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What parasites cats get and how to control them

In Hong Kong most cats only live indoors in small flats and will eat, live and sleep in close continual contact with their owners and their families. No one wants to think that their cat could cause any problems for human health or carry parasites. In fact even the best kept pedigree is at risk of catching different parasites which can affect her human companions as well as her own health.

FLEAS Monthly treatment with Frontline or Revolution
WORMS Treat every month if in close contact with children or people with poor immunity
WORMS Other cats: Treat every 3-6 months depending on risk of new infection

How does this happen?

Although we think our cat may have no chance to catch parasites there are times when risks occur.

  • Pet shop visits
  • In a cattery (hotel)
  • Cats visit our clinic!
  • If we get a new kitten
  • When looking after a friend’s cat
  • When we move home
  • Handling a cat outside means we risk carrying parasite eggs or even adults home!
What parasites do cats catch?
  • Fleas are common and can lay dormant for long periods or jump onto any passing cat
  • Roundworms: Pass from mother to kitten and can remain inactive in the tissues until a time of stress for the cat. The eggs can survive for years in the environment
  • Tapeworms: Spread by fleas or through uncooked meat or hunting
  • Heartworm: Spread by mosquito bites
  • Ear Mites: Spread by contact. New kittens can carry infection into the home
  • Lice and mites: Spread by close contact or during grooming
Can these affect people?

All owners, especially children and people with poor immune systems are at risk. Fleas will bite the cat’s owners and cause itchy red spots. On rare occasions they can spread cat scratch fever which can be very serious in some people. Roundworm larvae can enter the human body and this can cause severe problems, even affecting a child’s sight! Other parasites are less likely to affect people but are still unpleasant for the cat.

What to do?

For the cat’s health and for our own safety parasites must be controlled. One approach is to only treat your cat if infection is seen. If the risk of infection is low this may work but how do you know if a cat has roundworms? All cats should be treated regularly with preventative medicines to ensure that they are in the best health possible and minimize the (small) risks to humans.

What treatments are needed?

At Hung Hom Veterinary Clinic we have a wide range of treatments available to control your cat’s parasites. This can be achieved using the following safe and effective products.

FRONTLINE: A monthly spot-on flea medicine. This enters the oil glands in the skin and kills fleas very effectively for at least a month after treatment.
REVOLUTION: Another monthly treatment. This is very effective against roundworm, heartworm, lice and ear mites. It also kills fleas.
MILBEMAX: Is used to control round, heart and tapeworms.

Please talk to our trained veterinary assistants or the vet who will be happy to advise you. Every cat and home is different so we can advise the best solution for you. When you buy these products from Hung Hom Veterinary Clinic, you can be assured that you are purchasing genuine products that are appropriate for your home. They will have been properly stored and in date. You will receive advice about the correct use of these products from trained nurses. You will not get this assurance when purchasing from pet shops

Read more
About cat scratch fever
About roundworm infection or Toxocariasis
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