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Cats - Parasite Protocols

Parasites are small organisms that need to live on or in another larger organism to survive, and include worms, fleas, mites and ticks.  The larger ‘host’ organism can be your dog, your cat, or you!

Routine parasite treatment is as important in protecting your cat’s health as vaccination, and because many parasites can also affect humans, by preventatively treating you are protecting the health of the whole family.

Resistance to parasite treatments is continually developing, and so we will only ever prescribe your cat a modern, prescription-only treatment that we know to be effective and safe.  For us to be able to do this we just need to have seen your cat once a year (hopefully just for a vaccination!) and then we can supply all the parasite treatment you need over the counter without appointment.

Ectoparasites - the creepy crawlies!

All skin diseases are considered related to parasites until proven otherwise.


Fleas are now seen all year round, and can happen to any cat whether they go outside or not! Fleas bite humans but do not live on us. Some cats can carry many fleas and not show any signs, others can have a single bite and it is enough to trigger allergic skin disease.With a life cycle as short as 21 days and infestations taking at least 3-4 months to fully get on top of, monthly preventative treatment is always the best plan.


Commonly called ‘mange’ when they cause problems, mites are small insects that live on the surface of the skin or deep in the hair follicles, on the body or in the ears.


Ticks are blood-sucking insects that attach to a host for three days before dropping back into the environment. This in itself can cause irritated skin, but of even more concern are the diseases they can transmit like babesiosis and Lyme’s disease. Ticks used to be rare in the Midlands, but as the climate changes and more animals are being imported from mainland Europe we are unfortunately seeing ticks more often.

Endoparasites - Worms


Roundworms are the commonest ones encountered in cats, and are mostly seen to cause disease in young kittens. All kittens will get roundworm from their mothers, passed through the placenta and milk, but the numbers can be dramatically reduced by worming during pregnancy and in early life..


The commonest tapeworm in cats is Dipylidium caninum, which is transmitted by fleas!  Cats can also catch tapeworms from the animals that they hunt.

What treatment should I use?

We recommend monthly treatment with a spot-on called ‘Stronghold’, this prevents and treats for fleas, mites and roundworm. 

For routine preventative worming we use a tablet called ‘Milpro, given once every three months this will protect against tapeworm for most cats, although if your cat hunts a lot we would recommend treating monthly.

If you have specific concerns about what your cat needs (or will allow you to administer!) then please talk to your vet who can advise as to the best alternative.

Did you know?

We have designed our Platinum Health Plan to help you spread the cost of vaccinations and preventative parasite treatments over the year, reducing the overall cost. 

On the plan, once every three months we will automatically dispense three Stronghold pipettes and one wormer tablet for your cat, and inform you they are ready to collect.  It also gives you TWO full health checks a year, and 10% off all other services we provide! (including extra wormer tablets if you want to worm monthly).

See the Practice Plan page for more details on the savings this could give you, or call into the practice to pick up a sign up form.