How to tell if your cat has worms and what to do about it
- If your cat is vomiting, losing weight, or if you notice worms in their feces, they may be infected with worms. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and heartworms are all possible in cats. A worm infestation can be treated with anti-parasitic drugs
- However, this is not recommended. More information may be found in Insider’s Health Reference collection.
Worms are a very common problem for cats to deal with. According to some estimates, up to 45 percent of cats have worms at any given moment. Dr. Amanda McNabb, DVM, a veterinarian in private practice, notes that worms are frequent in cats, particularly in kittens, newly acquired cats, and cats who spend a lot of time outside. Your cat may display signs of worm infection, such as vomiting, however not all cats will show signs of worm infestation. In most cases, worms are not harmful, but severe worm infections can cause damage to your cat’s intestines as well as weight loss and, in the case of kittens, even death.
Here’s all you need to know about how cats become infected with worms and what to do if your cat becomes ill as a result.
Signs that your cat has worms
“Healthy adults may not show signs of worm infestation, which is why your veterinarian will likely prescribe frequent fecal tests,” McNabb explains. However, in some situations, your cat may exhibit signs of a worm infection, such as the following:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or soft stool are all possible symptoms. Appetite loss, blood in the stool, and weight loss are all possible symptoms.
Worms may also be visible in your cat’s feces or vomit, which you should investigate further. Nichols explains that each variety of worm is distinguished by its size and form.
Types of worms in cats
Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and heartworms are some of the most frequent worms that infect cats, with roundworms being the most prevalent. Here’s how to tell which ones they are: Roundworms have the appearance of cooked spaghetti. They are the most frequent worms detected in cats’ intestines and are the most contagious. Roundworms may or may not produce any symptoms, but severe infections may result in vomiting, weight loss, or the look of a pot-bellied person. Tapeworm segments have the appearance of dried grains of rice or flat white sunflower seeds, and they are frequently seen moving or crawling about the rectum of the host’s body.
- Although your cat may not show any signs of tapeworms, vomiting and weight loss are possible in rare circumstances.
- Hookworms are distinguished by a brownish-red ribbon that runs down their bodies and by their hooked form.
- Hookworms are parasites that feed on the blood of cats’ small intestines, causing anemia and weight loss.
- “The most prevalent behavioral change is a reduction in energy expenditure or an increase in grooming around its rear end,” Nichols explains.
- However, not all heartworm-infected cats develop behavioral abnormalities.
Cats are more likely than humans to contract heartworms. However, it has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to your cat’s heart and lungs. In the absence of treatment, heartworms can result in difficulty breathing, loss of weight, and, in rare circumstances, unexpected death.
How your cat can get worms
There are a variety of ways in which your cat might become infected with worms, including:
- If your cat walks outside, it is possible that one or more of the following can become entangled in its coat: worms, worm eggs, or fleas carrying worm eggs. When the cat grooms itself or grooms other cats, the eggs can be ingested, according to Travis Arndt, DVM, Medical Director of theAnimal Medical Center of Mid-America. Worm eggs may be found in shared litter boxes or in outdoor places where cats defecate, among other things. McNabb explains
- When a mother has a latent case of worms, kittens are frequently infected through breast milk, according to Nichols
- “Some worms are also found in muscle tissue of sick animals, so cats who hunt or are given raw meat items can swallow worms through their diet,” adds McNabb
Treatment of worms
If your cat does become infested with worms, there are a number of therapeutic options available to him. As McNabb points out, “fortunately, safe and effective anti-parasitic drugs are readily available.” Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs include pyrantel, pamoate, fenbendazole, and praziquantel, which is used to treat tapeworms. It is preferable to get a stool test to identify the worm in order to choose the most appropriate treatment, according to McNabb. However, even though anti-worm drugs can be effective in as little as one to two days, you may still find worms in your cat’s feces for several days following.
Prevention of worms
There are several key modifications you can make in your daily routine to help avoid worm infestations in your pet cat. As Arndt explains, “the most effective strategy to protect your cat from becoming infected with intestinal parasites is to minimize their contact to the outdoors, where feral cats and wildlife may pollute the environment.” In addition, it’s critical to only give your cat prepared meals, because raw foods are more likely to be infested with worm eggs, which might infect your cat, according to McNabb’s research.
Because these modifications may not be effective for all cats, you can additionally provide worm-prevention drugs.
Despite the fact that worms are a frequent condition, if you don’t take the necessary precautions to avoid and cure them, they can have major negative consequences for your cat. There are various indicators that your cat is suffering from a worm infection, including diarrhea, loss of appetite, and the presence of worms in his or her feces. Keeping cats indoors and only feeding them prepared food, as well as using flea and heartworm treatments, can help prevent worms from developing. As Arndt suggests, “consult with your cat’s veterinarian about the recommendations that will work best for your cat in order to keep them healthy and parasite free.” The health writer Madeline Kennedy writes for Insider magazine on a variety of health-related issues, such as reproductive and sexual health, mental health issues, nutrition, and infectious diseases.
