veterinarian near meParasites threaten your cat from a variety of sources, from the soil he walks on to the mosquitos in the air around him. These creatures can wreak havoc on his health or even prove fatal unless he has the necessary protection against them. That’s why Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic offers parasite prevention for kitties just like yours.

Wet years are especially hazardous where your cat’s health is concerned; runoff draws various microscopic parasites and other organisms out of the ground and deposits them onto the topsoil or in puddles. They can also be transmitted by ingesting rodents and fecal matter (when the cat grooms himself). Internal parasites may include roundworms, hookworms, lungworms and urinary tract parasites. Tapeworms are another common intestinal parasite, typically transmitted by ingesting fleas when your cat is grooming or eating rodents.

A deadly  feline parasite is the heartworm. Heartworms invade the body while still in their larval form by the bite of a mosquito. They typically settle in the arteries in the lungs.  The larval forms cause serious damage to the airways.  Sometimes they mature into long, thin, spaghetti-shaped worms. While cats are not a primary heartworm target and may only carry a couple of worms at most, even a single worm can set off a fatal immune system reaction when they die. These reactions can be quite sudden, with your cat displaying signs of Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease such as coughing and vomiting. Your cat might even appear totally fine, only to experience an abrupt fatal episode.

Parasite Prevention at Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic

Keeping your cat parasite free is one of our primary feline wellness goals here at Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic. Deworming to get rid of intestinal parasites is an essential element of kitten wellness care, starting at just 3 weeks of age and then continuing with additional rounds of medication at two-week intervals through 9 weeks of age (Nursing mother cats can also be dewormed.) From that point forward, we can put your furry friend on a parasite prevention program. Prevention is the only way to safely deal with heartworms.  Fortunately, preventatives such as Revolution are quite versatile, protecting cats from heartworm as well as hookworms, roundworms, and even external pests such as fleas and ear mites. We can advise you on the best preventative medication for your cat’s needs.

Home hygiene can also reduce your cat’s exposure to parasites of various kinds. Never feeding your cat raw meat, for instance, can reduce the risk of intestinal parasites (including toxoplasmosis) and salmonella. Cleaning the litter box frequently is another smart parasite prevention tactic. Be advised, however, that even though your indoor cat may be somewhat safer against parasites than an outdoor cat, a single mosquito bite can still lead to a heartworm burden — so preventative medication is always a must. Multiple beetles carry roundworms, so ingesting insects can also make them more susceptible to parasites.  Indoor or outdoor, our cats have the potential for exposure.  Make sure we check a fecal sample on your cat(s) at least once yearly.  Call (434) 975-2287 to learn more about the necessary veterinary protection for your feline!