Cats are susceptible to multiple parasites, but we can prevent a lot of them!
Cats can get heartworms if they are bit by an infected mosquito. Heartworms in some animals, like dogs, live in the heart and are many times fatal. In cats however, most worms to not survive to the adult stage and do not always live in the heart. Unlike dogs who have obvious severe respiratory distress as a result of the heartworms cats many times have no symptoms and the worms go undiagnosed.
Unfortunately, there is a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD) which can be caused by immature worms living in the cat. Using a monthly preventative on your cat can help prevent them from contracting heartworm. https://www.heartwormsociety.org/heartworms-in-cats/
Fleas are another parasite that commonly infest cats. The adult flea only represents part of the flea problem, 95% of an infestation is not easily visible to the naked eye, the eggs, larvae, and pupae are not typically seen. This means that by the time you see an adult flea on your cat, there are a lot of young fleas you do not see. Since fleas like to live in a warm & humid environment California’s climate is idea for them.
Adult fleas feed off the blood of your cat and their saliva is also known to cause allergies in some animals. Your cat could experience a mild reaction such as itching or a red spot, or a severe reaction like a large sore. They can also contract tapeworms from an infected flea by ingesting the flea, which can cause other health concerns. It is important to use a monthly preventative every 30 days to prevent an infestation on your cat as well as your environment. https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/external-parasites
Ticks are a parasite that is found mostly in wooded areas with a lot of undergrowth. Ticks grab onto an animal as they walk by and attach onto the animal. Once a tick attaches onto a host they embed their mouth into the animal to maintain a constant blood meal. Thankfully, ticks are not as commonly found on cats in Southern California. However, since they can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which are transmissible to humans, we do recommend that you put them on a monthly preventative.
Fortunately, there is a topical monthly preventative that will help protect your cats against all three of these parasites called Revolution Plus. Administer Revolution Plus to your cats every 30 days to help keep them safe from these parasites.
Give us a call if you think your cat has fleas or ticks. We can help!