Internal parasites in cats
Kittens will suffer from several specific internal parasites due to their immune system still developing.
There are two types of internal parasites that your kitten may be susceptible to, specifically:
- Protozoa - Tritrichomonas fetus – an intestinal parasite that causes a long-term, foul-smelling diarrhea
What are protozoa?
Protozoa are single-celled organisms that can cause diarrhea.
Kittens will mainly suffer from two specific types of micro-organisms, with both being responsible for severe diarrhea and incomplete digestion which can potentially lead to dehydration and weight loss. They are:
Some of these parasites cope extremely well in specific environments and are even resistant to moisture.
How can a cat become infected by protozoa?
A cat or kitten can become infected in one of the following ways:
Symptoms of protozoa in cats
Only your vet can identify these parasites and prescribe the appropriate treatment. That being said, infected cats my present a number of symptoms to be aware of, including:
If you are concerned about your cat as they’re showing any of the above symptoms, always make sure you take them to the vet.
How to treat protozoa in cats
The vet will prescribe oral medication to combat the parasites.
Worms are parasites that will infest the intestines of a cat or kitten.
There are two types of worms commonly found in cats:
How can a cat become infected by worms?
Infestation can vary between each type of worm, however the most common way a cat or kitten will get worms is by coming into contact with eggs or faeces from another infected cat.
Some outdoor cats may hunt rodents and become infected by worm larvae living in the animal's tissue.
Litters of kittens can develop worms if their mother is infected. This occurs through nursing, when worm larvae passes to the kittens through their mother's milk.
Symptoms of worms in cats
It's impossible to tell if a cat or kitten has worms just by looking at them, however, there are a number of symptoms that may accompany a worm infestation to be aware of:
Treatment and prevention of worms in cats
Your cat or kitten should receive regular deworming treatments during their initial programme of vaccination.
Your vet will make specific recommendations for routine deworming based on your cat’s lifestyle, focussing specifically on whether they go outdoors and if they’ll come into contact with other cats.
To ensure your kitten stays healthy while their immune system develops, it’s important to speak to your vet about both their vaccination schedule and any treatment plans for internal parasites.