Parasitic infections of domestic cats, Felis catus, in western Hungary

Vet Parasitol. 2013 Feb 18;192(1-3):33-42. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.11.011. Epub 2012 Nov 14.


During 2011, faeces from 235 owned domestic cats from a rural area in western Hungary were examined using standard coproscopical techniques. The overall prevalence of cats with endoparasites was 39.6% (95% CI 33.3-46.1). The most frequently identified faecal forms were those of ascarids (Toxocara, 17.4%; Toxascaris 7.2%), followed by those of Aelurostrongylus lungworms (14.5%), hookworms (11.1%), taeniid cestodes (4.7%), Cystoisospora coccidians (4.3%), and capillarids (3.8%). Single and multiple infections with up to five parasites concurrently were founded in 24.7% and 14.9% of the cats, respectively. Mixed endoparasite infections were recorded more frequently (p=0.0245) in cats greater than one year old compared to younger cats. Young cats (≤ 1 year) were parasitized more frequently (p<0.05) with ascarids and Cystoisospora spp. but demonstrated infections of hookworms, lungworms and taeniid cestodes less often than the older cats. Cats with taeniid infection were more likely (p<0.05) to harbour Toxocara, hookworm, Aelurostrongylus, and capillarid infections than cats without taeniid cestodes. Cats of owners who claimed the use of wormers were less frequently helminth-positive compared to cats whose owners did not use anthelmintics (21.2% vs. 44.4%; p=0.001). A subset of 115 faecal samples screened by a coproantigen ELISA revealed Giardia-specific antigen in 37.4% samples. Giardia cysts were found by immunofluorescent staining in 30 of the 43 samples tested positive for Giardia by ELISA. In addition, ectoparasites collected from 82 cats by body search and combing were identified. Fleas (1-30 per cat), biting lice (Felicola subrostratus), and ticks (1-5 per cat) were isolated from 58, 1 and 43 cats, respectively. Ctenocephalides felis was identified on all flea infested cats while single specimens of C. canis and Pulex irritans were recovered from three and two cats, respectively. All but one tick collected were adult Ixodes ricinus; the single other tick was a nymph of I. canisuga. By providing basic data on the epidemiology of parasitic infections, the results of this survey should emphasize the need of attending to parasites of cats from the veterinary point of view with respect to both appropriate diagnostics and control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology
  • Cats
  • Coinfection / veterinary
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / epidemiology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / parasitology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Hungary / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Lung Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / epidemiology*
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / parasitology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Siphonaptera / classification
  • Siphonaptera / growth & development
  • Ticks / classification
  • Ticks / growth & development