Lie #1: Indoor Cats Are Never Exposed To The Outdoors
Truth: The outdoors always comes in. Even if your cat is strictly indoors, they are still at risk for parasites. Parasites can hitch a ride on your dog, your shoes or they can sneak through a window or door. Having a clean and well maintained home does not lower your risk. Be sure to contact your veterinarian to discuss the best ways to protect your cat all year long.
Lie #2: Litter Boxes Only Contain Litter
Truth: The scoop on poop. Your cats litter box, especially if it’s not cleaned out daily, could be the spot where parasites are the most prevalent. Some feline intestinal parasites thrive there and can be transmitted to humans.
Lie #3: The Balcony and Deck Doesn’t Count As Outside
Truth: Any amount of exposure to the outside counts. Any time a cat steps foot onto a balcony or deck, enters a garage or sits next to a screened window there is an increased risk of parasite infection. We often see clients that have strictly indoor cats test positive for intestinal parasites as well as flea infestations.
Lie #4: Fido Is The Only Thing Coming Through The Doggy Door
Truth: Unwanted guests often use this entrance as well. Fleas, ticks and rodents are attracted to all the comforts your home provides. Unfortunately, these invaders act as a host for feline parasites. So, while you may want your cat to hunt down the mouse in your house, remember, they may be catching more than you anticipated.
Lie #5: Shoes Make A Great Place To Take A Nap
Truth: Your shoes could also be known as a parasite hotel. Think about all the things we walk through during our day. Dirt alone can carry parasite eggs. So think twice about letting your pet nap in dad’s sneakers because it’s so adorable. There is nothing adorable about parasites.
Lie #6: Cat Carriers Protect The Cat From All Outdoor Elements
Truth: A cat carrier does not have an invisible barrier against exposure to the outdoors. Most of us travel with our cats in carriers. This the safest way of travel for our frisky felines, however they are still at risk for parasites.
Lie #7: My Mother Always Said, “A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone.”
Truth: Your potted plants can be home for parasites. Often cats enjoy playing in your plants and scattering dirt and leaves. Did you know that 15% of store bought potting soil contains roundworm eggs. Your cat can easily ingest these eggs when grooming.
Lie #8: Grooming Keeps My Cat Clean, My Cat Even Grooms The Dog
Truth: Cleaning is a dirty job. Cats spend up to 50% of their time grooming themselves, other pets or you. This process can be the exact way parasites are transmitted from pet to pet or pet to people.
Lie #9: There Is No Way For Me To Get A Fecal Sample For Each Cat In My Household.
Truth: Just because one cat is positive for parasites doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your cats are positive. We often hear from clients that it is difficult for them to get individual fecal samples in a multiple cat household. Well, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that can help with this process. You can try isolating the cat to a room with a litter box until you get a sample. Be sure they have access to water at all times. The other trick is a lot more interesting. Most of us have a box of non-toxic crayons around the house. Yes, I said crayons. Shave an entire crayon using a crayon or pencil sharpener. You can also use a cheese grater. Use a different color for each cat and be sure to write down the cat’s names and the color they got. Mix the shavings into the cat’s food and be sure to monitor them in order to be sure they are eating out of just their bowl. If you do this the day before the appointment you should have your color coded fecal sample just in time for their appointment. Remember to make sure they are non-toxic crayons.