She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in social work and is interested in the nexus of health and social justice.
Symptoms of worms in cats and kittens to be aware of
Symptoms of worm infestation in cats Even while roundworms and tapeworms are by far the most prevalent forms of worms discovered in cats, there are many different species of worms found in the United Kingdom, each of which causes symptoms that are similar yet unique from one another. Symptoms of Lungworm As the name implies, these nefarious creatures reside in the lungs of cats. Fortunately, they are less common and seldom result in death (unlike in dogs). However, they have the potential to induce breathing difficulties and lung damage.
Cats that hunt or come into touch with slugs and snails are the most vulnerable, as is to be expected. Among the warning signals to keep an eye out for are:
If you see any of these signs in your cat, or if you have any reason to be worried about his or her health, you should consult your veterinarian. What are the long-term consequences of worm infestations in cats? Whilst worms, which are parasites that feed on your cat’s nutrition and sometimes even the cat’s blood, may cause a variety of health problems in cats, one of which is anaemia. In extreme cases of worm infestation, the intestines can become blocked, resulting in life-threatening health complications.
- Treatment for worms Worms may be found almost anywhere, and your cat is at risk regardless of whether it remains indoors all day or is a newborn.
- The treatment of diseased cats and the prevention of an infestation are both made possible by a wide variety of worming solutions available today.
- Oral medications are targeted at different species of worms and for different forms of application.
- Always follow the recommendations of your veterinarian when it comes to how and how often to deworm your cat.
- Some fleascarry worms are parasitic, so wherever they move, the danger of contracting parasites increases.
- What more can I do to lessen the likelihood of worms infesting my home?
- Keeping litter trays clean on a regular basis
- Washing your cat’s bedding on a regular basis is recommended.
If your children have been in a garden where cats have access, you should make sure they completely wash their hands afterward. This is due to the fact that roundworms have been known to infect people in rare instances, resulting in blindness, particularly in youngsters. Remember, getting your catregularly wormedevery three months or more is the most effective way to protect yourself from parasitic infections. In the event that you have any concerns, you should always consult with your veterinarian.
How to Check Cats for Worms: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
In any case, whether they spend all of their time indoors or outside, pet cats are susceptible to become hosts to internal parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. Kittens frequently get worms from their mothers through their milk, whereas adult cats acquire worms from the inadvertent consumption of worm eggs or the consumption of vermin contaminated with worms. Because it is quite simple for a cat to become infected with worms, it is important to be aware of the warning symptoms so that you may seek veterinarian treatment for the problem as soon as it arises.
With the right worming medicine and a little information, it’s pretty simple to get rid of worms in your cat. It’s also relatively simple to diagnose whether or not your cat has worms.
- 1 Keep an eye out for changes in the cat’s coat. If your cat has worms, its coat may become dull or flat in appearance. If your cat has worms, its coat may become dull or flat appearing.
- A parasite infection might result in dehydration or poor absorption of nutrients, which can lead to this condition.
- This might happen as a result of dehydration or poor absorption of nutrients as a result of the parasite infection.
- Place your cat on your lap or next to you, and gently grab the cat’s head in your hands, under the jaw and behind the ears, to inspect his or her gums. Then, using your fingertips, gently pull the flap of the cat’s top lip, exposing the gums above the teeth. If you notice that your gums are pale, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- 3 Take a look at your cat’s excrement. When your cat uses a litter box, it is simple to keep a check on its excrement and eliminate it. Keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Having dark, tarry stools may suggest blood loss from the site where hookworms have attached themselves to the intestinal wall. Because worms take up space in the digestive tract and interfere with digestion, diarrhea can arise as a result of their presence. If your cat has diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours, or if you notice any fresh blood or black tarry stools, seek medical assistance
- Otherwise, call your veterinarian.
- 4 Keep an eye out for vomiting. Cats are prone to vomiting on a regular basis. If it occurs on a regular basis, however, your cat should be taken to the veterinarian, as it might be an indication of worms or another health concern.
- In addition, worms can cause vomiting by obstructing the outflow to the stomach or by irritating the stomach lining.
- In addition, worms can cause vomiting by obstructing the outflow to the stomach or by irritating the stomach lining
- There are a variety of variables that contribute to this, including intestinal inflammation, stomach discomfort, and the physical space that the worms take up within the intestine.
- Check for changes in the form of your cat’s body on the sixth day. Cats who have a large number of worms may develop a potbelly, which causes the abdomen area to seem enlarged.
