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.
diarrhoea or soft stools, vomiting Hunger, blood in the stool, and weight loss are all symptoms of anemia.
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 serious damage to your cat’s heart and lungs. In the absence of treatment, heartworms can result in difficulty breathing, loss of weight, and, in some cases, sudden 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.
- 2 Examine the gums of your cat. Pink gums are characteristic of a healthy cat, just as they are of us. Anemia can manifest itself in your cat’s gums, which may be pale or white in color due to dehydration. An infection caused by a parasite is a typical reason for this.
- 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.
- Each worm kind produces eggs that are uniquely shaped, making this the most effective method of determining what type (or types) of worms your cat may be carrying. When you phone the veterinarian, be sure to detail any symptoms your cat may be experiencing
- 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.
The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 1,315,169 times.
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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:-
The frequency of usage will vary from product to product, so it’s a good idea to create reminders on your calendar to make sure you remember when the next treatment is due. 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 present are killed and that he does not become infected again. It is extremely important to practice good hygiene precautions, especially with children, who should be taught not to share food plates with the cat and to wash their hands after stroking 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.
- If you notice any signs of worms in your cat, such as excessive eating, poor coat quality, sickness or diarrhoea, or if you see any worms in their feces or around their bottom, you will know that they are infected with worms.
- Cats can pick up worms from a variety of sources, including their mother’s milk when they are kittens, eating prey such as birds or mice, having fleas that carry worm larvae, and, in the case of lungworm, coming into contact with slugs or snails.
- Is it possible for indoor cats to contract worms?
- If fleas are brought into the house from outside, they may possibly be contaminated with tapeworm which would then be given to the cat.
- What is the source of worms in cats?
- Never forget that worm treatment is usually straightforward, and that prevention is often preferable to curing worm infestations.
The most common worms that cats can carry are roundworms and a specific type of tapeworm, both of which can be transmitted to humans.
Another danger arises from the presence of toxocara, which can be found in the faeces left outside by cats.
What does the appearance of cat worms look like?
When your cat’s bottom is swollen, you may notice segments of tapeworm – they break off and may occasionally be seen traveling outside the cat’s body – around it.
These can be found in vomit, particularly in kittens, and should be avoided.
Cat food or treats can be infused with some of the medications; however, some may need to be administered straight into the mouth; once again, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
What is the best way to know whether my cat has worms?
worming a cat is a simple procedure.
Treatments range from pills, powders, or pastesto spot-on treatments given to the back of the neck between the shoulder blades to more aggressive procedures such as laser surgery.
My cat is exhibiting signs of worm infestation.
My cat is coughing and appears to be in a bad mood.
It is possible that cats may come into touch with parasite-infested slugs and snails that will mature into adult worms that will dwell in their heart and arteries of the lungs; larvae that are passed out in the cat’s faeces will be devoured by other slugs and snails, and the cycle will continue.
Are there any other sorts of worms that my cat can be susceptible to catching?
They are small, blood-sucking parasites with teeth that feed on human blood.
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
Worms in Cats and De-Worming Treatment
Fortunately, it’s simple to keep an eye out for the signs of worm infestation in cats. If you are aware of the most prevalent symptoms, you may take your cat to the veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible.
What are cat worms and how can my cat catch them?
Roundworms (Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina) are the most prevalent intestinal parasites in kittens and cats, accounting for around 80% of all cases. They are long, white, and resemble spaghetti in appearance. The eggs of these cat worms are transmitted in the feces and can survive in the soil for several months or even years. There are three primary ways in which cats might become infected:
- The direct ingestion of eggs from polluted soil, e.g., by licking them off their feet, is prohibited. Consumption of a rat that has previously consumed worm eggs from the surrounding environment
- Consumption of worm larvae by kittens while nursing on their mother’s breast milk (Toxocara cati only). This is the way via which the great majority of newly born kittens become infected with roundworms
Tapeworms are another sort of cat worm that your cat might become afflicted with (Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis). Tapeworms are long and flat, and they are made up of numerous segments, each of which contains an egg. The segments are routinely excreted in feces and have the appearance of grains of rice. They can be spotted crawling around a cat’s anus or on their bed from time to time. Tapeworms require an intermediate host in order to complete their lifecycle and devour the eggs that they collect from the environment.
Fleas and rodents are examples of intermediate hosts.
Aside from that, if they hunt and consume rodents, they will also require treatment for tapeworm infection.
What are the most common symptoms of worms in cats?
