Category Archives: Cat Health

Cat Health

Coccidiosis in Cats – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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What is coccidiosis?   Transmission   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Can humans catch coccidiosis from cats?

Coccidiosis in Cats

What is coccidiosis?

Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract that is caused by a microscopic protozoan (single-celled organisms) called coccidia. The diseases caused by these parasites is referred to as coccidiosis.

There are many species of coccidia, and each is infective in different animals. The species of coccidia that most frequently affect cats are Isospora rivolta and Isospora felis.

Most adults carry coccidia,  but their immune system keeps it in check, some adults may, however, shed cysts in the feces. Symptoms are most commonly seen in kittens under 6 months of age. Stressed cats and those who have compromised immune systems are at greatest risk of developing symptoms.

Two very well known coccidia are toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidium which are covered in other articles.

The geographical distribution of coccidia is worldwide. Continue reading

Cat Health

Chiggers (Trombiculiasis) in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is chiggers?   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment

Chiggers in cats

Image courtesy Michael Wunderli, Flickr

What is chiggers?

Chiggers is an itchy skin rash caused by the chigger (trombiculid) mite. Chigger mites are tiny parasitic mites that live in decaying vegetation. Cats become infected while roaming these areas. These mites are also known as harvest mites, berry bugs, scrub-itch mites or red bugs

The life cycle of the trombiculid mite is in four development stages, egg, larval, nymph and adult. Only the larval form (known as chiggers, hence the name) are parasitic to cats, the nymph and adult are free living.

Chiggers don’t actually bite your cat, once on the host, they pierce the skin and inject saliva containing digestive enzymes to break down the skin cells (known as cellular autolysis), they then feed on the blood serum. Once they have fed, they fall drop back onto the ground and passes into the nymph stage. Chiggers feed on a wide variety of vertebrates, including humans and dogs as well as reptiles and birds. They are most prevalent between spring and autumn when conditions are hot and humid. Continue reading

Cat Health

Ear Mites in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What are ear mites?   How do cats become infected?   Symptoms?   Diagnosis   Treatment   Ear mite products

Ear mites in cats

What are ear mites?

Ear mites are a common spider-like external parasite which causes significant discomfort to the cat. Although the name would suggest otherwise, ear mites can live on any part of the body although they generally live in the ear canal of cats. They are the most common cause of otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear canal) in cats.

Ear mites are most often seen in kittens and outdoor cats, but they can affect cats of any age, including indoor cats. They feed on epidermal debris and ear wax.  The mites burrow into the cat’s inner ear, causing inflammation which the body responds to by producing more wax.

While there are several types of mites which may infect cats, Otodectes Cynotis is the mite most commonly seen in cats. The global distribution of Otodectes Cynotis ear mites is worldwide.

How do cats become infected with ear mites?

Ear mites are extremely contagious and are passed from cat to cat, or dog to cat. They can be passed via bedding and other household objects.

What are the symptoms of ear mite infestation in cats?

Ear mites are extremely uncomfortable, these spider-like parasites live out their entire life cycle inside the ear of cats. It is not possible to see the mites with the naked eye, but there are plenty of clues your cat has ear mites.

The most common symptoms of ear mites in cats include:

  • Extremely itchy ears which present as scratching, often to the point where the ears become damaged due to trauma.
  • Head shaking.
  • Rubbing the ears.
  • Reddish/brown discharge in the ear.
  • Coffee-grounds like appearance in the ear.
  • Twitching of the ears.

As the cat scratches, further damage is inflicted on the ears:

  • Scratch marks.
  • Bleeding from the ear due to damage caused by scratching.
  • Redness and swelling of the ear flap.
  • Odour coming from the ears due to secondary infection.
  • Crusty appearance along the edges of the ears.

There may be damage to the ear if the infection has been present for a length of time. Damage to the ear could include a thickening of the skin, aural hematoma (a blood-filled pocket) or an ear infection which is caused by the cat damaging the skin by scratching, and bacteria entering these wounds. Ear infections are extremely painful and can potentially cause deafness if left untreated.