- This is a generic symptom that can occur for a variety of causes, but it is significant enough to require a trip to the veterinarian, regardless of the underlying cause of the condition.
- 7 Keep an eye out for indicators of fatigue. If the worms are taking nourishment directly from the gut, the cat or kitten will seem listless and lack energy, as well as feeling sluggish and listless. Watch for any sudden changes in your cat’s energy level
- These should be taken seriously.
- Again, this may be a symptom of a variety of diseases, and it is one that should be investigated by a veterinarian
- You are the one who is most familiar with your cat’s regular energy level, so keep an eye out for any abrupt decrease in energy or playfulness.
- 1 Look for eggs in the cat’s excrement to rule out parasites. Put on some disposable plastic gloves and check the excrement in the litter box for evidence of parasites with a disposable instrument such as a popsicle stick.
- Tapeworms may leave egg packages adhered to the surface of the feces as a result of their feeding habits. These have the appearance of sesame or cucumber seeds, and they wiggle and move sometimes
- It is difficult to find a whole tapeworm in cat feces, but they seem to be flat, cream-colored worms that are made up of numerous segments when they are found. In adults, tapeworms may grow to be around two feet (60 centimeters) in length
- Roundworm eggs are too small to see with the human eye, but entire worms can occasionally pass out in the feces or may even be vomited up
- And roundworm eggs are too small to see with the naked eye. Roundworms have the appearance of spaghetti: they are long and smooth, with a diameter that is approximately the same as a strand of pasta. It is rare to see an adult roundworm longer than three to six inches in length, and hookworm eggs are too tiny to be seen. An mature hookworm is also small, reaching only two to three millimeters in length, and as a result, it is difficult to identify.
- 2Inspect the anus of your cat. Packets of tapeworm eggs migrate out of the cat’s anus and adhere to the cat’s coat. As a result, if you notice creamy-white egg packets that resemble sesame seeds sticking to your cat’s fur, you may be confident that your cat has tapeworms. 3 Examine your cat’s bedding as well as any other favored hiding places. If your cat appears to be suffering from worms, look for egg packets that have become lodged in places where the cat has been sitting, such as bedding or soft furniture.
- 1 Make an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination. A fecal sample for analysis at your local veterinarian clinic is one of the most reliable ways to determine if your cat has worms. If you have any doubts, send a sample to your local veterinary clinic for investigation. The sample will be examined under a microscope in order to detect the presence of worm eggs.
- 1 Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. A fecal sample for examination at your local veterinary clinic is one of the most reliable ways to determine if your cat has worms. If you have any doubts, send a sample to your veterinarian for confirmation. It will be examined under a microscope to see whether there are any worm eggs in the sample.
- 2 Collect a sample of your feces. It is necessary to collect some of your cat’s excrement and preserve it in a collecting container until your visit if you are instructed to do so.
- Despite the fact that worm eggs are resilient, it is advisable to maintain the container in a cool, dark location such as a garage or a shaded shed for the best results. Keep the container out of the kitchen or any other area where food is being made, and always wash your hands after collecting a fecal sample. When it comes to fecal testing, some veterinarians prefer a pooled sample, which consists of collecting three bowel movements from three different days in the same container to reduce the odds of getting a false negative result.
- 3 Bring your cat in for a checkup and examination. The veterinarian will inspect your cat and, if they believe it is essential, will run fecal tests on him.
- If your cat does indeed have worms, your veterinarian will prescribe medicine to treat the problem. If you provide the medication as suggested, the condition should resolve up fast.
Create a new question
- Question: When is it OK to deworm a cat? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian Deworming should be performed on a regular basis every 3-4 months, or more frequently if the dog is a hunter. When deworming kittens, make sure that they are of an appropriate age to consume the product. The product insert should provide you with information on the age at which it is safe for kittens to receive the medicine. Question What are the indicators that your cat is infected with worms? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian The symptoms are unclear and include a dull coat, a pot belly, a thin body condition, diarrhea, and vomiting, among other things. As mentioned above, not every cat exhibits all of these indications
- Thus, if in doubt, worm the animal. Question Is it possible for a cat infected with worms to infect humans? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian Roundworms from cats and dogs can theoretically infect humans, although the danger is minimal. Tapeworms, on the other hand, cannot be transferred directly from one host to another and are hence unlikely to infect humans
- Question My indoor cat dropped a flat brown object on my pillow that moved extremely quickly. It was a flat brown thing. What exactly is it? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian Fleas are similar in appearance to what you’re describing. Even though she is an indoor cat, fleas may occasionally find their way into her home through clothing or other pets, so just because she is an indoor cat does not guarantee she will not have fleas. Additionally, you should give your cat a prescription that is helpful against tapeworms in addition to treating the fleas, because fleas may be a home for tapeworm eggs, which can subsequently infect your feline companion
- Question My cat is suffering from diarrhea and is licking her bottom excessively. Is this a sign that she has worms? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, she will lick the sores on her bottom as a consequence of the discomfort. An upset stomach can be caused by a variety of issues (including worms), and any diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 – 48 hours should be taken to the veterinarian’s office.
