The Indoor Cat Myth
Do you have an indoor cat that doesn’t receive any prevention against heartworm disease or intestinal parasites? If so, you are not alone! Many indoor cat owners believe that by being inside, their cat can not become infected with internal parasites or heartworms. This is what we like to call the “Indoor Cat Myth.”
At our clinic, we routinely see indoor cats infected with internal parasites. Why? Because we have let our guard down with our indoor felines. Outdoor cat owners, or cat owners whose cats split their time indoors and out, understand the importance of using internal parasite prevention year round. However, sometimes within the same house, there’s an indoor cat who remains unprotected!
The Great Indoors
Yes, indoor environments have less parasites than the great outdoors, but they are not protective bubbles. There may be dogs that go in and out bringing in dirt, fleas, and bugs along for the ride, windows that occasionally get opened, and, most of all people who can bring in mosquitoes and fleas and ticks just by opening the door! Also, gastrointestinal parasites are carried by indoor pests like crickets (which are really fun to play with if you are a cat), and can be found in potting soil used for houseplants. These are just a few reasons to protect your indoor cat!
Heartworm Disease is particularly dangerous for cats because there is no available treatment that kills the heartworm, but not the cat. Additionally, while a dog can have many heartworms living in their heart, cats can die from a single heartworm. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito. And we know mosquitoes can live inside! In fact, statistics provided by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) reveal that 25-30% of cats with active heartworm disease are classified by their owners as STRICTLY indoors. Once these cats have heartworms, we can manage their symptoms but cannot cure their often fatal disease. That is why prevention is vitally important!
What can you do?
At Midlothian Animal Clinic, we recommend using a monthly preventative such as Revolution or Heartgard to protect your cat from parasites. Keep your indoor cat healthy, happy and more importantly, protected. Give us a call today at (804)794-2099, and we can help you choose the right preventative for your favorite feline!