Cat in a Litter Box

All cats, whether indoor or outdoor, are at risk of becoming infected with intestinal parasites. These parasites (worms) are responsible for a variety of health concerns in cats including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and anemia. Every so often, a cat may have signs that parasites are causing a problem (an adult worm may be passed in their stool). However, in the majority of cases, cats do not show any outward signs of having worms. Annual fecal exams coupled with a routine parasite control program are the best way to ensure that intestinal worms are kept at bay.

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What is a cat fecal parasite screen?

A fecal parasite screen is a laboratory test involving the microscopic examination of a stool sample from your cat in order to identify parasite eggs, adult worms or other microscopic parasitic organisms such as Giardia and coccidia. Most often, the fecal analysis is done on-site by one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians. Occasionally, depending on the concern, a stool sample may be sent to an external lab for more detailed testing.

What does a fecal parasite screen reveal?

A fecal parasite screen is the best way to identify the presence of microscopic worm eggs that are present inside the cat’s digestive tract. It also helps detect the presence of other parasitic organisms in the intestine such as Giardia or Coccidia. By having this knowledge, your veterinarian can make informed decisions on treatment for your cat.

How is a fecal parasite screen performed?

A fecal parasite screen is performed through a process called fecal flotation whereby a small amount of stool from your cat is dissolved in a solution. This causes the parasite eggs and other parasitic organisms to float to the surface. Once the eggs reach the surface, they are transferred to a microscope slide for viewing. This technique may be paired with another method, referred to as the direct smear, for identification of specific organisms.

What is the best method for collecting my cat’s stool?

The most accurate results from a fecal parasite screen are obtained by using a stool sample that has been passed fairly close to the time when the test is run. It is also very beneficial if the sample has not been contaminated with a lot of kitty litter. Collect this sample in a clean container and bring it to us as soon as possible. Please place the sample in the fridge if you cannot bring it to us right away as this will help preserve it.

How much does a cat stool test cost?

Please call our hospital for the price of a fecal exam for your cat.

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