Heartworm disease is fatal disease that mostly affects cats, dogs and ferrets. Its prevalence in the United States has increased over the years. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that primarily live in the heart and lungs of infected animals and travel through the bloodstream to affect other organs.
Cats become an atypical host for heartworms. Most heartworms that grow inside a cat’s body do not survive until their maturity. This is why it is difficult to diagnose the presence of heartworms inside a cat’s body because heartworm larvae are microscopic. However, even with the presence of a few heartworm larvae inside their bodies, cats are at a great risk because immature heartworms can cause heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD).
Signs and Symptoms of Heartworm in Cats
Common signs and symptoms of heartworm disease in cats include:
- Asthma-like attacks
- Periodic vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Difficulty in walking
- Fluid accumulation in abdomen
Treating Heartworm Disease in Cats
The medication that is used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used to treat cats and this is why prevention is the only way to save cats from this fatal disease.
The 5 Best Heartworm Preventatives for Cats
Both outdoor as well as indoor cats are at the risk of getting the heartworm disease. To prevent your cat from getting infected, administer preventives in the form of pills and injections on a monthly basis. Preventive medications stop new infections from developing by hindering its incubation process so even if an infected mosquito bites your cat, the larvae will not survive in your cat’s body.
A few of the best heartworm preventions for cats available online are:
Revolution is a topical treatment that needs to be applied on the cat’s skin and coat once every month. Every box of Revolution contains 6 doses, so one box can be used for 6 months.
The active ingredient present in Revolution is selamectin that interferes with the parasite’s nervous system. It is an effective heartworm preventive that kills the immature form of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and helps protect the cat from parasitic infections in the future.
It also helps protect your cat from heartworm, roundworm and hookworm infections. In case your cat’s fur has been infested with fleas, ear mites and lice, you can use this medication to stop its spread.
This non-greasy and quick drying topical medicine is also affective against flea eggs, ear mites, scabies, and ticks.
Advantage Multi for Cats is a once-a-month prescription medication that controls flea attacks, prevents heartworm infections and kills intestinal parasites in cats.
This topical preventive combines Imidacloprid and Moxidectin for the effective control of feline parasites. 1% moxidectin present in Advantage Multi can kill larval stages of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and keep your cat protected from future infections.
Although this medicine is safe to be applied on your cat’s skin and fur throughout the year, vets recommend that during the mosquito season, it becomes a mandatory addition to your cat’s daily grooming and healthcare.
Heartgard for Cats
Each box of Heartgard contains 6 chewable tablets. All you have to do is give one single tablet to your cat every month.
It is one of the best heartworm preventions for cats and kittens. It also works in case your cat has intestine worms. This specialised formula kills the immature form of the heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and can also be used to remove and control hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme and A. Brasiliense).
It is one the most recommended and highly prescribed medication by veterinarians to protect cats from the heartworm disease.
This tasty chewable tablet is very easy to feed to your cat.
Bravecto Plus Topical Solution for Cats
Bravecto Plus Topical Solution for Cats is the first and only topical to deliver flea and tick protection, heartworm prevention, and treatment for roundworms and hookworms for up to 2 months.
Each dosage is to be given only once after an interval of 2 months.
It is the ultimate solution for killing adult fleas and prevents flea infestations. It also helps control tick infestations and growth.
It prevents heartworm disease in your cat that is caused by Dirofilaria immitis and is helpful in treating intestinal infections caused by roundworms and hookworms.
Available in an easy to squeeze tube, this medicine ensures that for 2 months you and your cat can stay safe and protected from:
- Heartworm disease
Senergy Topical for Cats
Senergy Topical for Cats is a topical treatment that should be applied on your cat’s skin and fur only once a month. It helps protect your cat from parasites.
For all kinds of worm infections like heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and infestations like fleas, ticks and mites, use Senergy Topical once a month. Senergy Topical is safe to be used throughout the year but veterinarians recommend using it especially during the mosquito season.
Senergy Topical can be applied on your cat’s skin by parting the hair on the back of your cat’s coat. You should also apply it on the base of the neck and in front of the shoulder blades. For effective application of the medicine, place the tip of the tube on the skin and squeeze the tube 3-4 times to empty the entire contents on the skin. Do not massage into skin or apply to broken skin. Do not apply when the haircoat is wet.
Our Final Thoughts
It is recommended that before you purchase a preventive for your cat’s heartworm disease, you take your cat to the vet first and only administer the medicine after your vet prescribes it.
You should also keep in mind your cat’s daily routine and activities as this will help you to pick the best heartworm prevention for cats. Indoor cats are more likely to be infected by other pets in your house, especially dogs that are already carrying heartworms whereas outdoor cats are more likely to be infected by a mosquito bite.
Whether you opt for a chewable tablet or a topical medicine, make sure that the preventive is administered on a monthly basis for at least 6-12 months. This will help to reduce the rate of infection.
You must take note that purchase of all heartworm preventives requires a vet’s prescription and therefore it is best to first speak to your vet and then administer monthly dosages.
Do not leave this fatal disease undiagnosed and uncured. Select amongst the best heartworm preventions for cats and save your cat from organ failures and premature death.