Intestinal Parasites in Cats : Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Intestinal Parasites in Cats : Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Cats maybe good at self-maintenance but can become hosts to many intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are a common problem in cats, with prevalence rates as high as 45 percent. The signs associated with parasites in cats are nonspecific, such as a dull coat, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, a pot-bellied appearance, bloody stools, loss of appetite and pale mucous membranes. Vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, caused by intestinal parasites, will deplete your cat and make him more susceptible to other infections and diseases, as well as robbing your cat of good health. Some parasites can even infect humans.

Diagnosis

At this time, there is no one de-wormer that can eliminate all species of parasites. Therefore an accurate diagnosis from your cat’s veterinarian is necessary to treat your cat properly. Diagnosis is usually made from a microscopic examination of a fresh stool sample (passed less than 12 hours ago) or, in the case of tapeworms, by seeing the segments in the stool. It is suggested that your veterinarian test your cat’s stool periodically to make certain that your cat is not harboring any parasites. It is also a good idea to visually examine your cat’s stool for signs of tapeworm segments or other abnormalities (diarrhea, bloody stools, excessively hard stools, etc) which may indicate that your cat needs medical attention.

The following are brief descriptions of common intestinal parasites seen in cats (and dogs), detailing the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, as well as the risk of human transmission.

Roundworms

  • This is a common worm of puppies and kittens, but can be seen in dogs and cats of any age.
  • Diagnosis is made from a microscopic examination of the feces or from a description of the worm, if it is seen in the stool or vomit.
  • Symptoms will vary from none to vomiting and diarrhea, and abdominal swelling.
  • Transmission to adult dogs and cats occurs by infected feces contaminating the yard. As a result, prevention is accomplished by isolating your cat from infected feces of other animals.
  • Your cat’s veterinarian will prescribe the proper treatment for your cat. Follow directions carefully when giving the medication. For dogs, many of the heart-worm preventives routinely used, such as Heartguard Plus, Interceptor, and Revolution, also aid in preventing roundworm infection.
  • Transmission to humans is rare but young children can develop “visceral larval migrans” by eating dirt contaminated with feces.

Hookworms

  • This is also a common worm of puppies and kittens but is seen with equal frequency in adults. This parasite sucks your cat’s blood and can cause severe anemia.
  • Diagnosis is made from a microscopic examination of your cat’s stool.
  • Symptoms will vary from none to blood in the stool (dark tar-colored stool) with diarrhea.
  • Your veterinarian will prescribe the proper medication to rid your cat of hookworms. Severe cases may need a transfusion and hospitalization.
  • Transmission to adult animals occurs by infected feces contaminating the grass or soil. Prevention, therefore, requires that your cat be kept away from contaminated areas. Many of the commonly used heart-worm preventive medications, such as Heartguard Plus, Interceptor and Revolution, aid in the prevention of hookworms also.
  • Transmission to humans is uncommon and usually shows up as skin lesions.

Tapeworms

  • This common worm affects both dogs and cats.
  • Transmission occurs when your cat grooms himself and “eats” a flea, or when he hunts and eats small animals, such as rabbits, squirrels, etc. The intermediate form of the tapeworm is inside the flea’s body (or the body of the rabbit or squirrel) and it then attaches to the intestine and begins to grow “segments”. In about 3 weeks, these segments begin to pass in the stool. They are approximately ¼ to ½ inch long, flat, and white. After a short time in the air, they dry up to resemble a small yellow flat seed.
  • Diagnosis is made from seeing these segments on the stool or around your cat’s anal region. They will sometimes show up on microscopic fecal exam as well.
  • Your veterinarian will advise you which medication is best to rid your cat of the tapeworms. However, available tapeworm treatments will not prevent further infection if your cat is exposed again. The only prevention is strict flea control and restricted hunting activity.
  • There is no direct transmission from dog or cat to a human (although people can be infected by eating contaminated meat).

