Heartworm disease in your kitty is an unseen enemy. A lot of people don’t even know that cats can develop heartworm disease. Indoor felines as well as outdoor felines can develop this parasitic infection. Heartworm disease is carried by the mosquito. The mosquito picks up the heartworm larvae called microfilariae from a dog that has heartworm and then it carries the larvae to another dog or cat. When a mosquito carries the microfilariae to a kitty it injects the little microscopic heartworm larvae into the cat when they take a blood meal.

Heartworm is different in the cat

Heartworm disease rarely finds its way to the heart in a cat. The microfilariae (heartworm larvae) commonly get trapped in the lungs. Once in a while an adult worm will make it to the heart, but that’s uncommon. The cat’s lungs become very inflamed from the microfilariae infection. This inflammation then causes difficulty breathing and breathing problems in the cat. These symptoms are very much like asthma symptoms. Heartworm disease can mimic asthma. It actually has a special name, called HARD (Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease).

Cat heartworm disease symptoms

Heartworm disease in the cat has many symptoms. Heartworm disease can cause seizures. It can cause vomiting. It can cause weight loss. It can also cause lethargy, so you can imagine a kitty can have a multitude of symptoms, and they can all be related to heartworm infection. So, it’s important to have your veterinarian talk with you about how to work with this parasitic infection. A simple blood test will determine whether your cat has been exposed to heartworms.

Feline heartworm disease can be prevented

Heartworm prevention is highly recommended. There are a few different kinds of heartworm prevention. Many cats like Heartgard which is a chew you give to your cat once a month. If your cat will not eat the chew then a liquid is applied to the back of the neck. The liquid is called Revolution which protects your cat from heartworm as well as other parasites. Most veterinarians carry both of these products.

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