Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD, we do recommend a yearly fecal analysis as part of your cat’s routine wellness exam. One of the most common tests for intestinal parasites that the veterinarians here at KAH can run, is a fecal analysis. We need a small amount of your cat’s stool to send out to our outside lab where they will run tests to look for the presence of intestinal parasites.
Typically, we receive the results within a couple days.
Intestinal parasites can cause many problems in our beloved pets such as diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, anemia, malnutrition or malabsorption, and unfortunately there are numerous ways that your cat can contract intestinal parasites- even while indoors.
Many clients ask why it is necessary to test their cat(s) for intestinal parasites if it is an indoor only cat. There are several reasons listed below for why it is important to test your cat:
1. Most kittens are born with intestinal parasites that they have acquired from their mother, either while they were in the womb or during nursing.
2. Some parasites can move into your cat’s muscles and go into a state similar to hibernation. While the parasites are in their “hibernating” state, your cat’s fecal would come back negative for these parasites. However, if your cat gets sick or stressed, these parasites can come out of hibernation and reinfect your cat.
3. Unfortunately, we can bring hitch-hikers from the bug world into our house as we are coming and going- these insects, if eaten, can also cause our cats to become infected.
4. Rodents can infiltrate their way into even the most well guarded cat houses, and cause infection in our brave defenders when eaten too!
5. Some indoor cats make the occasional escape plan, and- as any cat owner can attest- we can never know what they get into when unsupervised!
6. Any new cat that we are bringing into our household has that ability to infect out cats with some intestinal parasites too.
7. Lastly, there are three specific common parasites that your cat can pass to you: giardia, roundworms, and hookworms. Testing a yearly fecal helps ensure that your cat is parasite free and does not present any risk to you or your family.
Bottom line is there are many reasons to submit a yearly fecal sample for analysis as part of your cat’s yearly exam. This is a simple test the veterinarians can run in order to help ensure your beloved friend remains parasite free! So make sure to bring a fecal sample to your cat’s next wellness visit at Kingsbrook!