Internal parasites like roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and heartworms can rob your animal of vital nutrients. External parasites can make their life, and yours, miserable.

Next to you, your veterinarian is your pet's best friend. Your veterinarian can tell you about the parasite problems in your area. A preventive program can then be established to protect your pet.

Parasites may be passed from mother to babies so it is important to have your veterinarian treat them early. A fecal sample can be examined for internal parasites on your kitten's first visit to the vet.

Fleas and ticks are prevalent during warmer weather. Discuss various methods of flea and tick prevention and treatment with your veterinarian (powders,sprays, collars, etc.). Be sure the product you use is safe for cats.

If your pet becomes infested with fleas, you must treat your pet and your pet's environment. If you notice a flea problem in your home, be sure to dispose of vacuum cleaner bags after each use. It might become necessary to obtain special products to rid your home of fleas.

Some ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Any tick found on your pet should be removed promptly and completely. In heavily wooded areas you may want to consider the use of a Lyme disease vaccine.