Feline intestinal parasites in Finland: prevalence, risk factors and anthelmintic treatment practices

J Feline Med Surg. 2012 Jun;14(6):378-83. doi: 10.1177/1098612X12439257. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of feline intestinal parasites in Finland and to determine the possible risk factors for infection. Altogether 411 feline fecal samples were analyzed with a flotation method to reveal helminth eggs and protozoan oocysts. Of the samples, 402 were also screened for Giardia species antigens with a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The cat owners completed a questionnaire. Toxocara cati prevalence was 5.4% and Toxascaris leonina 0.2%. Taenia species eggs were found in 1.5% of the samples and Isospora felis in 0.7%, whilst 3.2% of the samples tested positive for Giardia species antigen. Risk factors for Toxocara/Toxascaris species infection included being a non-pedigree cat, having access to the outdoors, living outside of the cities and receiving home-made food. Pedigree cats were at greater risk of contracting Giardia duodenalis. The majority of the cat owners (62.4%) treated their cat with anthelmintics 2-4 times per year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology*
  • Cats
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / drug therapy
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / drug therapy*
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / epidemiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Pyrantel / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Toxocariasis / drug therapy
  • Toxocariasis / epidemiology


  • Anthelmintics
  • Pyrantel