In 1968, veterinarian Dr. Robert Lopez of Westport, New York decided to see if he could infect himself with ear mites. While examining a cat with ear mites, a three-year-old girl who shared her home with the cat complained of an itchy abdomen and chest. Once the cat’s ear mite infection cleared up, the itching resolved in the little girl. Dr Robert Lopez inserted the debris/mites from an infected cat’s ear into his left ear using a cotton bud. He immediately began to hear scratching sounds, followed by intense itching and pain. The sounds and itching intensified as the mites made their way further into his ear. The mites remained active for several weeks, by six weeks activity, the itching was gone.This story demonstrates just how an infected cat feels. Humans seem to have a natural immunity to the mite, as demonstrated by the recovery of Dr Lopez without treatment, however as cats are the natural host, they will remain infected until treatment is provided.

How are ear mites diagnosed?

Often a veterinarian can diagnose ear mites by direct examination of the cat’s ears with an otoscope,  an instrument with a light and magnifying lenses which will enable him to see the mites.

Your veterinarian may also diagnose ear mites by microscopic examination of material removed from your cat’s ear.

What are the treatments for ear mites?

Treatment depends on how severe the problem is, all cats (and dogs) in the household should be treated at the same time.

  • Removal of the exudates from the ear by instilling a few drops of mineral oil and gently massaging the base of the ear. This will loosen the exudate, which will make it easy to remove.
  • Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe a commercial insecticide to kill the mites. Administration may be injection, applied to the back of the neck or drops in the ears. Products may vary from country to country, but below is a list of popular products which may be prescribed. These treatments must be carried out over several weeks, it is not possible to kill the eggs or pupae, and treatment is aimed at killing adults as they reach maturity and breaking the life cycle of the mite.
  • All cats in the household should be treated.

Ear mite products:

Product/Active ingredient Type Minimum age, pregnancy etc.
Revolution (Selamectin) Topical spot on 6 weeks old. Can be used on pregnant and lactating females.
Acarexx (Ivermectin) Otic suspension ear drops 4 weeks old. Safe use of Acarexx in pregnant and lactating females has not been established.
MilbeMite (Milbemycin) Otic solution ear drops 4 weeks old. Safe use of MilbeMite in pregnant and lactating females has not been established.
Ilium (Dichlorophen, Lignocaine HCl, Piperonyl butoxide, Pyrethrins Ear drops Check with your veterinarian. No minimum age listed.
Advantage Multi also known as Advocate outside US (Imidacloprid/Moxedectin) Topical spot on 9 weeks and over 1 kg (2.2 lbs). Safe use on pregnant and lactating females has not been established.
Fido’s Ear Drops Ear Drops Check with your veterinarian. No minimum age listed.
  • Medicated or antibiotic ear drops may also be prescribed if your cat has a concurrent bacterial infection.
  • Thoroughly washing your pet’s bedding and toys are required if you have had an outbreak of ear mites in your home. Water should be as hot as possible.

Safety when treating cats for ear mites:

Never use products for dogs to treat ear mites in cats, many contain active ingredients which are extremely toxic to cats.

Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions when using these products. Some are used IN the ears while others are applied to the back of your cat’s neck.

Check with your veterinarian before treating kittens, pregnant or lactating cats to make sure you are not using a product which may be toxic to the kittens.

Don’t attempt to clean the ears or administer medication with an ear bud, not only can this force debris and wax further into the ear but it can potentially damage the ear also. Apply treatments with a cotton ball.

Be aware that severely affected cats may not cope well with having his painful ears treated, in which case it is recommended that you ask your veterinarian to help treat the ears.

Can I catch ear mites from my cat?

People may experience a mild rash or itching if cats in the household are infected, but generally don’t become infected with ear mites, well unless they insert the debris/mites directly into your ear as the Dr. Robert Lopez did.  It is, however, possible for dogs to become infected with ear mites from cats.

Preventing ear mites in cats:

There are a number of products available to prevent mites in cats. These typically treat/prevent fleas and parasitic worms also and are administered monthly.

Cat Health

Increased Thirst and Urination in Cats

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Causes    Diagnosis   Treatment

Increased thirst and urination in cats

Frequent urination (polyuria) goes hand in hand with frequent drinking (polydipsia). It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of an underlying condition. There are many causes of frequent urination in cats which we will look at in this article. Frequent urination differs from urgent urination in that the cat produces excessive amounts of urine whereas, in urgent urination, the cat may visit the litter tray frequently but only pass small amounts of urine and sometimes none at all. Continue reading

Cat Health

Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats-Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

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What is a diaphragmatic hernia?   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment

hernia in cats

What is a diaphragmatic hernia?

