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Warmer Weather Reminds Cat Owners to Protect Against Worms

More than a third of cats have not seen a vet in the past year though

internal parasite risks run high

SHAWNEE, Kan., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As seasons shift and spring's warmer weather brings beautiful blooming flowers, it also brings the increased risk of infection of worms, such as heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, that harm pets year-round. While many dog owners are aware of the risks, U.S. cat lovers may not realize protection against heartworms and other parasites in their feline friends is just as important(1). According to a recent survey by the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA), more than a third of the 90 million cats in the U.S. have not seen a veterinarian in the past year(2). The statistic is staggering considering consumers need to be aware of the simple steps available to protect felines from common, year-round, and potentially deadly parasites like heartworms(1).

In response to the consumer need for increased awareness of the risks of feline heartworm disease, Bayer Animal Health has added new information to its Web site about the risks posed by worms and tips to help protect cats. The Web site, created especially for pet owners,, includes an interactive section that allows cat owners to uncover parasite risks in their own homes and backyards from a cat's point-of-view.

"The APPMA survey results should be considered a wake-up call to cat owners," said Dr. Marty Becker, nationally recognized veterinarian, author, and media personality. "Even cats who never go outdoors are at risk. As the temperature warms outside and people open doors and windows, mosquitoes can come in, and transmit potentially fatal heartworms to your cat. This is just one of many common risks around a typical home."

Veterinarians, like Becker, say monthly preventive medications remain the best way to protect a cat against parasites including heartworms, which are transmitted to a cat through a mosquito bite. Becker cautions that cat lovers should know how to safeguard against potential hazards that may be lurking in their own backyards and neighborhoods, including:

-- standing water (such as water in bird baths, ponds, and baby pools),

which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that can carry and transmit

heartworm larvae to cats.

-- warmer weather, which leads to more open windows and doors that let

mosquitoes inside, even if covered by screens, because mosquitoes can

slip through cracks around doors.

-- other common hazards, such as sandboxes, wild critters like rabbits and

squirrels, shady areas, dirt tracked indoors, and even other pets, all

of which are known to be locations for parasites.

In Bayer's newly launched interactive risk finder at, cat lovers can see from a cat's perspective what each of these risks mean to their cat's health, and also get simple tips to help lower these risks in their own homes and yards. In addition, anyone can download a shortcut to their computer desktop or post it to their own Web site to keep the risk finder and preventive tips a click away for easy reference. Additionally, they can quickly spread the word to other cat owners about the importance of knowing common feline parasites, including heartworms and intestinal worms, by using the send-to-a-friend feature.

"Spring is not the only time of year in which cat owners should think about parasites," said Becker. "This time of year should be considered a reminder to consult a veterinarian about establishing a preventive monthly regimen. Heartworms can stay in the cat's body for a long time, and are very difficult to treat once present. Further, it can take two to three years after infection before residual effects or symptoms appear, so now is the time to create a constant barrier against parasites."

For more information about parasites that may be living in your home and yard, and tips for protecting your cat from parasites, log on to

Advantage Multi(R) for Cats (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Topical Solution is available only from a licensed veterinarian. Please see full package insert for detailed application instructions.

-- Avoid oral ingestion.

-- Do not use on sick, debilitated, or underweight cat (see Adverse


-- Do not use on cats less than 9 weeks of age or less than 2 lbs. body


-- Children should not come in contact with application site for 30


For more information, please see the package inserts, visit, see your veterinarian, or call 1-800-255-6826.

About Bayer Animal Health

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. With sales of EUR 905 million (2006) the Animal Health Division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division manufactures and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for food-supplying animals and companion animals (dogs, cats, horses).

(1) Source: Purdue University News;

(2) Source: The Denver Post;

For more information:

Bob Walker

Director of Communications and Public Policy


Bayer, the Bayer Cross, and Advantage Multi are trademarks of Bayer.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE Bayer Animal Health
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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