Controlling Internal, External Parasites in Cats

Feline doctors association officially endorses guidelines.

December 27, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has officially endorsed parasite control guidelines set forth by the Companion Animal Parasite Council. The December 2006 endorsement of the guidelines, according to the CAPC, acknowledges and supports the parasite council’s efforts to educate veterinarians and pet owners about parasites and the potential risk of zoonotic disease transmission. Zoonotic diseases are those that can be shared between animals and humans.

The primary recommendations of the guidelines include:

  • Administering year-round treatment with heartworm preventives that

    have broad-spectrum activity against parasites with zoonotic potential.

  • Year-round administering preventive flea and/or tick products.

  • Conducting annual physical examinations.

  • Conducting periodic heartworm testing in cats.

  • Feeding pets cooked or prepared food (not raw meat) and providing fresh, potable water.

  • Conduct fecal examinations two to four times during the first year of life and once or twice a year in adults, depending on patient health and lifestyle factors.

    CAPC Executive Director Mike Paul noted that research continues to show cats receive less regular veterinary care than dogs, greatly increasing their need for regular parasite examination, prevention and control recommendations.

    “The AAFP seal of approval will go a long way to boosting awareness and understanding of the parasite guidelines, leading to their increased implementation as part of best medicine practices for cats,” Paul said.

    The full set of guidelines and other parasite information can be found at CAPC's website for Vetrinary and Medical Professionals or CAPC's website for Pet Owners.

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