Also known simply as a hernia, a diaphragmatic hernia (DH) is a defect or tear in the diaphragm, which in turn allows the abdominal contents such as the liver or intestines to enter the chest cavity. This may either be a congenital abnormality (present at birth), or the result of trauma, such as that in a car accident or fall from a high building. When this happens, pressure is applied to the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. Continue reading

Cat Health

Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Cats

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Causes of gastrointestinal blockage       What are the symptoms       How is it diagnosed?      How is it treated?

Gastrointestinal blockage at a glance

  • A gastrointestinal blockage is a blockage occurs anywhere from the stomach to the intestines.
  • There are a number of causes including ingested foreign object, hairballs, tumours, heavy worm infection, twisting of the intestine, telescoping of the intestine and adhesions.
  • Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or a complete absence of defecating, painful abdomen, loss of appetite, hunched over appearance.
  • Treatment is surgery to remove or repair the blockage.

Gastrointestinal obstruction in cats

A gastrointestinal blockage refers to the blockage anywhere from stomach (gastro) to the intestines. Thankfully gastrointestinal blockages are less common in cats than they are in dogs, however they can and do occur.

Blockages can develop anywhere along the small or large intestine, it may be partial or complete. If a full blockage occurs, food, water and gastric juices can build up behind the site of the obstruction and eventually cause a rupture.

What causes a gastrointestinal blockages in cats?

The most common cause of blockage is ingestion of a foreign body, other causes include:

  • Hairballs
  • Tumours
  • Intussusception (a condition where the bowel telescopes in upon itself)
  • Hernia occurs when part of the intestines protrude through the abdominal wall
  • Volvulus (twisting of the intestine) which may run concurrently with a hernia
  • Pyloric stenosis (a narrowing of the tract where material flows out of the stomach, most commonly seen in Siamese)
  • Adhesions (fibrous bands of tissue which can form after abdominal surgery)
  • Heavy tapeworm infestation

Ingestion of foreign body is seen most often in younger cats, commonly items include string, tinsel, clothing, rubber bands and plastic. Cats with pica (again, most commonly seen in Siamese) are at risk of developing a gastrointestinal obstruction. Tumours are most often found in older cats. Hairballs are an extremely common cause of gastrointestinal blockage, they can occur in any cat, but longhaired cats are at greater risk.

What are the symptoms of an intestinal blockage?

Blockages may be partial or complete, and symptoms will come and go. Once an full obstruction occurs, food and water can not pass and is a medical emergency. Symptoms may include:

If a complete obstruction has occurred, your cat will not pass any feces, but may vomit dark brown material with a fecal odour.

Left untreated a gastrointestinal blockage can lead to death and necrosis in the affected region, resulting in death.

How is an intestinal blockage diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination on your cat and obtain a medical history from you, including onset of symptoms. He may find evidence of a foreign body such as string in the mouth, bunched up intestines, painful/swollen abdomen. Diagnostic tests will need to be performed, and may include:

Imaging tests such as x-ray or ultrasound may reveal foreign bodies, hairballs or tumours.

Barium contrast study will be necessary to to look for telescoping of the intestines, pyloric stenosis or intussusception. This involves feeding barium to your cat which coats the lining of the intestines, then performing an xray.

Endoscopy – A thin plastic tube with a light and camera at the end is inserted into the mouth and into the stomach to look for the presence of foreign bodies, tumours etc. In some cases, if a foreign body is found, it may be able to be removed at this time. Tissue samples may be taken during endoscopy.

How is an intestinal blockage treated?

Your veterinarian may need to stabilise your cat before treatment commences. This will involve the administration of IV fluids to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Most cases of gastrointestinal obstruction require surgery. That includes tumours, hernias, twisted or telescoped intestines and pyloric stenosis.

  • Strictures may be stretched via endoscopy, or in severe cases where scarring has occurred, the affected part of the intestine may need to be surgically removed.
  • If death has occurred in the intestines, that portion will need to be surgically removed.
  • Anti worming medication to treat tapeworm.