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- It is crucial to remember that cats may carry certain worms, particularly roundworms, without exhibiting any indications of illness or illness-like behavior. If, on the other hand, worms are allowed to proliferate and accumulate in the gut, they absorb nutrients and deprive the cat of essential nutrients, which can have a negative impact on the cat’s health over time. Have your cat inspected by a veterinarian on a regular basis to avoid this and other health problems. You may also help lessen the likelihood of parasite infections occurring in your cat. Make sure your cat’s litter box is clean by tossing solid waste out every day and cleaning the litter box with a tiny quantity of bleach diluted in water (in a ratio of 1:30) or mild dish detergent on a regular basis. In order to keep fleas at bay, vacuum your home at least once a week
- As soon as you suspect worms or discover worms in your cat, wash your hands well after handling the cat, remove any feces from litter boxes immediately, and keep young children away from the cat until you can go to a veterinarian to treat the worms. Be warned that occasionally the results of fecal testing might be deceiving. Even when a cat has an illness, you may not be able to detect any signs of it in the feces sample you have obtained since certain parasites release eggs in a sporadic manner. It may be necessary to repeat tests in order to diagnose some parasite infections.
About this article
In this article, we will discuss how to check your cat for worms. Whether you have a cat and want to check it for worms, check to see if its gums are pale or white, since this might be an indication of a parasite illness. Consider if your cat uses a litter box and whether he or she is experiencing diarrhea or the appearance of eggs in his or her feces, all of which can suggest the presence of worms. In addition, tapeworm eggs can be found near your cat’s anus from time to time. Swollen abdomens and a decrease of appetite are two further indicators that your cats may be infected with parasites.
Continue reading for information about worm treatments from one of our medical reviewer’s colleagues.
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A variety of intestinal parasites pose a threat to the health of cats. These gregarious intruders, sometimes referred to as “worms,” can take a cat’s nutrients and even make humans sick if they are not controlled. The following are the things that veterinarians want you to know about worms in cats. Here’s everything you need to know.
Common Worms in Cats
Worms are available in a range of colors and sizes. They can be particular to a location, seasonal, or even make their way through a single cat population, depending on the situation. Here is a list of some of the most common worms found in cats.
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in cats, measuring around 3-4″ in length and resembling spaghetti (yuck!).
Hookworms are much smaller than roundworms, generally measuring less than 1 inch in length, and they dwell in the tiny intestines of cats. They have the potential to induce life-threatening anemia in adult cats, and particularly in young kittens.
Tapeworms are long and flat, and they resemble strips of tape in appearance. They are segmented and can range in length from 4 to 24 inches in length. Vomiting and/or weight loss are common side effects of a tapeworm infestation as the illness progresses.
How Cats Get Worms
Cats are far more susceptible to parasite infection than you may imagine. Worms are generally acquired by cats themselves by ingestion of the feces of other diseased cats. As a result, cats who spend their time outside are considerably more susceptible to get worms. Because worms may survive in a wide range of hosts, cats can become infected with some parasites by swallowing infected animals such as snails, slugs, fleas, or even rodents that have been affected. Mother cats can also transmit worms to their kittens while nursing or even via close contact with the kittens’ littermates.
It is the cats that do not receive regular prophylactic treatment who are most at risk of contracting worms. In addition to preventing worm infestation, keeping your cat flea-free is the first step in preventing them from becoming infected with a number of germs and parasites.
How to Tell if Your Cat Has Worms
Worms can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Some cats exhibit a plethora of obvious symptoms, whilst others may not exhibit any symptoms at all. One of the most essential reasons for your cat to be seen by a skilled veterinarian at least once a year is to check for parasites and other parasite-related problems. In addition to scheduling appointments, you may consult with a competent veterinarian online through the use ofVet Chat. In the event of worms, an on-site examination is required; however, you may obtain a prompt response on how to create an evaluation schedule by submitting an online form.
