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Research indicates housebound cats not exempt from worms

IS your feline a ‘cat in a flat?’ If it stays in your home, never venturing outside, then surely it never needs to be wormed - or does it? Recent research undertaken on behalf of Drontal, the UK’s number one wormer, has revealed that almost 20 per cent of cats taking part in the study tested positive for worms whilst never having access to the outdoor environment.

The study was conducted with 44 vet practices across Germany and France, with more than 3,500 cat faecal samples examined. Vets and owners of cats which tested positive to worms then answered questions about origin, environment, husbandry and frequency of worming treatment.
Sixty per cent had daily or permanent access to the outdoor environment, 17% went outdoors occasionally, but a surprisingly high percentage (almost 20%) were housed indoors and never had access to the outdoor environment.

Sabrina Stroud - product manager for Drontal, one of the worming products in Bayer Animal Health’s ‘protecting against parasites’ portfolio - commented: “Such a high percentage is unexpected and pet owners need to rethink the view that indoor cats have less need for routine worming treatments”.

Interestingly, about 80% of the study’s worm infested cats were wormed twice a year or less - suggesting an increase in frequency (to at least four times per year) is necessary to influence the parasite population.

Sabrina concluded: “The research makes fascinating reading and - although the study was conducted amongst our European neighbours - the principles remain the same for UK pet owners.

“Protecting your cat against parasites - regardless of your pet’s lifestyle - is only guaranteed by a programme of continuous preventative healthcare, with regular worming treatments at the core”.
Speak to your vet about the range of worming treatments options that are available for your cat.

Don’t be put off if, in the past, you have found administering tablets to be difficult - as the options now include spot-on treatments that cover both roundworms and tapeworms, making worming a lot more relaxed for you and your cat.