In addition to tapeworms, there are other types of feline worms that your cat might become sick with (Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis). Long and flat, tapeworms are made up of several segments, each of which contains a single or many eggs. It is common for the segments to be excreted in feces on a regular basis. They resemble grains of rice and may be observed crawling around a cat’s anus or on their bed. A host that will consume their eggs from the environment is required by tapeworms to complete their lifecycle.
Fleas and rodents serve as intermediate hosts.
Aside from that, if they hunt and consume rodents, they will also require treatment for tapeworms.
Another sign of worm infestation in cats is a change in the condition of their fur. Their fur may grow harsh and rough, and it may lose its sheen, as a result of this. This is a particularly telling sign of worm infestation if it is accompanied by an enlarged stomach.
6 Most Common Cat Health Problems
Cats are excellent at taking care of themselves.
However, even your cat’s meticulousness will not be enough to prevent some of the more frequent feline ailments and health difficulties.
Vomiting is a fairly frequent condition in cats, and it may be caused by a variety of factors. They range from ingesting something dangerous or inedible (such as thread) to contracting an infection, developing urinary tract illness, or developing diabetes-related hairballs. Drooling and stomach heaving are common symptoms, and they are frequently noticeable. Vomiting may cause your cat to become dehydrated very fast, so if your cat continues to vomit or appears unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.
More information about cats and vomiting may be found here.
2. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD)
The feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is essentially a collection of feline disorders with a variety of origins, has been estimated to affect as many as 3 percent of cats examined by veterinarians. FLUTD may affect both males and female cats, and it is more common in cats that are overweight or physically inactive, as well as cats who consume dry food. Stress, a multi-cat home, and abrupt changes can all increase a cat’s risk of FLUTD, and the type of FLUTD your cat has will determine the sort of therapy your cat will get.
- Drinking more
- Straining to urinate
- Bloody urine
- Urinating in strange areas
- Crying when urinating
- Licking the region around the urinary tract (frequently due to discomfort)
- And other symptoms. Depression, dehydration, a lack of appetite, and vomiting are all possible symptoms.
If your cat is unable to pee, it is always a medical emergency. If you believe that your cat is suffering from a urinary tract disease, contact your veterinarian immediately. More information about feline urinary tract disorders may be found here.
Fleas are a fairly prevalent exterior feline health issue that requires treatment. However, it is one that is readily remedied. The following are signs that your cat has fleas:
- A buildup of flea filth on its skin (which appears as little black spots)
- Constant scratching
- Excessive licking
- Red or inflamed skin
- Hair loss is a common occurrence. Infections of the skin or hot areas
Fleascans may live for more than a year, and your cat is at danger of anemia as a result. If the condition grows severe, it is imperative that you treat your cat’s flea infestation and prevent other infestations from occurring. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which flea control product would be the most effective for your cat. Oral medications, powders, foams, and topical medications are all options for treatment. More information on treating and avoiding fleas in cats may be found here.
One of the most prevalent feline health issues is feline diabetes. Tapeworms are parasites that dwell in your cat’s tiny intestine and can grow as much as two feet in length. Having said that, tapeworms are segmented and normally break apart when ejected from the body. It’s quite uncommon that you’ll see a whole worm. Normally, you will be able to see the portions. In some cases, the symptoms of a tapeworm infection are mild, although they might include vomiting and weight loss. The most straightforward approach to determine whether or not your cat has tapeworms is to examine its feces, the area around its anus, and the bedding.
If you notice little whiteworms or what appear to be grains of rice or sesame seeds in your cat’s stool, he or she most likely has tapeworms.
However, because cats nearly always acquire tapeworms as a result of ingesting a flea, it is important to address any flea problems your cat may be experiencing before addressing tapeworms. More information about tapeworms in cats may be found here.
Cats can have diarrhea from a variety of sources, including intestinal parasites, rotten food, allergies, infection, liver illness, cancer, and other diseases. Dietary diarrhoea is characterized by loose, watery, or liquid feces. Diarrhea can continue anywhere from a day to a week or even months, depending on the reason. If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, make sure you provide lots of fresh, clean water to keep him from becoming dehydrated. Take away kitty’s food for no more than 12 hours after that.
6. Eye Problems
Conjunctivitis, corneal ulcer, cataracts, glaucoma, trauma, viruses, inflammation, and retinal disease are just a few of the conditions that can cause eye issues in cats. Squinting, pawing at the eyes, or a visible third eyelid are just a few signs that your cat may be suffering from eye difficulties. Other signs include watery eyes, tear stained fur, cloudiness, red or white eyelid linings, muck in the corners of the eyes, squinting, and pawing at the eyes. There isn’t much you can do for your cat’s eye issues unless you know what is causing them.
Eye issues should be treated as an emergency, so schedule an appointment as soon as possible.