- Visually discernible worm segments or whole worms in your cat’s excrement or in the area around his anus
- Vomiting and bloody stool are symptoms of a bloody stool. Weight loss that is unexplained (particularly if one’s appetite is intact)
- A bloated or particularly rounded stomach
- Coughing that is constant
- Difficulty breathing
If you have any cause to believe your cat may be infected with worms, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Veterinarians are the only ones who can appropriately identify your pet as having worms and administer the medication your cat need to rid himself of parasites. Also keep in mind that cats have the potential to transmit some types of worms to people! Roundworms, for example, may readily go from a feline host to a human host and vice versa. Make careful to properly wash your hands after coming into contact with a cat that you fear may be infected with worms, and to use gloves while handling his excrement.
How to Treat and Prevent Worms
Treating worms is typically a fairly straightforward procedure. Once the precise type of worm has been determined, your veterinarian will give your cat a course of medicine that will help to eliminate the illness completely. These treatments are differentiated by worm type; for example, a roundworm therapy will not be effective against hookworms. It is possible to find worms and/or worm segments in your cat’s feces after it has been treated for parasites. This is only his body purging itself of parasites, so do not be worried, but exercise caution while handling or disposing of the faeces.
Similarly, cats that are kept flea and tick-free via the use of prescription preventative drugs are less likely to get worms than cats who do not reside in an enclosed environment.
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Worms in Cats. Symptoms Causes and Treatments
Worms in cats are an issue. Symptoms, causes, and therapies are all covered. Worms in cats and kittens are quite common, and while they may be a source of anxiety for their owners, they seldom have major effects and are rather simple to cure. It provides professional information from certified and registered veterinary nurses to assist you in selecting the best course of action for your pet and to answer the question – does my cat have worms and how can I avoid and cure them?
Symptoms of worm infestation frequent causes of worm infestations Symptoms and indications that are present
- Sickness, diarrhea, pot belly in kittens, weight loss, poor coat quality, weakness, and lack of vitality are all possible symptoms. Inflammation of the lower abdomen
- Symptoms of a lungworm infection include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
The intestinal worms roundworms and tapeworms are the most often found intestinal kinds in cats, with roundworms being the most prevalent. Worms can be obtained in a number of different ways. Causes that are often encountered
- The act of sucking larvae from a mother’s milk
- Eating diseased prey is prohibited. Having fleas on one’s body and eating them while combing one’s own Taking worms or larvae from feces while walking around outside
- Contact with slugs or snails (lungworm) is a possibility.
Fleas are responsible for the transmission of tapeworms to cats. The worm eggs are ingested by immature fleas (larvae), and the illness is then passed on to a dog when the dog eats an infected flea. This is one of the reasons why it is important to treat your cat for fleas as well as worms on a regular basis. Roundworm larvae initially infect the digestive system of a cat, but they have the ability to burrow their way into other tissues and organs. worms can be acquired by adult dogs from other infected animals, by eating prey such as birds or mice that may contain worms, or from eating infected parasites such as fleas, or through ingesting the larvae or eggs of worms that are found outside, such as by eating grass or weeds.
Cats and kittens with worms are treated differently.
PetGP’s UK-based veterinary nurses adhere to stringent rules established by our veterinary director, and they conduct a series of questions to ascertain the severity of your pet’s medical condition.
If necessary, our highly trained and experienced veterinary nurses will provide advise specific to your pet’s health based on the information you have provided.
- Our Registered Veterinary Nurses in the United Kingdom will ask you a series of questions to determine the severity of the ailment (triage). Due to the fact that we will want you to verify a few things while you are on the phone with us, you will need to be with the cat. We shall inquire as to how long the cat has been suffering from the symptoms
- We shall inquire as to whether or not you have observed any clear signs of worms.
If you are unsure or concerned, call us at PetGP on 0333 332 7883 or come in to see us, and our trained nurses will advise you on what to do next. When it is determined that a trip to the veterinarian is not necessary, we will provide recommendations for how to handle the issue at home. If the condition becomes more serious, we will recommend that you consult with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will make the determination that you have worms. Your veterinarian will do a comprehensive examination of your cat and obtain a detailed medical history from you.
- Kittens with a high worm load may be unwell, and roundworms may be present in their stool.
- Worms are occasionally seen in the cat’s feces or around the cat’s bottom — tapeworms, which look like flat grains of rice, can be observed moving around in this region on occasion.
- If you have discovered any worms, it will be quite beneficial for the veterinarian to view them so that they can identify the type.
- Despite eating more than normal, cats suffering with worm infestations may find themselves losing weight, and in extreme cases, diarrhoea may cause the cat’s bottom to become uncomfortable.
- Always provide fresh water, and the most important thing to remember is to use a worming treatment to completely eliminate the infestation.
- When dogs pick up and consume slugs or snails, they are more likely to be infected.
- Lungworm may be exceedingly dangerous since it can cause haemorrhages in the lungs, liver, colon, eyes, and spinal cord, among other places in the body.
- In extreme situations, if left untreated, it might be lethal if not addressed.
