Most cats in Hong Kong live indoors, in small flats, often in close contact with their owners. Regardless of its breed, all cats and sometimes humans are at risk of contracting parasites. Treating your cat ensures that your pet and family stay safe.
There are four main parasitic precautions you should take for your kitten and cat in Hong Kong; Intestinal worm control, flea control, tick control and depending on where you live, heartworm.
Kowloon Veterinary Hospital (KVH) Vets recommend worming kittens monthly until six months old, then every three months for life. Most cat worming products will not target tapeworm, which is passed from fleas. Please read the following section on fleas to learn how to protect your cat from tapeworm.
If you are unsure about worming your kitten or cat, contact KVH on 2382 3300 for advice. Remember, never give your kitten cat or dog worm medication, it is too strong and can be fatal.
Tapeworm eggs are frequently ingested through adult fleas. Other sources that a cat is likely to ingest, include birds and rodents. Scavenging may also lead to an infestation of tapeworms. Treatment to destroy tapeworms is a critical step in preventing the spread of the parasite to humans, most typically children.
Fleas can be difficult to control as they live and breed in the environment. There are various ways of dealing with fleas; a combination method is usually best. This will usually involve a topical flea killer for use on your pet. Our KVH vets recommend Advocate, Revolution and Frontline, as well as environmental treatments.
Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months, but as we keep our homes in Hong Kong nice and warm throughout winter, we can also see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population (adult fleas make up 5% of the total flea population) actually lives on your pet.
For the most part, the fleas’ eggs and larvae live in your home and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas, but to also decontaminate your home as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. If your pets sleep in family beds or lounge suites, decontaminate these also.
KVH Vets do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation, and the cycle will start all over again.
It is rare for a cat to contract heartworm in Hong Kong, however, if you live in an area with a lot of water and or mosquitoes (Mosquito’s spread heartworm), you should treat your cat monthly.
If you are unsure, contact KVH on 2382 3300 for advice on whether your cat needs heartworm prevention. KVH vets can also advise on the most appropriate product for your pets’ stage of life.