Keeping your pet cat indoors is the best way to protect them from cars, predators, and other mishaps that can befall a roaming feline. But contrary to common belief, strictly indoor cats can still become infested with parasites.
Yes, the risk is somewhat lower, but your cat can still contract some of the following problems:
- Ear mites
- Heartworms – these are transmitted by mosquitoes, which as you know, often end up buzzing around your home.
- Roundworms – these are found in contaminated soil and prey such as mice or bugs. Since mice and bugs can get into your home, your cat is still theoretically at risk of roundworms. Roundworms can also be passed through a cat’s feces, so be on guard if you bring home a new cat (particularly one whose history you don’t know).
- Hookworms – these are found in soil, making them an unlikely risk for indoor cats. However, infestations have happened, probably due to soil carried into the house on your shoes or other objects.
In addition, intestinal worms like those listed above can be transmitted from a mother cat to her kittens. So even if your new kitty will be a strictly indoor pet, she could already be infested with worms from her mother. This is why deworming all kittens is a common practice.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, intestinal worms can be passed to humans. Roundworm infestations are the most common instance of this problem. Since this parasite can spread throughout your body and damage both the eyes and brain, it’s not a risk you want to take.
So yes, while the risk is much lower in strictly indoor cats, they can still contract most common parasites. Let’s discuss deworming and prevention at your cat’s next appointment, so that you can keep both your kitty and your family safe.