Kitten wormer: why do you need them?
Like many young mammals, kittens are at risk of getting worms - small parasites that take up residence in their guts.
Most young cats with worms do not exhibit any symptoms. Even so, owners may wish to worm them using special medicine. Kitten worming tablets mix with their food and kill off any creatures that could have taken up residence in their stomach, like roundworms or tapeworms.
What Types Of Parasites Do Kitten Dewormers Remove?
Kitten wormers remove multiple parasites from the kitten. The two most common species are roundworm and tapeworm. Kittens get these types of worms from eating fleas that contain tapeworm larvae. As they lick their fur during grooming, the eggs pass onto their tongue and are then swallowed. Eventually, the larvae attach to the walls of the kitten’s intestines where they develop into adult tapeworms, powering their growth using energy from the food the cat consumes.
These get their name from their shape. They are flat, long and made of multiple segments.
These are more common than tapeworms but originate from a different source. These get into the cat’s digestive tract after the kitten eats infected soil, the faeces of an infected cat, or milk from the mother contaminated with roundworm.
Kittens can also get heartworms and hookworms. These two parasitic infections are less common but more serious. Wormers can treat both.
Should Worming Begin From A Young Age?
While kittens are not born with parasites in their guts, they can contract them from an early age, including through their mother’s milk. Thus, it is vital to get them on worming products from an early age.
Worming medications are usually for kittens older than a certain age. Some young cats, however, may show signs of worm infection from very early on in their lives. Pet parents should look out for telltale signs, such as small, rice-like pieces of tapeworm in their kitten’s faeces or bloated abdomen. Kittens may also have blood in their stool, unexplained weight loss or diarrhoea.
How To Prevent Worm Infections?
The consequences of worm infections for kittens can be severe. In some cases, it can put the animal’s life at risk. Thus, the best way to deal with the problem is prevention - stopping your cat from getting parasitic infections in the first place.
Preventing worm infections, fortunately, is relatively easy. The best solution is to provide your animal with regular flea treatment, as these are the most common source of worms. Your kitten will spend the majority of its time indoors and so shouldn’t come into contact with infected soil or faeces of other cats. If it does, however, you should still put it on a course of wormer tablets or other deworming medication.
Be observant of your young cat. In all likelihood, kittens will come into contact with infected fleas at some point. While they are not born with parasites in their stomachs, like dogs, the chances that they will contract them are exceptionally high. That is why many vets recommend owners provide flea treatment as a matter of course.