers from such parasites, it often shakes its head, struggles with balance problems and constantly scratches its ears. If such an infestation is not treated as soon as possible by a veterinarian, the cat in the worst case may become deaf.
4. Constant cat parasites: worms
Even if the need for a regular worming treatment for cats is often hotly debated among animal owners, it is clear that especially free-range cats are often infected with worms several times a year. Such an infection is usually harmless, but can also - depending on the type of worm - cause serious illnesses and organ damage. For this reason, regular deworming makes sense, because it prevents the parasites from multiplying.
5. A year-round problem: lice
Although cat lice do not feed on blood, but exclusively on skin flakes and wound secretions, they nevertheless cause severe itching and can transmit diseases and tapeworms.
Uninvited guests can be combated quickly with special spot-on preparations. The year-round cat parasites quickly die away from their host, which is why spreading via combs and similar objects is rather unlikely. You should still clean your cat's sleeping place.
6. Stubborn intestinal dwellers: Giardia
Giardia, like some types of worms, infect the small intestine of cats. The risk of infection with these parasites is particularly evident when a domestic tiger sniffs the droppings of an infected cat. If an infestation is found, there is an absolute obligation to report, because the stubborn parasites can also infect humans. The fact that an animal has become infected can only be determined when the intestinal population has already multiplied. Diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting and fever then appear as classic symptoms.
Giardiosis can only be reliably determined at the veterinarian by a faecal sample or blood sample. The earlier an infestation is detected, the better it can be treated with tablets or pastes. In the course of the treatment, the bowls and the sleeping place of the animal concerned should also be thoroughly cleaned. Furthermore, the litter box must be disinfected and the litter changed daily, since Giardia can live up to three months away from the cat.