What Is Feline Coccidia?

October 14, 2009

in Cats

Feline coccidiosis is a condition in cats that causes watery stool, dehydration, abdominal pains, and vomiting. Kittens and debilitated cats are prime candidates for its more severe manifestations.

Actually, coccidia is very common among both felines and canines. It is thought that around a third of cats and dogs are in fact infected with the disease. They don’t, however, all show signs of having contracted it.

Coccidiosis is caused by one-celled organisms called protozoa. Acting in a similar way to other parasites, such as worms, protozoa live in the intestinal tract of cats.

However, though the symptoms of worms and coccidia are similar, the conditions must be cured using different treatments. You should therefore take your cat to a veterinarian for a diagnosis before proceeding with any treatment, to ensure that you get the correct medicine.

So, how do cats become infected with coccidia? Coccidia are transferred via fecal matter. All cat stool contain immature protozoa (referred to as oocytes), which are relatively harmless until they mature in an open environment. Once they mature, they may infect the cat once again. Another way of cats developing coccidiosis is from licking or eating protozoan infected mice.

To prevent against coccidia infestations, you should…

1. Pay attention to where your pet spends most of its time. Where they sleep, eat and play should be clean, tidy and well maintained. Of particular importance is the disposing of stool within a day or two of it appearing.

2. Use disinfectants. It’s advisable to move your pet out of the way before proceeding with this. You don’t want your pets to inhale the potentially harmful fumes from disinfectants. You may then spray the area with a disinfectant that contains a considerable amount of ammonia or a little bleach mixed with a good amount of water.

3. Not ignore the cleaning of crevices and other hard to reach areas. You should pay close attention to them as many forms of parasites ? oocytes notwithstanding, could make their home there.

4. Repaint. Repainting the area where your pets live could help destroy coccidian oocytes where they mature.

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