Preventing gastrointestinal obstructions:

Obviously not all conditions can be prevented, however foreign body ingestion can be reduced by not allowing your cat to play with string, thread. Cats should be groomed at least once a week, more often if you have a longhaired cat.

Cats prone to hairballs can benefit from having fibre added to their diet or the addition of lubricants (such as butter) to help the hairballs pass through the body. Read here for more information on home remedies for hairballs.

Cat Health

How To Get Rid Of Cat Fleas

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How do I know my cat has fleas?   Effects of fleas   Can I catch fleas from my cat?   Treating fleas   Long term flea control

Cat fleas at a glance

  • Cat fleas are a common parasite that live on the fur and skin of cats, feeding on the cat’s blood.
  • Transmission occurs when a cat comes into contact with fleas in the environment, another animal or even when humans bring fleas inside.
  • Fleas not only cause discomfort but can also transmit diseases, parasites and cause anemia.
  • Symptoms include itching, scratching and in many cases an allergic reaction to the saliva producing crusty sores on the back and around the neck.
  • Treatment is twofold, killing fleas on the cat and in the environment. Veterinary prescribed flea treatments are the most effective, they come in topical form applied to the skin on the neck or tablet form.


How to get rid of cat fleas

How do I know if my cat has fleas?

Most pet owners are unaware their cat has fleas until they notice their cat scratching. Some cats can have very heavy infestations without being bothered, other cats are extremely sensitive to the saliva in a flea bite and just one flea can be enough to cause him to itch and scratch.

The most common signs of a flea infestation include:
  • Itching, biting and scratching, especially around the neck, ears and around the base of the tail.
  • Crusting papules and sores: Some cats are sensitive to the saliva in the flea bite and may develop crusting, this is particularly common along the back and around the neck.
  • Salt and pepper: You may notice flea eggs and droppings in his coat or bedding. Flea eggs are white, droppings are dark red, giving the appearance of salt and pepper.

To check for fleas, carefully go through your cat’s fur, paying close attention to the base of the tail and around the neck. Cat fleas are brown in colour with a flat body, and approximately 2 mm in length.

Effects of fleas on your cat

Fleas are more than a nuisance, they can have a serious impact on your cat’s health and comfort. Heavy infestations can lead to anemia, especially in young kittens.

A lot of cats develop an allergy to flea saliva, which is known as flea allergy dermatitis, an extremely uncomfortable condition characterised by itching, biting and scratching along with multiple papules. Left untreated, repeated biting and scratching can damage the skin and lead to a bacterial infection.

Fleas have the potential to transmit a number of diseases on to cats including tapeworm, plague, bartonellosis, tularemia, feline infectious anemia and rickettsia.

Life Cycle of the flea

cat fleaTo combat fleas, it is important to understand their life cycle. There are 4 stages of the flea life cycle, known as metamorphosis.

Only 5% are actually adult fleas which would live on your cat, the remainder are found in the environment in the form of eggs (50%), larvae (35%) and pupae (10%). It is absolutely vital to treat both your pet and the environment (home and garden) if you are to combat fleas.

1) Adult flea: The adult flea emerges when it is stimulated by environmental factors such as vibrations, warmth or breath of the host. The flea can come out of its cocoon within seconds of stimulation. The lifespan of an adult flea is around 2 – 3 months. The adult flea is around 1.5 – 4mm long, and dark brown or black in appearance. Adults suck blood from their host. Adult fleas begin laying eggs within 36 – 48 hours of their first blood meal. A female flea consumes up to 15 times her body weight in blood per day.

2) Egg: At .5mm in length, flea eggs are barely visible to the human eye, the female flea lays approximately one egg per hour. The flea egg is whitish, smooth and dry and easily falls off the coat into the environment. Flea eggs hatch in around 1 – 10 days, depending on conditions. Flea eggs and flea droppings are often found together. When the cat scratches the eggs along with the droppings fall off the cat. The droppings provide food to the larvae when they hatch. The eggs and droppings together have the appearance of salt and pepper.

