A parasite obtains its nutrition from your pet and gives nothing in return except possible illness. This one-sided relationship has been under attack by concerned pet owners, veterinarians, pet-food manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies.
As a concerned pet owner, you must be aware of whether your cat has a parasite problem, whether you can treat it at home or need to visit your veterinarian, and how to prevent the parasite from finding a home on or in your pet’s body. First, let me dispel a few old wives’ tales:
- Garlic does not cure worms.
- Cats do not transmit pinworms to children.
- Candy does not cause worms.
- Worms do not always cause disease (many pets live nicely with their parasites).
- Thinness or constant hunger does not always indicate worm problems.
The worm medicine sold in pet stores and grocery stores should not be used unless your pet has roundworms and your veterinarian has advised you to use it. Since other intestinal parasites may be present, it is wiser to have your doctor check for other worms with a fecal sample. In most cases, the adult cat has developed immunity to the worms (acrid) killed by this medication, so once-a-month worming is not necessary. One stool sample that is negative for worm eggs does not mean that your pet has no worms – the worms may not be shedding their eggs at test time.
Veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical companies, pet-food companies, and concerned pet owners, through good diagnostic methods, specific medicines, and sound hygiene and nutrition, have made it possible for today’s pets to live almost free of parasites on or in their bodies.
The following are some of the cat parasites that are responsible for causing many diseases.
Common Coat Parasites
Ticks: This parasite jumps onto the skin of your pet cat when it moves among tall grasses. The parasite gorges its head inside the skin into a huge pool of blood. It then sucks the blood in until its head grows to the size of a pea. After sucking blood the parasite then falls off to complete its life cycle. The tick lives on the stored blood for some days and then jumps up to another pet. Your cat might feel irritated when the tick buries into its skin of it.
Fleas: Fleas can exist even in cats that are well cared for and maintained. A cat can get infected with fleas when it goes out and mingles with other cats. Living in the same territory with other cats may also lead to flea infection. Despite keeping your little kitty indoors, it can get attacked by fleas through you as well. While you come from outside and pick up your cat the fleas hop from your skin to your cat. The skin of your cat is better to host than yours as the high skin temperature of the pet provides a comfortable environment for the parasite to stay.
Mites: The larvae of the harvest and bracken mites generally reside in the areas where the fur of the cat is the thinnest. The regions like the underbelly, the face, genitals, and even the paws of the cat are the common thriving areas of the mites.
Cat mites can be of various types. The burrowing mites and ear mites are some of the most common cat parasitic mites. Lice are also cat parasites.
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