Outdoor Cats and How to Protect Them From Parasites
When it comes to the health and wellness of your cat, parasite prevention plays a very important role. This is especially so for outdoor cats, which often encounter different parasites. Parasites can harm your cat’s health. Your cat can transmit some parasites, such as zoonotic parasites, to you and your family as well.
Protecting your cat from flea infestation, for example, can protect you and your family from cat-scratch disease. If you have an outdoor cat, you should be aware of roundworms, which are zoonotic parasites as well. They can cause blindness or vision impairment in humans. An annual parasite control plan for both internal and external parasites, therefore, will protect your cat as well as your entire family.
Outdoor cats include owned cats allowed to roam by their owners and community cats. Community cats include feral cats, abandoned stray cats, and lost cats. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., approximately three to four million owned and community cats enter animal shelters each year. Sadly, more than half of them end up getting euthanized due to various reasons, such as lack of space, old age, owner request, injury, and illness.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats
The consensus among most people and veterinarians is that it is better to keep an indoor cat. When you consider the potential dangers your cat will face outdoors, an indoor lifestyle will be much safer and comfortable for him/her. This is why indoor cats typically live longer than outdoor cats.
Many cat owners, however, tend to struggle with the decision to keep their cats indoors. Have you ever seen cats staring out the window as if yearning for the outside world? It can seem somewhat cruel to keep them cooped up indoors. Other cat owners think their cats will become lazy and fat if they keep them indoors. Ultimately, whether you choose to keep your cat indoors or outdoors, you will need to protect him/her from disease-causing parasites.
Parasite Prevention for Outdoor Cats
Your outdoor cat should be on medication to protect him/her from potentially dangerous parasites. One of the favorite snacks for fleas is cats; therefore, your outdoor cat may bring fleas into your house. They may also bring in ticks, mites, ringworms, heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and coccidian.
Parasites fall into two main categories, which are external and internal parasites. When it comes to protecting your outdoor cat from parasites, the most important things to consider are the season, your cat’s age, where you live, and your lifestyle. You also need to know that kittens that tend to roam outdoors need a scheduled parasite treatment program. This is because they are at increased risk of falling sick due to parasite infestation.
Cats are quite proud and self-sufficient animals. They eat when they want and groom themselves all the time. They often seem to live a quiet and relaxed life. Many cat owners, therefore, tend to forget that they are at risk of parasite infestation, just like dogs. As a cat owner, you need to understand that regular treatments and vaccinations are important to protect your feline friend from parasites.
You will also find many effective and safe products in the market that you can easily apply to your cat to protect and/or treat different types of parasites. Most of these prevention and treatment products are available in the form of spot-on formulations, collars, and sprays.
If you have an outdoor feline friend, you should consider taking him/her to a veterinarian for a health assessment. At The Little Cat Clinic, we believe that every cat deserves some TLC. We are a full-service veterinary facility specializing in cats. To book an appointment for your cat, call 619-547-0900. You can also visit us in La Mesa, California today.