Environmental conditions such as humidity, light, and temperature determine how quickly and how many flea larvae hatch from flea eggs. The lower the temperature, the fewer larvae will hatch. Optimal conditions for flea larvae to hatch are 70% and higher and temperatures of 21 – 32 degrees C (70 – 89 degrees F).

Flea eggs fall off the cat when it jumps, scratches, moves and sleeps. Eggs are found all over the home, but in their highest concentrations in your cat’s preferred spots such as bedding.

3) Larvae: The larvae are vermiform (maggot like) like in appearance and up to 6mm long, flea larvae avoid light by residing deep in carpet fibres, under furniture and rugs and in crevices. At this stage, they have no legs or eyes but have chewing mouthparts. Flea larvae feed on adult flea excrement, food debris, and dead skin.

4) Pupae: This is the transition stage between larvae and adult flea. After approximately 7-18 days the flea larvae pupate. It takes approximately 7 – 10 days for the larvae to develop into a flea, although it may be some time before the flea emerges from its protective cocoon. They are at their most resilient as pupae, and resistant to insecticides.

The flea larvae spins a sticky, protective silken (produced by the saliva of the larvae) outer cocoon, covered with particles of debris such as dust, hair, lint etc. The pupae are found in carpet fibres, crevices etc., and are virtually undetectable.

Can I catch fleas from my cat?

A heavy infestation may lead to fleas taking the occasional blood meal from humans, but they generally prefer to live on cats. Signs you may have been bitten by a flea include itching and scratching and a small, red, papule. Humans are most often bitten around the ankles and feet.

Treat your cat

This is a two-pronged approach. Treating the cat and the environment (your home/outdoors), both of which have to be done at the same time.

There are many products available to treat fleas on cats. Flea collar, shampoo, flea combs, spray, tablets, powders, insect growth regulators and topical treatments. The most effective products are the spot-on or oral suspension treatments which are available from your veterinarian. It is possible for fleas to develop a resistance to some products, speak to your vet for his advice on the most effective flea control treatment.

Flea collars

There are many different types of flea collar on the market. Some are insecticide only and work by killing adult fleas on the cat. Other flea collars contain IGR’s to kill the eggs and larvae.

Flea collars often only kill fleas on the cat’s head and neck, but fleas further down the body survive.


There are many different types of flea collar on the market. Some are insecticide only and work by killing adult fleas on the cat. Other flea collars contain IGR’s to kill the eggs and larvae.

Flea collars often only kill fleas on the cat’s head and neck, but fleas further down the body survive.

Flea Combs

Flea combs aren’t overly effective, only removing 10 – 50% of fleas on your cat. If you wish to use this method place a small bowl of water with some detergent in it close by and drop the fleas into the bowl. This will drown the fleas. Placing a small amount of petroleum jelly onto the teeth of the comb will help the fleas stick to it.

Flea Powders

Flea powders will kill adult fleas on the cat. Powders may cause the cat’s coat to dry out and also may be irritating to the cat’s oral and respiratory mucosa.

Oral suspensions

Program® is given to cats via an oral suspension once a month. The product is added to the cat’s food and is absorbed into the bloodstream. When a flea bites a cat treated with Program it ingests the active ingredient (lufenuron), which is passed to her eggs and prevents them from hatching. As this product only prevents eggs from hatching, an appropriate adulticide will also be needed to kill adult fleas. Seek advice from your veterinarian before using more than one product on your cat. It is also extremely important to speak to your veterinarian if you are considering treating a pregnant or nursing cat. They will be able to recommend the safest treatment for your cat.

Spot on treatments

Topical adulticide. There are several effective products on the market which are administered via a liquid form to the cat’s shoulders. These are available through your veterinarian or online pet product store. These products are very effective for killing adult fleas on your cat. The active ingredient varies from product to product. The application is generally once a month.

Cat Flea Sprays

There are some effective cat flea sprays on the market. Frontline make such a spray. Wear rubber gloves while applying the spray to your cat while ruffling the coat. Avoid contact with the eyes and mouth.


Program is a flea treatment which is injected under the cat’s skin once every six months.


Capstar and Comfortis are administered orally once a month to treat fleas. Comfortis also treats flea allergy dermatitis. I have used this product on my own cats, one of whom had terrible FAD and it was the only product that finally worked.

