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Indoor Cat Facts from Companion Animal Parasite Council

Important facts about your indoor cat

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

15% of commercial potting soil contains roundworm eggs
The Veterinary Record, February 18, 2006

The Northeast has the highest prevalence of roundworms than any other part of the country
National Canine and Feline Parasite and Vector-Borne Diseases Prevalence Survey, Blagburn et al, 2008

Other animals in the household that do go outside (like dogs and people!) can bring in different parasites that can affect the "indoor" cat

A study conducted in 2007 by the CDC proves that almost 14% of the US population is infected with Toxocara- MUCH higher than what was originally thought.

Same study also states "Although most persons infected with toxocara have no symptoms the parasite is capable of causing blindness and other systemic illness"
CDC, 2007

Children and immune-compromised people (cancer patients, people with HIV /AIDS, organ transplants) are more susceptible of being infected with these parasites

40% of immune-compromised people have a pet at home
Greene's Infectious Diseases, 2007

Roundworm (Toxocara cati) are prolific egg producers and are estimated to produce as many as 24,000 eggs per day.

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

In just thirty days, twenty-five female fleas can multiply to over a quarter million.
Noxon J. Fleas and Flea Control. February 8, 2005

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.

Over 25 percent of cats with proven heartworm infection, according to their owners, are kept indoors exclusively.

What You Should Know About Roundworms and Hookworms

Roundworms can cause visceral larva migrans (shown below) leaving irreversible damage.

Hookworms can cause cutaneous larva migrans (shown below), severe itch, but treatable.

One of our local veterinary laboratories does 3000 fecal tests every night. Out of 1 million fecal samples tested, 10% (100,000) samples were positive for Roundworms and 30% (300,000) were positive for some other type of intestinal parasite.

You may be bringing parasites into your home and not even be aware of it, leaving you, your family, and your pets at risk. Mud, dirt, or soil on shoes can harbor roundworm and hookworm eggs.

Ever had a cricket or beetle in your house? If you answered yes, then think about how appealing the hunt, kill, and reward of ingestion are to your cat. It's true - crickets and beetles, and even cockroaches are a major source of Roundworms!

Does your cat ever leave half eaten rodents? If so, your cat is even more at risk than you may think. Cats are natural hunters, but many of the little pests they hunt and eat are major vectors of Roundworms.

A study done by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2007 indicates that 14% of the human population tested positive for Roundworms. Think about how little stool is actually tested for intestinal parasites in humans - not many, so that 14% isn't completely accurate. The actual  percentage may be much higher if more human stool was tested. When was the last time your doctor recommended checking your stool for intestinal parasites? Chances are, probably never.

The CDC recommends that ALL cats, both indoor and outdoor, be protected against roundworms and hookworms.

The CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) recommends year round treatment with a broad spectrum parasiticide. Roundworms are reason enough to treat your cat.

Companion Animal Parasite Council, and the Center for Disease Control For more information visit www.cdc.gov or www.petsandparasites.org

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