What are the symptoms of parasites in cats?

Hookworm and roundworm are two parasites that can cause serious health problems for a cat if left untreated.

Symptoms of parasites in cats are varied, depending on the type of parasite involved. External parasites cause the cat to itch, which causes itching and sometimes chewing on the affected skin areas. Hair loss and dry skin can also result from external parasites. Internal parasites can cause loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. Anemia can result from both internal and external parasites.

Ticks can transmit a number of serious diseases to cats.

External cat parasites include fleas and ticks. When a cat has fleas, dark spots can usually be seen on the cat’s fur and around the area where the cat sleeps. An affected cat will often scratch and chew around the base of the tail, where fleas are concentrated. Ticks obtain nutrition from the blood of cats and transmit various diseases. Rocky Mountain spotted fever causes intestinal disorders and Lyme disease can result in arthritis.

A veterinarian should be consulted for the treatment of feline parasites.

Parasites in cats can cause allergies. When infested with fleas, some cats experience allergic reactions to flea saliva. These reactions, called flea allergic dermatitis, result in hair loss, dry skin, and raised, red-colored lesions. Sometimes the cat may pluck its own fur. The symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis are worse in the summer and fall, when fleas are most prevalent.

Symptoms of a tapeworm infection include itching around the cat’s anus and malnutrition.

Ear mites, one of the most common feline parasites, are itchy and often make the cat shake its head back and forth. The infection can result from ear mite infestation, as the mites get their food from the fluid in a cat’s ear. If ear mites are not treated, complications from the bacterial infection can cause the cat to go deaf.

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Tapeworms, an internal parasite of cats, are transmitted to cats when they ingest fleas that have eaten tapeworm larvae. Symptoms of tapeworm infection include itching around the cat’s anus and the presence of tapeworm segments around the anus or in the cat’s stool. If a cat has a lot of tapeworms, it may experience weight loss and malnutrition.

Parasites can hide more easily in cats with longer fur.

Hookworms and roundworms are two internal parasites in cats that can harm a cat’s health if left untreated. Hookworms usually feed on the lining of the small intestine, but sometimes they feed on blood. Symptoms include blood in a cat’s stool, weight loss, and anemia. Roundworms, a common intestinal parasite in cats, can cause diarrhea and vomiting and are particularly dangerous for sick kittens and adult cats.

Cats that live outdoors are prone to parasites such as lungworms and flukes. The main symptom of lungworm infection is coughing. The worms can cause a loss of appetite and swelling in the cat’s abdomen.

The best way to get rid of parasites in cats is a visit to a veterinarian. Many effective drugs are available to eradicate the parasites. The best methods of preventing parasites are ensuring the cat receives regular veterinary care and keeping it indoors or not allowing it to roam outdoors unsupervised.

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