How often you need to worm your indoor cat? Or can indoor cats get worms at all? It’s often assumed that indoor cats are never exposed to parasites; thus there’s no need to worm them. However, this assumption is incorrect.
There are plenty ways how your indoor cat could come in contact with outdoor parasites, and, because of that, most veterinarian suggest indoor cats have to be wormed almost as frequently as outdoor cats.
Of course, the possibility to get worms, is a lot smaller in indoor cats, compared to outdoor cats. However, it does not alter the necessary worming frequency. Why?
Worming medicine works as a preventive measure which “kills” all the living worms in your cat’s body. If few weeks after the measure your cat is exposed to worm eggs, he will have parasites living inside him again. And, since we are not able to tell when your cat will ingest worm eggs, we are not able to prescribe you worming frequency differing from the one outdoor cats have.
Thus, most veterinarians suggest to worm indoor cats every three to four months, except winter in separate locations of the world. Always feel free to talk with your veterinarian, if unsure.
How can your indoor cat get worms?
Your indoor cat might come to contact with worms in several ways:
- Fleas. They are one of the most common carriers of worms. Cat can get worms by eating a flea of if a flea eats him – that is, if a flea bites him. And of course fleas are often taken indoors by us. We don’t notice it, because it’s not that easy to notice just one flea. But it probably will find your cat once it gets inside.
- Worm eggs. They are usually taken indoors with our shoes or clothes. Is your cat sniffing around your street-wear to check where you’ve been? Most cats do, as they are curious animals. Unfortunately, this is where they may come to contact with worm eggs.
- Other pets. Do you have any other pet that is allowed both indoors and outdoors? A dog in example? No matter if he’s a friend or an enemy of your cat, they do come to contact, and your cat is highly likely to get worms from your dog.
- Food. This is not very likely, but if your cat is enjoying raw diet there is a small risk of eating worm eggs together with an addled meat or fish. But, again, possibility is very small, which increases if you do choose sources of ingredients
Good thing to do is to keep your house clean and outdoor shoes and clothes unreachable to your cat. However, it just decreases the risk, not eliminates it, so, worming your indoor cat regularly, might be the only sure thing that your pet is staying parasite free.
Photo by Eirik Newth.