The Truth About Indoor Cat Care and Disease Prevention
We are bombarded every day to make decisions, but how do we truly know if the choices we make are the right ones? Of the big decisions faced by pet owners, keeping a pet cat inside is one of the better ones. Fluffy is safe from running into traffic, getting stuck in trees or bad weather, fighting with predators and other territorial felines, and also benefits from reduced exposure to parasites.
To best serve our clients who share their lives with furry felines, the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have some ideas that support overall indoor cat care.
Harbingers of Ill Health
Beyond great nutrition, dental care, environmental enrichment, and daily exercise, parasite prevention is an important component of indoor cat care. Many cat owners erroneously believe that because their cats never venture beyond the threshold they aren’t at risk of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. However, most of us can all recall a time (or two or three) that bugs came inside without our permission.
Pass the Buck
Some of the worst parasites that affect pets are transmissible to people. And, while it’s easy to assume that an indoor-dwelling cat is perfectly safe from all harm, the reality is that parasites are around every month of the year. For example:
- Heartworm disease has spread to all 50 states, thanks to the ravenous mosquitoes that carry it. Because there is no treatment or cure for heartworm disease in cats, it is imperative to uphold a monthly parasite prevention routine each month. This oral or topical medication can also help protect your pet from other parasites.
- Dogs can be vaccinated against Lyme disease, but there isn’t an available option for cats. Your cat may be strictly indoor-only, but if you have a dog who enjoys hiking and playing outdoors, your cat should be protected from ticks that have the potential to transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Fleas can enter a dormant stage in the winter months, but can spring alive in the warmer temperatures inside a home. Not only is a flea infestation a horrible thing to remedy, but fleas can pass illnesses like ‘cat scratch fever’ to your cat and human family members.
- Kittens are often infected with roundworm and other internal parasites. In spite of widespread use of deworming medication, sometimes these parasites can emerge from a dormant stage to cause major problems for an adult cat.
- Your cat’s primal instincts may come in handy when there is a buzzing insect in the house, such as a house fly or moth, but tapeworms and other parasites can be passed from prey to predator when eaten.
Indoor Cat Care
As a rule, accidents happen, and pets often get out of the house when you least expect them to. Hopefully, Fluffy is not only tagged and microchipped, but he or she has full protection against parasites. Also, vaccinations are extremely important to prevent the transmission of diseases, such as rabies or feline distemper.
Naperville Animal Hospital Loves Your Cat!
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns related to indoor cat care. Above all, give your cat a few extra cuddles for us. Your time, attention, and affection will not only make your cat feel loved but also safe and secure.
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