Giardia

  • This parasite is not a worm. It is a very tiny single-celled parasite that can live in the intestines of dogs, cats, and humans.
  • It is seen most commonly in dogs coming out of kennel-type situations (cat stores, shelters, dog pounds, etc.) but its incidence is increasing.
  • Symptoms include intermittent or continuous diarrhea, weight loss, depression, and loss of appetite.
  • Diagnosis is made from a very fresh fecal specimen.
  • A surprising number of affected animals are infected but are negative in these tests, even with multiple examinations. As a result, this parasite is often treated without a confirming diagnosis.
  • Prevention involves careful disposal of all fecal material and cleaning contaminated areas.
  • Humans can become infected with Giardia, so special care must be taken to wash hands and utensils.

Coccidia

  • This is also a single-celled parasite.
  • It is seen primarily in puppies and kittens, although debilitated adults can also be affected.
  • Transmission occurs by eating the infection stage of the parasite. It then reproduces in the intestinal tract causing no symptoms in mild cases to bloody diarrhea in severely affected cats.
  • Diagnosis is made from a fresh stool sample.
  • Treatment varies greatly depending on your cat’s condition. Severely affected cats may need hospitalization.
  • Prevention involves disposal of all stools and cleaning your cat’s living area.
  • Human transmission is uncommon but can occur.

Treatment

There are many different medications available for treating intestinal parasites. The proper choice will depend on the type of parasite present, the risk of re-infection, and the physical condition of your cat. Therefore, your cat’s veterinarian should be consulted to recommend the proper medication for treatment and discuss the appropriate treatment intervals with you. These will vary depending on the type of parasite present and the severity of the infection. Many of the monthly heart-worm preventatives also help prevent certain types of intestinal parasites. These include roundworms and hookworms, although some of the heart-worm preventatives can also help control tapeworms or whip-worms. All de-worming medicines have the potential to produce side effects and should only be used as needed and under proper conditions. Your veterinarian will discuss the proper usage of these medications with you.

Most puppies and kittens are infected before birth and, for this reason, your veterinarian may recommend de-worming at a very young age. If hookworms are suspected, your veterinarian may advise de-worming or checking your puppies or kittens stools starting as early as 2-3 weeks of age. More than one treatment is often necessary in order to eliminate these parasites.

Conclusion

Parasites are very common in cats, but can be prevented. Prevention begins with good sanitation like daily litter box scooping and cleaning with a disinfectant. It is also important to avoid raw meat diets, and keeping fleas at bay.

Birman : Cat Breeds

Birman : Cat Breeds

Birman cats are believed to have originated in the Asian country Burma. It is believed that the Birman cat was considered extremely sacred and were secretly shipped to France in the year 1920.

History

The history of the birman cats can be traced to the Burmese temple of LaoTsun where the first Birman cats were believe to have yellow eyes and white coats. They were companions of Kittah priests. The goddess, who was worshiped in the temple, had beautiful blue eyes. One such priest named Mun-Ha had a beautiful cat named Sinh. One day the temple was looted and Mun-Ha was murdered. At the time of death, Sinh placed his feet on his master and faced the goddess. During this time Sinh’s coat turned golden and eyes became blue and his paws remained white as a symbol of purity. Sinh died a week later but the colors of all the temple cats had changed. Since then Birman cats have golden coats and round blue eyes.

Body type

Birman cats are known by their stocky body and long fur, that may not be as thick as those found on the bodies of Persian cats. They are known by their short ears and sparkling blue eyes.

Coat

These cats have a silky color point coat that is usually light shades of gold and the colors of eggshells, but the hair on face, legs and ears are of darker shades. Another extraordinary feature is these color printed cats always have white paws that are commonly known as gloves. Birman cats have thick coats but their fur does not usually get tangled or matted.

Colors

Birman breeds have light colored bodies marked with darker points. Birman cats have beautiful golden coloration in lilac points, seal point, cream point, blue cream point and lilac point.

Size

Birman cats are medium sized but they appear to be much bulkier because of their thick coats.

Average life span

To date, the oldest Birman cat is believed to have lived up to 16 years of age with the average lifespan being 12-14 years.

