Coccidia is a resilient parasite that gives your cat many troubles. So does bleach kill Coccidia? Find out the answer in this article.
Generally speaking, the averages cats would come into contact with Coccidia sometimes in their life and fortunately, most healthy adult cats are immune to Coccidiosis, the infection that Coccidia causes. That being said, kittens, as well as sick cats that have a weak immune system, remain vulnerable to the parasite. As a result, it's important to purge the house and its immediate surrounding of Coccidia to protect your pet. Bleach is known by many as a strong purging solution but does bleach kill Coccidia?
In the case you having a Coccidia outbreak and consider using bleach to get rid of the parasite, this article could offer you some insights. Down below is a thorough summary that contains everything pet owner must know about the characteristics of Coccidia including its parasitic nature, transmission and symptoms. Overall, assuming timely detection, Coccidia is not going to cause too many troubles to cats. However, prevention is better than cure and so it's best to ensure that the parasite fails to reach your pet in the first place.
Coccidia: What Is It Anyway
To put it plainly, Coccidia is a microscopic, single-celled parasite that attacks the intestine of animals and occasionally humans. Normally, it takes two weeks for Coccidia to mature and some require more than one host to complete their development. Considering the fact that the parasite spreads through fecal matters, Coccidia is contagious: one infected cat would put every pet in the house at risk. After contracting Coccidiosis, cats shall suffer from a lot of digestive difficulties and in extreme cases, fatal consequences are not uncommon.
How Household Cats Get Coccidia
As mention above, cats and humans get Coccidia in the same way: contact with Coccidia-infected feces, direct and indirect. The parasite might travel on a cat paw into the litter box and then as other pets use the box, the pandemic starts in earnest. Kittens tend to get Coccidia through their mother while being nursed and since these cats have a rather immature immune system, they are easy targets. Certain forms of Coccidia also use rodents as intermediate hosts and hence, if your cat one of such rodent, your cat would get the parasite.
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Common Symptoms Of Coccidia Infection And Available Treatments For Cats
Because cats answer the call of nature every day and they experience stomach upsets from time to time, pet owners often mistake symptoms of Coccidia infection for minor intestinal issues. That is why if your pet exhibits the following signs, take your cat to the vets for a complete examination. Only well-trained personnel would be able to ascertain the situation on and then tell you what is going on. As always, refrain from giving your cat random medication as that could have negative effects.
- Diarrhea (Feces might contain blood)
- Weight Loss
In term of Coccidia treatment, oral administration of suitable antibiotics (Amprolium, Sulfadimethoxine,...) should be sufficient. Depending on the condition of the pet and the way it reacts to the medication, the entire process lasts for around two weeks on average. Pets that are seriously weakened by the parasite might need to be hospitalized in order to stabilize their body conditions. In rare cases, cats could recover from Coccidiosis on their own without outside help but play it safe and ask the vets for assistance nonetheless.
Bleach: Does It Kill Coccidia
Being a very potent disinfectant, bleach is indeed an excellent choice when it comes to killing bacteria, fungi and viruses. That being said, bleach only has moderate effects on certain types of parasites in general.
So does bleach kill Coccidia? Well, yes but you need to prepare yourself before using bleach to purge the parasite. In the end, bleach is also a dangerous chemical that requires careful handling and usage. Moreover, Coccidia is a hard-to-kill parasite and that is why you need to formulate a sensible purging scheme.
Purge Coccidia Using Bleach Solution
Get yourself a solid pair of rubber gloves and also a couple of plastic bags. In order to deliver the bleach solution to every nook and cranny, a handheld sprayer would definitely come in handy. As thick concentrations of bleach fumes might damage your lung, it's strongly recommended to keep the environment well-ventilated and out on a facemask. As you have to process the litter box, the house interior and the yards, it's a good idea to send your pet somewhere else.
The Litter Box: Does bleach kill Coccidia? Sure but there is no need to use 100% bleach to eliminate the parasite. In fact, mixtures of bleach-water at a ration of 1 : 9 should be more than enough to get rid of Coccidia. Soak the litter box in the mixtures, wait for 20 – 30 minutes and get the box out. Now you need to rinse the box using water to remove residuals of the bleach. Cats don't like taking care of their business in a place that gives off "weird" scents so be thorough. Afterward, pour in new litters and then put the box back to its original position.
Open all windows and doors in the house before spraying the bleach solution. Additionally, cover electronics, pieces of furniture and other things that you don't want to see bleached in the process. As cats and humans live in the interior, it's widely advised to use the bleach-water mixtures here too. Once you manage you to process every spot using bleach, wait for around 30 minutes and rinse the interior with water.
Scout the house yards for feces and collect them using your plastic bags. Because of the hygiene concern, you need to wear plastic gloves while disposing of the feces. Next, use the same bleach-water mixtures as above to purges the yards of Coccidia. Wait a bit for the bleach to kill the parasite and then water the yards to wash away the bleach and preserve the yard's grass.
Important Note: Does bleach kill Coccidia? Absolutely but there are other alternatives if you don't have bleach on hand at the moment. Ammoniac disinfectants have the same purging effects as bleach but they are less likely to cause unwanted damages.