Identifying and Treating Common Feline Parasites

There are many feline parasites that can adversely affect your cat's health and lifestyle. Most of these parasites are easily treated once the cause is determined, and some can even be treated simultaneously using the same medication or alternatives. Knowing the cause of infection for each parasite, symptoms to look for, and options for treatment can help you keep your cat healthy and free of feline parasites.


Fleas may be one of the most bothersome types of feline parasites, both for the cat and for its owner. Fleas multiply very quickly and are difficult to get control of once they've infested your home. In addition to being a nuisance to the cat by causing itching and severe irritation, fleas can also cause anemia or severe allergic reactions. Careful inspection can usually reveal a flea population living under your cat's fur. There are several remedies that can be successful at ridding fleas from the cat and from your home. Be careful when selecting products, and try to avoid harsh chemical and toxins which may cause further irritation or serious illness.


Ticks are another common type of feline parasites that can lead to serious illness and even death. There are numerous types of ticks that can transmit life-threatening illnesses and disease, and therefore preventative treatment should be on your list of priorities. Ticks can usually be felt on the skin once they have attached to the body. Be sure to properly remove and dispose of any ticks immediately after you discover them. Research herbal remedies or monthly prescription medication to prevent tick infestation.


Tapeworms are feline parasites that form in the cat digestive system after ingestion of one or more fleas that are carrying tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms resemble cooked rice and can be spotted around the cat's rectum or moving about in the feces. If left untreated they can form a blockage in the bowels, so consider a feline worming product to get rid of the infection as soon as it is discovered.


Roundworms are the most common feline parasites and are passed through contaminated food, water or feces. These worms can be spotted in the feces and may resemble cooked spaghetti, sometimes measuring up to 7 inches in length. These parasites live in the intestines and while not life-threatening to adult cats, can create problems with blockage or more severe issues for kittens. Roundworms should be treated immediately, and a cat worming product for the treatment of tapeworms may kill roundworms as well.


Heartworms may be the most serious of potential feline parasites and once infected, it becomes a tricky and risky process to cure. Heartworms in cats are not as common of an issue as they may be for other species, and specific treatment plans are limited, so preventative medication may be your best bet. Heartworms take up residence inside the arteries that connect to the lungs, after being transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. This type of infection can lead to fatal respiratory problems.