More Cat Care Information:

There are many parasites that can give cats problems. Feline tapeworms are some of the most common. These white worms are capable of growing approximately eight inches long if they live long enough. Thanks to the suckers and hooks that Mother Nature equipped them with, they're capable of attaching themselves to the walls of the small intestine of your cat.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Cats typically don't experience many problems if they're infested with just a few of them. However, tapeworms in cats can cause serious problems as their numbers increase. They will keep your feline from getting the proper nutrition from their food, eventually causing them to shed pounds. Their fur will also undergo changes, becoming rough and dull.

To understand how feline tapeworms infect cats, you first need to understand a bit about their life cycle. As you know, fleas can easily infect your cat. Sometimes, fleas will harbor cysticercoids, which are formed when flea larvae eat tapeworm eggs. If your cat bites at an area infested with infected fleas, he may end up swallowing one.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

After eating an infected flea, the small intestine will break it down and leave the cysticercoids to develop into adult cat tapeworms. This is when they will attach themselves to the small intestine walls and sustain themselves with the nutrients that your cat is supposed to get from his food.

Feline tapeworms are segmented. As they grow, segments will break off and pass out of the body through the feces. Owners who inspect their cat's feces will likely notice them. They look like small grains of rice that are moving around. Some of these segments may also appear around the anus.

Your vet can determine if your cat has tapeworms quite easily. He will simply have to take a look at a sample of your cat's feces under a microscope. They aren't always easy to see via the naked eye.

Fortunately, tapeworms in cats are usually easy to deal with. You will need to give your cat dewormer medication in order to get rid of them. One cycle of this medication may not be enough to get rid of the infestation entirely though.

Parasites such as fleas and lice play a vital role in the transmission of feline tapeworms. Therefore, owners need to do their best to control these parasites so that their cat doesn't get infested with worms. Limiting the amount of time that your cat spends outside roaming around will help. Giving him dewormer medication on a regular basis will also be useful.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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