- If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Worms are treated in a variety of ways.
Symptoms of the ailment will influence the veterinarian’s diagnosis, however worming should be done on a regular basis regardless of whether or not there are symptoms as a preventative strategy. Treatments that may be administered in the comfort of one’s own home include:-
When it comes to frequency of usage, it’s best to create reminders on your calendar so that you don’t forget when the next treatment is scheduled. Worms should be avoided at all costs. Even if your cat is not showing any signs of worms, you should worm him on a regular basis to ensure that the worms that are there are killed and that he does not become infected again. It is also vital to practice appropriate hygiene measures, especially with youngsters, who should be taught not to share food plates with the cat and to wash their hands after caressing or playing with him or her.
- If you want additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at PetGP or call the PetGP nurse on 0333 332 7883.
- Is it possible that my cat has worms?
- What causes cats to develop worms?
- Cats can also pick up worms via their litter box.
- While indoor cats are less likely to contract worms than outdoor cats, it is not impossible.
- For the sake of safety, it is still advisable to treat indoor cats for worms, and the cat will not suffer any adverse effects as a result of the treatment.
- As previously said, worms may be picked up in a variety of ways by your cat, but this does not imply that your cat is ill or has undesirable behaviors.
- Is it possible to catch worms from cats?
- Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper cleanliness after handling your cat and to ensure that he or she receives frequent flea and tick preventative to avoid infestation.
If toxocara canis eggs are unintentionally consumed by someone, they will not mature into adult worms, but will instead develop into larvae that will migrate throughout the body, including to the lungs, liver, and occasionally the eyes, where they can cause impaired or even entire loss of eyesight.
- Tapeworms have the appearance of flattened grains of rice that have been glued together.
- Roundworms resemble spaghetti with tapered ends, and they are long and coiled around one another in a ring.
- What is the best way to cure worms in cats?
- If you are not confident in your ability to give a worming treatment, your veterinarian or a veterinary nurse at your clinic may be able to assist you in this endeavor.
- Any of the previously stated symptoms, such as extreme appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, poor coat quality, or the discovery of live worms, may occur.
- Worming should be done on a regular basis, according to the directions provided by a veterinarian or on the package if the worming solution is purchased elsewhere.
- If your cat has worms, it is critical that you treat him as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinarian to help avoid infestations and to eliminate any worms that have already established themselves in the cat’s system.
If you observe any signs of worms in your cat, or if you have found worms in your cat’s faeces or vomit, you may phone us at PetGP on 0333 332 7883 to discuss the symptoms further.
Another sort of worm that is on the rise in the United Kingdom is lungworm, which cats can contract by coming into touch with slugs, snails, or frogs – although this type of worm is quite rare in cats.
If you observe your cat coughing or wheezing, as well as being sluggish and easily fatigued, it is critical that you call your veterinarian immediately since these might be signs of lungworm or another dangerous infection.
Hookworms are not prevalent in the United Kingdom, however they may be found across Europe.
Because of the quantity of nutrition they can suck from the dog, they can be lethal to newborn kittens if they are exposed to them.
Hookworms have a lifetime that is remarkably similar to that of the toxocara canis roundworm, in that they go throughout the body and into the lungs to develop before returning to the gastrointestinal tract.
Worms in Cats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Pet motherhood has many responsibilities, but one of the most crucial is taking care of your feline family member’s health and well-being. To care for their cats properly, cat owners must keep up with immunization schedules, learn to read their cats’ signs and body language, and ensure that their cats are clean and well-groomed at all times. In addition, pet parents must take precautions against parasite illnesses. Our feline friends are frequently infected with intestinal parasites or worms, and cat owners should be aware of how these parasites affect cats, as well as the best methods of prevention and treatment for their feline friends.
Table of Contents
- What causes cats to develop worms? Tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms are all types of worms. Is it possible for all cats to catch worms? Symptoms of worm infestation in cats What to do if your cat has worms
- How to keep cats from getting worms
- Articles that are related
How do cats get worms?
In order to comprehend how cats become infected with worms, it is necessary to first understand the sorts of worms that commonly infect cats. Dr. Travis Arndt, director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, says the following are the most frequent worms found in cats:
Tapeworms have long, flat bodies that are divided into tiny, white-colored segments, which are arranged in a spiral pattern. According to Arndt, cats typically develop tapeworms by consuming a flea. This can occur as a result of a cat’s usual grooming and cleaning regimen, or as a result of the cat eating a rodent that has fleas. “When the flea is in the cat’s stomach, the tapeworm hatches,” he explains further. In the case of tapeworms in your cat, you may notice microscopic white worms towards the bottom of the cat’s feet and on the cat’s tail that look like a grain of rice.
