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Heartworm Infestation in Cats

We most often think of our canine companions as the ones who get heartworm. While heartworm is definitely more common amongst dogs, cats can also be infested! Learn more here from a vet in Rochester, NY.

How Do Cats Get Heartworm?

Cats get heartworm the same way that dogs do: from the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes bite an infected animal, then transmit the heartworm’s larvae—microscopic baby worms known as microfilaria—to a host.

What are the Symptoms?

Some cats may not show any symptoms at all even if they’re infected with adult heartworms; many times, the first sign in these cases is sudden collapse or death. If a cat does exhibit symptoms, though, they may include coughing fits, weight loss and lack of appetite, or occasional vomiting.

What’s the Treatment?

There isn’t a heartworm drug available for cats the way there is for dogs. Stabilization is the preferred treatment route, allowing your cat’s system to expel the worms on its own while closely monitoring your pet’s health.

Prevention is, of course, much more desirable than treatment—call your vets Rochester, NY office to get your cat set up on a monthly heartworm preventative. Better safe than sorry!