What Are Worms?
Worms are parasites that can impact different systems in your kitten,
depending on the type of worm. Kittens are most likely to get hookworms,
roundworms, tapeworms, and heartworms. Kittens born to infected cats and
those who play outside are most likely to get worms, since they can get
them from fleas, mosquitos, soil, and the waste of other animals. Without
treatment, a worm infestation can be fatal in time. If your kitten has
intestinal worms, he or she may have diarrhea, decreased appetite, and
stomach bloating. Keep in mind that only hookworms leave visible evidence
in your kitten’s waste, so take him or her to the veterinarian whenever
these symptoms occur.
What Happens During Deworming?
If your veterinarian diagnoses your kitten with intestinal worms, he or
she will give your kitten a medication designed to treat the specific
type of worm involved. In general, different worms will require different
treatment medications. The treatment may need to be repeated, and your
kitten may need periodic fecal screenings to ensure that the worms have
been successfully eradicated. Your vet may recommend that you restrict
your kitten to indoor areas to avoid the risk of re-infection.
Can Worms Be Prevented?
Heartworms can be prevented with regular use of feline heartworm preventive.
To prevent other types of worms, consider keeping your kitten inside,
where he or she is less likely to encounter them. Or alternatively, use
strategic deworming – your veterinarian can advise you on this approach.
Keeping your kitten’s litter box and bedding clean can also help.
Use a preventative flea medication to keep worm-carrying fleas at bay.
What do the Experts Say?
For intestinal worms, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends
that all dogs and cats be screened or tested for intestinal parasites
at least four times in the first year of life and at least two times per
year in adults depending on patient health and lifestyle factors.
Puppies and kittens should be given appropriate de-wormer starting at 2
weeks of age and repeating every 2 weeks until regular broad-spectrum
parasite control begins, and adult pets should receive year-round broad-spectrum
parasite control with efficacy against ascarids.
Feces should be immediately picked up when walking a dog in a public area,
picked up from the yard on a daily basis, and sandboxes, garden areas,
and playgrounds should be protected from fecal contamination.
From deworming to worm prevention and more, Chastain Veterinary Medical
Group can provide all of the care your kitten needs to become a healthy
cat. Get your kitten on the path to good health today by making an appointment at our
animal clinics in McKinney and north Dallas—you can reach us by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal
Hospital in McKinney or (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital
in north Dallas.