Hookworms are parasites that attach themselves to the lining of a cat’s digestive tract. Hookworm eggs pass through the digestive tract of a cat and are expelled through the feces of the cat. The larvae that grow from these eggs are called nymphs. According to Arndt, “since the larvae reside in the dirt, they can be swallowed when grooming or they can enter your cat through the bottom of their feet.” The Cornell Feline Health Center’s Dr. Bruce Kornreich says mature hookworms are less than a half-inch long and are thin and thread-like in appearance, making them difficult to detect in the environment.
In order to minimize any unwanted exposure to illness, it is normally suggested that you keep your cat inside due to the danger of infection.
Whitney Miller, Director of Veterinarian Medicine at Petco, adds that significant hookworm infections can be life threatening owing to secondary anemia, which is particularly dangerous in kittens, and that prevention and regular veterinary examinations are thus necessary.
The parasite roundworm is widespread in cats, and according to Kornreich, kittens typically become infected with roundworms by consuming the milk of their mother while nursing. Adult roundworms are 3 to 5 inches long and are generally evident in a cat’s feces because of their long, thin bodies. Cats can also become infected with roundworms if they consume roundworm eggs or eat rodents that have roundworm larvae present in their tissues.
Roundworms are similar to hookworms in that they can represent a hazard not just to your cat, but also to yourself. Because both species of worms are zoonotic, they have the potential to infect people as well as pets.
Can all cats get worms?
Despite the fact that all cats can become infected with worms, there are some subgroups of cats that may be more susceptible, according to Kornreich. These include extremely young kittens that can be exposed to worms through their mother’s milk, outdoor cats who come into touch with rodents on a regular basis, cats who live in crowded settings, and cats who live with dogs or other animals who can enhance their risk of exposure. Additionally, Arndt notes that if pet parents do not keep up with litter box care and do not take measures while bringing a new cat into the home, cats might become ill.
‘If a new kitten is infected with roundworms or hookworms, parasites are spread through the use of a litter box used by both cats.’ Miller highly advises that all cats be on year-round preventive due to the wide spectrum of exposure dangers to both pets and people.
Symptoms of worms in cats
In cats, all of these worms have an impact on their digestive and intestinal tracts. Cats’ feces and tails may include visible symptoms of parasites, and pet parents should be on the lookout for obvious signs of worms in their cats’ fur. Other signs of worm infestation in cats include:
- The following symptoms: bloated stomach, weight loss, coarse fur, diarrhea, vomit, lethargy, dragging their bottoms on the ground
Immediately contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment for your cat to be evaluated if you observe any of these symptoms.
How to treat worms in cats
Prescription medicine is typically used to treat worms in cats, and it is accessible via your veterinarian. The medication is delivered according to the type of worms that have been detected. However, there are a number of over-the-counter treatments and dewormers that are widely accessible and frequently suggested by veterinarians as well. As Arndt points out, “Dewormers are often taken orally, however your veterinarian may suggest a little tablet, an injection, or a topical drug that is administered directly to your cat’s skin.” When delivering medicine to your cat, always follow the directions provided by your veterinarian.
How to prevent worms in cats
If your cat has already been infected with worms, a veterinarian diagnosis and treatment plan are the only ways to deworm your feline companion successfully. However, there are certain tips to follow if you wish to keep your cat from becoming infected with worms. Pet parents should practice good sanitation, according to Kornreich, which includes cleaning litter boxes on a daily basis and disinfecting them once a week, avoiding overcrowding of cats and litter boxes, and asking your veterinarian to perform regular stool analysis as part of your cat’s routinewellness exams.
“Using a preventive year-round is the most effective method to protect your cat against worms,” explains Arndt.
‘Even indoor cats are susceptible to worm infestations,’ says the veterinarian. During each appointment, cat parents should discuss the best things to use to keep their cats protected with the veterinarian. “
- Flea Control for Cats
- Common Dog Parasites
- Rabbit Parasites
- How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
Everything You Need to Know About Worms in Cats
The bad news is that cats are extremely susceptible to intestinal worms. The good news is that they’re extremely simple to treat, and the majority of cats make a full recovery thereafter. There are other easy methods you can do to avoid worms in cats and help protect your pet from the parasites that might infect them.
Which Intestinal Worms Infect Cats?
According to Jessica Nichols, DVM, chief veterinary officer ofSpay and Neuter Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri, there are numerous different forms at intestinal worms that may infect cats, each with its own set of distinctive characteristics. The following are the three most prevalent parasites: Roundworms. “Roundworms (also known asascarids) are long, brown round worms that have the appearance of cooked spaghetti,” explains Nichols. She goes on to say that they are the most prevalent intestinal parasite in kittens, and that kittens are more likely than adults to be infected.