Appearance

Birman cats have always held a place of reverence and their ethereal beauty makes them more enchanting. These cats, even though average in size, appear like cotton balls because of their fluffy coats. These cats are known for their lovely round blue eyes and white glove likes paws.With an average build but an extremely furry coat, the birman colors are golden and cream, with lovely blue eyes. The cats have a distinct heavy jaw, Roman nose and full chin set in a very strong face. They are known by their famous white paws.

Personality

These playful creatures can become your best buddy as they remain active even into their old age. They are good at reading their owners moods and will provide you space when you are tired or working.

Physical development

Birman kittens are born absolutely white and start developing their dark point colors within a couple of weeks of birth. The early traces of colors are seen on the ears, tails and nose. By the age of two they get their full color points.

Caring for

Because of the light colored coats, a regular grooming is required to make Birman cats appear neat and clean. Though the fur of Birman cats does not mat, regular brushing will result in smooth and shiny coat.

Health

Birmans are generally healthy. They do have common health concerns that plague other cats. These include obesity, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and kidney disease.

Korat : Cat Breeds

Korat : Cat Breeds

Originating in Thailand, this cat is known as the Korat cat. In ancient Thailand it was called the Si-Sawat cat or feline. The contemporary name was given by King Rama of Siam. All this happened in Thailand after he was gifted the cat. Actually, the King wanted to know where the cat came from and he was told that it belonged to a plateau known as Korat, hence the name. They were however, introduced in the United States in the year 1959. They have been exported to Thailand on a regular basis, while Korat kittens are exported on a regular basis around the globe.

History

The Korat happens to be one of the most ancient bred cats. The initially originated in Thailand and then spread around the world. They are often referred to as a good luck charm. They are gifted as a sign of love and were not sold until recently. However, they are gifted only in pairs.

Body type

The Korat is not a cumbersome cat and the body fat is very low. This being the case’ they may appear to be light weight. However, the truth is that their bones are very heavy. Both the genders have a cavernous chest and so the sounds made by them may sound hideous at times, especially in the mating season.

Coat

The head of this feline happens to be heart shaped. They possess a single coat and this means there is no protection under the coat. This makes them susceptible to harsh weather at times.

Colors

The coat is naturally silver blue; however, the silver becomes more vivid with age. The colors of the eyes are of a green hue and this enhances with age.

Size

The tom cats of this species weigh 9 pounds and the gentler gender weighs about 7 pounds.

Average life span

They can live up to 17 years of age if cared for properly.

Personality

The Korat is a very headstrong feline with distinct likes and dislikes but is very playful in nature. If they are kept as pets, then the human territory they occupy becomes their own, which includes laps. They tend to be an energetic cat who enjoys learning tricks, playing fetch and even walking on leash. They enjoy the company of other animals but prefer other Korats as companions.

Appearance

The Korat is of a medium stature and has short hair. They have a cavernous chest and are well muscled. They have a singular coat; which is of a blue hue mostly.

Development

The Korat does not grow more than that of a medium size cat.

Caring for

Korat’s are easy to keep as pets because they will let you know what they want. They will insist on eating what you eat; however, this can prove to be unhealthy and cause obesity. The Korat’s short coat requires little grooming. Brush it weekly to remove any dead hairs. Bathing is rarely necessary.

Health

The Korat is liable to suffer from a fatal genetic condition that comes in two forms: GM-1 and GM-2 gangliosidosis. Fortunately, a genetic test can identify carriers before they are bred.

Why Cat Training is so Difficult

Why Cat Training is so Difficult

Cat training behavior can be quite frustrating, but the first step in training is to actually understand where your cat is coming from. Here are 10 reasons why training your cat is such a challenge.

Cats Do Not Recognize Hierarchies

Dogs are fairly easy to train because they recognize their owners for who they are, their master. Dogs quickly learn that their owner gives the orders and if they follow them, they are rewarded. If they do not, they are punished. Cats, on the other hand, usually do not recognize their owner as their master and do not take directions.

Cats are Solitary Creatures

Cats by nature are solitary creatures but are fine tuned to their surroundings. They also demand affection when they want it. On the other hand, when cats don’t want to do something they usually will not do it. The bottom line is, they do need your companionship to be happy, but on their own terms.

