Indoor Cat Facts
Did you know?????? Important facts about parasites and your indoor cat
How would an indoor cat get roundworms?
1) Cockroaches, mice, and flies all can carry roundworm eggs – cats are natural hunters and will hunt them! General Concepts in Zoonotic Disease Control, Lappin, 2005
2) 15% of commercial potting soil contains roundworm eggs The Veterinary Record, February 18, 2006
3) Other animals in the household that do go outside (like dogs and people!) can bring in different parasites that can affect the “indoor” cat (soil from gardening, plant matter etc)
How dangerous is the problem??
1) “Although most persons infected with toxocara have no symptoms the parasite is capable of causing blindness and other systemic illness”. CDC, 2007
2) Children and immune-compromised people (cancer patients, people with HIV/AIDS, organ transplants) are more susceptible of being infected with these parasites
3) 40% of immune-compromised people have a pet at home Greene’s Infectious Diseases, 2007
How common is the problem???
1) A study proves that almost 14% of the US population is infected with Toxocara- MUCH higher than what was originally thought. conducted in 2007 by the CDC
2) It is estimated that three to six million people in the United States may be infected with Toxocara (roundworm) larva migrans each year. Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) Guidelines, 2005.
How common/dangerous is Heartworm disease in cats?
1) All it takes is one adult worm in a cat’s heart to be fatal. Cats that die from heartworm can be clinically normal 1 hour before death.
2) Over 25 percent of cats with proven heartworm infection, according to their owners, are kept indoors exclusively. Atkins CE, Defrancesco TC, Coats JR, et al. Heartworm infection in cats: 50 cases (1985-1997) J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 217:355-358.
3) HARDS (heartworm associated respiratory disease) is a serious problem for cats that get bitten by a single heartworm infected mosquito.