As with almost all living things (and humans too), there are lots of unpleasant and annoying parasites that can attack a cat. Here you will find the most important parasites briefly explained and summarized.
Cats can catch fleas anywhere, e.g. outdoors in nature, in an open-air enclosure, at cat shows or sometimes because they get into the home with people. The infestation is not only a nuisance, it is also a health risk through the transmission of diseases. In addition, a single flea can quickly become a real flea circus in your home. Accordingly, there are various ways to protect the animal from the little pests. There are tablets, drops, collars and syringes.
I personally advise against using collars because of the risk of injury. Their effectiveness is also controversial. It is best to discuss with your myself and the vet which option is best for your animal. Norwegian Forest Cats can also be sensitive to some medications.
Ticks are annoying and sometimes dangerous for cats as they are for humans. Ticks transmit a variety of diseases to cats, some of which are life-threatening.
With purely indoor cats, you usually have no problems with ticks. In the case of cats with an open-air enclosure or outdoor area, you should therefore regularly check whether your cat has brought an unwanted visitor with them. This requires careful examination of your cat, especially the head (ears, eyes, neck and chin) and on the chest. These places are hardest for cats to reach themselves, in other places the animals often remove the parasites themselves. If you now discover a tick on your cat, it should be removed as soon as possible.
Regular prophylaxis against ectoparasites at the veterinarian's helps against ticks.
Worms are widespread in cats, both in indoor cats and in outdoor cats. Regular preventive care is therefore recommended (excrement test and worming).
The following types of worms are found in cats:
Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms (affect the gastrointestinal tract)
Bladder worms (affect the urinary tract / bladder)
Lungworms (attack the airways / lungs)
Heartworms (attack the heart)
Each infestation initially remains unnoticed without symptoms, but can be detected by means of a fecal sample. The infection takes place via eggs or larvae that adhere to meat and prey or are brought in by humans.
Symptoms of a worm infestation are:
Itching on the rump
Loss of appetite, weight loss
Deficiency symptoms, dull fur
bloated stomach (extreme case)
Some worm species can also pass on to humans, so it is advisable to regularly examine your cats and, if necessary, to deworm them.
Similar to some species of worms, the parasites called giardia also nest in the cat's gastrointestinal tract. Giardia are unicellular organisms that attach themselves to the intestinal wall and feed on the contents of the intestine. These parasites are very persistent and can remain inactive for a long time outside the cat. The infection occurs mainly as a smear infection, through infected feces or carried in by people on shoes and clothing.
Symptoms of Giardia infestation:
Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, strong-smelling feces, blood in the feces, fever
To be sure of a diagnosis, an analysis must be done, as other parasites cause similar symptoms. In the event of Giardia infestation, the cat must be treated with medication and the entire area around the cat must be cleaned (cook blankets, covers, etc. if possible, clean objects with a steam cleaner, clean the water and food bowls daily, keep the litter box clean and change the cat litter more often. A veterinarian should always be sought and a treatment course of Panacur administered.
In particularly stubborn cases, the treatment must be carried out several times, if the conventional means (Panacur) fail, therapy can also be carried out with metrodinazole.
A good bleach should be used for cleaning the surroundings and for cleaning surfaces and fabrics and bedding washed.
Mites belong to the genus of arachnids. The following types of mite exist in cats: predatory mites, ear mites, autumn grass mites that live on the cat's skin and grass / mange mites, hair follicle mites that live in / under the cat's skin.
The different types of mites also have different symptoms, but all of them have extremely pronounced itching. So if your cat is noticeably scratching itself, you should check it for mites.
Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease in which the cat is infected by a parasite (Toxoplasma Gondii). In the event of an infection, the cat or its immune system can produce antibodies and become immune on their own. However, a small part can become shedders, that is, they can be carriers of the parasite for life. This disease can also spread to humans and is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The most common route of transmission occurs via raw meat, in animals via infected or infested faeces. In a healthy cat there are usually no symptoms at all, it takes care of the parasite infestation on its own and becomes immune. Young or debilitated cats can experience a variety of symptoms and a vet should be consulted.