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C2008-12

Dear Christopher Cat

Can cats get heartworms? If so, is my cat protected if she stays indoors?

Christopher Responds

Heartworms can infect cats, even indoor cats.

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, which I’ve seen in my own house.

In fact, one study found that 27 percent of cats infected with heartworms lived indoors exclusively.

We cats are infected only 10 to 20 percent as frequently as dogs, but because it’s not feasible to kill heartworms in cats, many of us die of the infection.

When we’re infected with heartworms, some of us develop respiratory disease that mimics asthma or allergic bronchitis. It’s called HARD, or heartworm-associated respiratory disease.

Other heartworm-infected cats experience lethargy, coughing or vomiting.

Fortunately, you can protect your cat from heartworm disease by treating her with a chewable or topical heartworm preventive once each month.

Interceptor, Heartgard for Cats and Revolution are commonly used products that are safe and effective in us cats.

They protect us from intestinal worms as well as heartworms – and Revolution also prevents infestation with fleas and ear mites.Talk with your veterinarian now about preventing heartworm disease, before the mosquitoes buzz.

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