Cats Communicate Differently than Dogs

When a dog wants something they get really excited and bark or jump at it. Cats, on the other hand, will sit and stare at it or twitch his tail. This makes it tough to train a cat because you probably won’t know what your cat is trying to say or communicate to you. Once you know your cats body language, training will be easier.

Cats Lose Interest in Training

Cats do not have the same attention span as dogs. If you reward your dog he will pay attention to you. Although cats do respond to incentives, they usually grow tired of training even if they are being rewarded.

Cats Are Mischievous By Nature

Cats are mischievous and curious by nature, so training them is more of a challenge. Cats maybe mischievous because they are bored. By nature, cats want to hunt and explore. Kittens are far more curious and mischievous but usually grow out of it, if trained early on.

Cats Respond to Pleasant Consequences

Does your cat jump on your chest at 5 in the morning and meow until you feed him? If you get up and do so, you are indirectly training your cat to wake you up. Even if you don’t know it, you are teaching your cat that if he wakes you up, he will be fed.

Punishing Your Cat for Bad Behavior Will Break Your Bond

Cats are intolerant of human forms of punishment, and physically dominating your cat will break your bond with him. Cats become irritated when you punish them, so instead of taking the hint and changing their behavior they often become angry and withdrawn.

Cats Do Not Respond Positively to Physical Punishment

Cats don’t respond as well to punishment the same as dogs because of their independence. They look at physical punishment as a threat as opposed to a punishment for bad behavior. Cats have a hard time associating the physical punishment with the bad behavior making it useless for training purposes.

Expecting the Same Results Training a Cat as a Dog

Dog behavior is not the same as cat behavior. Dogs are easier to train because of their friendly and amicable nature while cats, on the other hand, are just not as easy to train. Cat owners need to have patience. Believe it or not, you can even train your cat to perform some ‘dog like’ tricks if you want. For starters, you can train your cat to sit on command, or to walk on a leash.

Cats Have Better Memory than Dogs

To potty train your cat, you should put him in the room with his litter box and wait until he learns to use it. If your cat has an accident or starts to “go” someplace other than the litter box, pick him up and put him in it.

Conclusion

Like dogs, cats are motivated to do things that will benefit them. Turning your cat’s favorite activities into positive behaviors and rewarding him, can work to your advantage. Also training your kitten as soon as you bring him home will give him the opportunity to not start with bad behavior.

Halloween Cat Names : 50 + Names for Your Scaredy Cat

Halloween Cat Names : 50 + Names for Your Scaredy Cat

Halloween cat names work well because cats have always been associated with witches, magic pumpkins and have earned the title of Halloween mascot. If you have recently adopted a cat, and need a name, then this would be the place to start, being that Halloween is right around the corner.

You may consider spooktastic names like:

  • OMEN– for the forewarning cat
  • FREDDY – named after Freddy Krueger
  • CHUCKIE – named after the creepy doll Chuckie
  • PUMPKIN – perfect name for am orange color kitty

Halloween Cat Names

MALE NAMES FEMALE NAMES
BARNABAS ABRACADABRA
BOGIE ABRAXAS
BONFIRE AZRAEL
CASPER BOO
CROWLEY CANDY APPLE
DAMIAN CHRISTINE
DANTE ELVIRA
DARKNESS ESMERALDA
DEVIL JEZEBEL
DIABLO JINX
DORIAN LENORE
EDGAR LILITH
FREDDIE LUCRETIA
GHOST LUNA
GOBLIN MAGIC
GREMLIN MIDNIGHT
HALLOWEEN MISCHIEF
HOCUS MOON
JACK O’LANTERN MORTICIA
JASON PUMPKIN
MIDNIGHT RAVEN
MORDRED ROSEMARY
OSIRIS SABRINA
PRANKS SALEM
SCARY SAMANTHA
SPOOKY TABATHA
TAFFY THIRTEEN
TREAT TRIXIE
TRICKSTER WEDNESDAY
VLAD WITCHCRAFT

Conclusion

This list of Halloween cat names is one of many here at Cat Mania. If you didn’t find the perfect name here, try searching our other cat names lists here.