Illustrated Articles

Cats + Parasites

  • Feline miliary dermatitis is a skin condition that typically results from an underlying allergic reaction, most commonly to fleabites. An affected cat will have a very itchy rash and may lick, bite, and scratch at the affected skin, quickly progressing to small lesions with scabs on them. The offending allergen must be removed for long-term resolution.

  • Moxidectin and fluralaner are combined in one topical treatment for use in cats. Moxidectin topical is an avermectin antiparasitic that is used to prevent heartworms and treat intestinal parasites (hookworms and roundworms). Fluralaner is used to treat and prevent fleas and also kills black-legged ticks (deer ticks). Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include hair loss at the application site, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, and dry skin. Moxidectin + fluralaner should not be used in pets that are hypersensitive or allergic to it. Do not use this medication in sick, debilitated, or underweight cats. Use caution in cats with known neurologic disorders. If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

  • Moxidectin is an avermectin antiparasitic that is used to prevent heartworms and treat intestinal parasites. Imidacloprid treats and prevents fleas. These two drugs are combined in one topical product for use in cats, dogs, and ferrets. Use as directed. Side effects are uncommon and usually short-lived, however, if you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for cats, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • Adding a new kitten to your family is a lot of fun, but it is also a big responsibility. This handout reviews basic kitten care, including vaccinations, internal and external parasites, nutrition, and nail care. It also reviews the importance of early spay/neuter and microchip identification.

  • Ringworm infections in cats are caused by a fungus, not a worm. They can be easily recognized, though definitive testing by fungal culture is recommended. Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread between animals and from animals to people. The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and risks are explained in this handout.

  • Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites observed in cats. Almost all cats will become infected with roundworms at some point in their life, most often as kittens. Roundworms are not particularly harmful to adult cats, but large numbers may cause life-threatening problems in kittens and debilitated older cats. Roundworms can also be transmitted to humans. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • Selamectin + sarolaner is used topically on the skin to treat various parasites, both on and off-label, and prevent heartworm in cats. Side effects are rare but may include hair loss at the application site, gastrointestinal upset, skin reactions, or neurologic signs. It should be used with caution in sick or underweight cats. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Tapeworms are parasites that infect the gastrointestinal tract of cats, other animals, and humans. Several types of tapeworms are known to infect pets, but the most common species observed in cats is Dipylidium caninum, which is transmitted through fleas. Risk factors, clinical signs, treatment, and prevention are explained in this handout. Other, less common types of tapeworms that affect cats and humans are also covered.

  • Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host and can in turn transmit diseases to your cat or even you. They are prolific breeders and their life cycles can extend through multiple seasons. Prompt removal or use of preventatives limit or prevent the spread of disease, or kill the ticks.