When applying a flea product to a cat it is important to follow the instructions on the packet to the letter. Cats are extremely sensitive to chemicals and if you are using one than one product your cat may be exposed to too many toxins, resulting in sickness or death.

Revolution also kills worms (except tapeworm), so makes life a bit easier for pet owners, according to the Bayer site, Advantage cat flea control, also kills flea larvae in the pet’s environment too.

Rotating flea products may help increase effectiveness as fleas are becoming resistant to some flea control products.

After administering flea products, closely observe your cat for adverse reactions.

Warning: Don’t ever use flea products designed for other pets on your cat and ALWAYS follow the dosage chart on the back of the packet.

Natural cat flea repellents

If you would prefer a chemical-free flea repellent, you can try the following.

  • 50 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 50 ml water

Mix together in a spray bottle, spray onto your hands and stroke into your cat’s coat as well as on your cat’s bedding and other areas your cat frequents. You can also add two drops of catnip essential oil to increase effectiveness.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be applied to floors, bedding and your cat’s coat. Avoid the head and face as it can be irritating if inhaled.

Remove fleas by hand using a flea comb. This is a good method, especially when removing fleas from young kittens (under 6 weeks of age) who are too young for most chemical flea products. When removing fleas, flick them into a bowl of hot soapy water to drown them.

A word of caution when using natural cat flea products

Always be careful with essential oils on or around cats. Remember these oils are concentrated and many are toxic to cats even in low doses. I frequently see people advising the use of tea tree oil as a natural flea treatment, but this is toxic unless diluted to 0.1-1%. So avoid using, or use with extreme care and only at a safe dilution. Just because something is natural doesn’t make it safe.

Garlic should also be avoided as this is toxic to cats.

Treat the environment


Vacuum: Flooring and carpet prior to spraying your home, paying close attention to skirting boards, under furniture and other nooks and crannies flea larvae love to hang out.

Frequent vacuuming will also remove fleas and their eggs. One useful tip is to put a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bag. When vacuuming, pay extra attention to corners, skirting boards, under furniture and any other nooks and crannies. Also vacuum furniture, curtains etc. This is where the larvae love to hang out, eating dust and debris, so it is vital that you thoroughly vacuum. Once you have vacuumed, clean out the bag and dispose of carefully. Ensure that every time you vacuum, you empty it out the bag or canester to prevent any fleas escaping.

Cat flea fogger

Use an insecticide (fogger): To treat the house and environment you can either hire the services of a professional pest controller or buy a product from your local supermarket. Most DIY products come in the form of an aerosol “bomb”. Prior to letting the bomb off you and your pets should temporarily vacate the premises. Be aware that flea bombs are toxic to other animals, so all pets (including fish) need to be removed prior to bombing.

IGR’s: (insect growth regulators) disrupt the cycle of the flea. They prevent eggs from hatching, kill larvae and prevent adult fleas from reproducing. These most often come in as a bomb/spray.

A pest controller should be able to spray your house and garden for fleas. It is important to specify that you have cat(s) living in the house, so they can use a suitable spray which is safe for pets.

Wash rugs, cat bedding etc., in the hottest possible cycle. You can also spray unwashable bedding with flea sprays such as Frontline.

Treat outdoors

Cat fleas

Fleas can infest your garden and outdoor buildings too, so while you are treating your cat and house, also pay attention to your garden.

Spray areas your pet tends to hang out, and if he has bedding in the garden, bring it in and wash it.

You will need flea bomb any outdoor buildings such as garages and sheds, especially if your cat hangs out there.

Keep wood piles stacked and away from your home.

Long term flea control for cats

Regular application of a good quality flea control on your cat is the best method of flea control. Ensure your cat’s bedding is regularly washed in hot water and hung outside in the warm sun to air dry.

Cat Health

Roundworms in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What are roundworms?   Transmission   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Prevention

roundworms in cats

What are roundworms?

Also known as ascarids, roundworms are a common intestinal parasitic worm. There are two species which affect cats, Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina. Infection with T. cati is most common.

Roundworms feed upon the intestinal contents, competing with the host for food. They are around 3 – 5 inches long with a spaghetti-like in appearance.  Both T. cati and T. leonina are found throughout the world. Continue reading