- They are parasites that attach themselves to the intestinal walls of cats with hook-like mouth parts that are long, white, flat and segmented parasites with hook-like mouth parts.
- As Nichols explains, “These proglottids appear like grains of rice that move, and they are usually found either in the feces of sick cats or near the rear end of infected cats.” “Eventually, they burst open and release tapeworm eggs into the surrounding environment.” Hookworms.
- In contrast to other worms, which feed on and consume things that float around in the cat’s intestines, “hookworms hook their teeth into the small intestine and suck blood,” according to the author.
- Cats’ intestines can be infected with these parasites, although according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, this is an uncommon occurrence in North American.
- Illustrations of many types of worms Cats may be infected by another form of worm known as heartworms, and you might be wondering what it is.
- Heartworm illness in cats can be lethal, thus it is critical to prevent the spread of heartworms.
How Do Cats Get Worms?
Mouse, flea, and even their mother’s milk have all been implicated in the transmission of worms in cats. Roundworms. Roundworms are frequently transmitted to kittens through the milk of an infected mother. Infection can occur in both adult cats and kittens by the consumption of roundworm eggs from the feces of an infected dog or cat, as well as through the consumption of roundworm pups from the flesh of an infected mouse or other small animal. Tapeworms. The eggs carried by proglottids, according to Nichols, do not cause cats to get infected with the virus.
“Cats then become sick by ingesting baby hookworms from the soil or by ingesting a rodent, bird, or insect that has been affected,” she explains. “Baby hookworms are also capable of infecting cats by burrowing through their skin and going to their stomachs,” according to the author.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Worms?
The signs and symptoms of worms in cats vary by parasite and might also depend on how many worms the cat has. Cats with intestinal worms, on the other hand, frequently show no signs of illness. Roundworms. Dietary roundworm infections are associated with a variety of signs and symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, low energy, a poor haircoat, failure to thrive (meaning the kittens do not grow as fast as they should), and in some cases, vomiting. In addition, cats that are heavily infected will occasionally have dead worms in their poop or vomit, according to Nichols.
- Anemia (meaning that they do not have enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen that their bodies require) and blocked intestines are also common in cats with a high worm population, according to the American Cat Society.
- “The most prevalent clinical indications noted by pet owners are the presence of tapeworm segments in their cat’s excrement or on their cat’s rear end.” Vomiting, diarrhea, and obstructed intestines can occur in cats with a large number of worms.
- According to Nichols, beyond the conventional indicators of illness such as diarrhea, the blood-sucking parasites can cause severe anemia and even abrupt death.
- “Another distinctive aspect of hookworms is that they can cause sores and infections where they burrow into the skin—most typically on the paws and belly,” Nichols explains.
How Are Worms in Cats Diagnosed and Treated?
The presence of intestinal worms in cats can create major health concerns, but the illness is typically fairly curable. Roundworms. “A fecal float test is frequently used to diagnose roundworm infection in cats,” explains Nichols. “This test includes looking for roundworm eggs in a sample of the cat’s feces under a microscope.” In addition, because roundworms can be present in cats without causing symptoms, she suggests performing a fecal float test on all cats once a year to check for the parasite.
- Cats with a significant number of roundworms may require many doses of the medication.
- Unfortunately, fecal floats are not as effective in diagnosing tapeworms as they formerly were.
- Because fleas are a common source of infection, it is critical to treat both the fleas and the tapeworms at the same time.
- In the event that your cat has anemia or develops skin lesions that are diagnostic of hookworms, your veterinarian may be encouraged to undertake the test, according to Nichols.
As Nichols points out, “since hookworms can cause major issues and reinfection is prevalent, numerous treatments or follow-up prevention is strongly suggested.” Heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention drugs can be used to treat and prevent infection in the same patient.” A second fecal float test should be performed once treatment has been completed to ensure that the hookworms have been eliminated completely.
Prevention of Worms in Cats Is Easier Than Treatment
According to Nichols, the most effective method of preventing intestinal worms is to put your cat on prophylactic meds all year long. Many heartworm preventatives can also protect your cat from contracting roundworms and hookworms, and flea preventatives are essential in protecting cats against tapeworms, which are transmitted by fleas. Your cat’s veterinarian can assist you in determining the best treatment options for your cat. It is also recommended that your cat be kept indoors (in order to avoid hunting sick animals) and that his litter box is cleaned on a regular basis to help protect him from intestinal worms, says Dr.
Given that cats can be infected with intestinal worms and not exhibit any indications of illness, Nichols stresses the necessity of having your cat examined once per year.
“The test is frequently performed as part of your cat’s yearly wellness check,” she explains, “and it can detect the presence of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and sometimes tapeworms in your cat.”