April 2012 Issue

Deworming: A Must for Kittens

Immature cats are at elevated risk for serious roundworm and hookworm infection. Be sure to seek veterinary advice.

Few things in life are sweeter than the sight of a newborn kitten, nursing contentedly at its mother’s nipple. A healthy kitten will nurse every 20 minutes or so, typically for about eight weeks, during which time its mother’s milk will fulfill all of the kitten’s nutritional needs. Unfortunately, that milk can also contain the larvae of intestinal worms — parasitic creatures that can compromise a kitten’s health and, if nothing is done to stem their proliferation, may lead to life-threatening illness. For this reason, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and other organizations strongly recommend that all newborn kittens be tested for these worms and be given medications that will kill the parasites — a process called “deworming” — on a routine schedule beginning when they are three weeks old.

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