Fleas and worms in dogs and cats

When owning a cat or dog, we must provide ongoing care to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Fleas and worms are among the most common health issues of cats and dogs, but fortunately, we can protect our pets from these parasites.

Most pets will come into contact with fleas and worms at some point in their lifetime but using preventative treatment can help keep your pet and home free of these nasty critters.

A cat scratching - the classic sign of a flea infestation

Here’s what you need to know about regular health treatments in pets.


If you don’t protect your pet against fleas, it can be easy for your pet to pick them up at any time of year. These tiny, reddish-brown, wingless parasites will bite your pet, can carry viral and bacterial diseases and quickly infest your home. Preventative treatment usually works out cheaper than the cost of fumigation and pest control products.

Flea Prevention for dogs and cats

Fleas are not only hard to spot, but they’re resilient too. They can’t simply be avoided by grooming or bathing your pet, and using preventative treatment year-round is more likely to effectively protect your pet.

  • Speak to your vet about suitable prevention treatment options for your cat or dog
  • Treat all of the pets in your home regularly or as the product recommends
  • Wash your pet’s bedding regularly on a hot wash
  • Never use dog flea treatments on cats as this can be fatal

Fleas are resilient insects that feed on your pets blood

Cat & dog fleas symptoms

Some signs help indicate that fleas have decided to make a home on your cat or dog. These include:

  • Excessive itching, chewing or licking
  • Red, itchy or inflamed patches of skin
  • Fur loss as a result of scratching
  • Sores or scabs on your pet’s skin
  • Flea dirt on your pet’s skin, bedding or carpets
  • You, or another member of the household, is bitten
  • Your pet starts showing signs of depression


Many different types of worms can affect cats and dogs, and some types can even spread between pets and people. Luckily, these parasites are preventable.

Worm prevention

While you might not be able to stop your pet from picking up worms, you can prevent them from causing any problems by using regular warming treatment.

  • Pick up your dog’s poo from the garden regularly and dispose of the faeces properly
  • Use the correct worming treatment for your pet, your vet will be able to advise the right product and dose
  • Clean their food and water bowls regularly
  • Carefully dispose of your cat’s litter every day

Symptoms of worms in dogs and cats

Unfortunately, our pets won’t always show any signs of worms and even when they do, the symptoms might vary depending on the type of worms. Here are some common signs of worms in pets:

  • Weight loss
  • Ravenous appetite
  • A potbelly
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration

Different preventative treatments will provide cover for a variety of different parasites, and there are different options to consider. If at any point, you’re not sure which treatment is best for your pet then speak to your vet for guidance. This will ensure you’re given the right product and dosage for your pet’s breed, size and age.

Looking for more cat advice?

We’ve written some handy cat advice guides, to help you unlock the secrets of your mysterious moggy.


Need cat insurance?

Cat insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your cat gets injured or falls ill.