How Will A Veterinarian Diagnose Intestinal Parasites In My Cat
Tapeworms are often diagnosed by the word of the owner more times than not, because the eggs themselves are contained in those little segments, and unless one of those busts open, it’s very hard for us to diagnose unless there’s so many that we see them on the exterior, around the rear end of the cat or the owner will tell us. The more typical answer to that question is by using a fecal flotation examination. So what we do is we take some stool from that particular animal, either brought in by an owner or removed as pleasantly as possible by us. We will set up the stool sample and if there are worm eggs present, those worm eggs will float to the top of this very dense solution that we use, and then they can be viewed under a microscope.
Why Is Cat Deworming Important
Just the thought of your cat having worms is gross and disconcerting. No one wants their cuddly fur-baby – that sleeps where they sleep – to have worms. Most importantly, deworming your cat is important because of the negative health impact an infestation can have on your cat. Having worms can vary from just being annoying to life-threatening. Kittens and cats that are medically compromised or fragile with age are vulnerable to health issues from worms. They can get anemia or become severely dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhea. Kittens can have so many worms that they can not pass them through the GI tract, and that can cause an intestinal blockage, a fatal condition. Infected kittens that are not dewormed can also have their growth and development negatively impacted. Healthy adult cats rarely have significant health issues from having worms, but they are at risk enough to say they need to be dewormed.
The Types Of Worms That Can Infect Cats
There are a handful of worms that are often seen in cats including:
There are also various types of worms that aren’t usually as common but, can severely impact your kitty’s health and could potentially be fatal. Some of these may also be more common in some areas than others.
- Liver flukes
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Visible Changes In Cats Coat Or Fur
If your cat is malnourished, the hair and skin are the first to suffer.
Keep an eye out for a dull coat and itching, particularly around your cats hindquarters.
Due to a lack of nutrition or dehydration, your cats hair may seem dull, rumpled, or clumped if they are infected with worms.
If you notice any funny changes or wired drastic changes in your cats fur or hair you should see a veterinarian.
Protecting Your Cat From Worms
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Causes Of Roundworms In Cats
Cats ingest roundworm larvae in several ways: through mother’s milk, by eating the eggs, or by eating another organism such as a beetle or rodent which carries roundworm larvae. The roundworm larvae migrate through the body tissues, with most eventually reaching the lungs, where they make their way up the windpipe and are coughed up and then swallowed.
Once swallowed this time, the larvae then become adult roundworms in the intestines. These produce numerous eggs, which are passed in the feces. Eggs only become infective after two-four weeks in the environment. The eggs are hardy and can remain infective for months or years.
Sometimes the larvae stop their migration in the liver, where they enter a dormant state. In a pregnant female, these larvae become active again, and the larvae can be secreted in the milk after birth. They can also produce an active adult roundworm infection in the mom’s intestines, so she then sheds numerous eggs that can also infect the kittens. T. cati roundworms, in particular, have a life cycle that makes them very effective at infecting kittens.
How Can You Tell If A Cat Has Tapeworms
There are several indicators a cat has tapeworms:
- Licking the anus
- Biting or scratching at the anus
- Dragging hind legs across the floor in an attempt to scratch the area
- Rice-like segments of tapeworms in cats feces
- Weight loss, even with increased appetite
- Dull or shabby coat
If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.
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What Are The Signs My Cat Has Worms
You will not have any signs for quite a long time. Cats are good at hiding when they have a problem, so they may become quite ill before they ever give you a real indication of a problem. Some subtle signs could be that cats are less interactive. They may have a hunched appearance when they’re sitting like they’re not 100% comfortable. Vomiting or diarrhea can be an issue. But really, the best way to do this is to figure it out before it becomes a problem. We’re huge on preventative care here at Freeport Vet, so we want to find this before it causes your cat problems. And that’s why we recommend regular stool sample checks as well as regular deworming.
Can An Indoor Cat Get Intestinal Worms
Yes, just because your cat never leaves the house doesnt mean that other members of your family arent coming in and out and unintentionally bringing nasties back with them. Worm eggs are microscopic and can easily attach to clothing and shoes so make sure to remove or clean them before heading inside.
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Parsley Water Is A Natural Dewormer
Another home remedy for parasites in cats is parsley water. Parsley is a herb that has some anti-parasitic properties that will kill the worms inside your cat. Moreover, parsley has a pleasant taste, and most cats don’t mind it.
So, get some fresh parsley leaves and boiling water. Add the leaves to the water, and then let them steep for 10 minutes. After that, you should strain the liquid and wait for it to cool. Then add one teaspoon to your cat’s food and feed it once a day.
Do not continue the treatment for too many days because too much parsley water can harm your cat’s kidneys.
What Does Ringworm Look Like On A Cat
Ringworm can present in multiple ways on your cat. Some cats have extra-mild symptoms, and you might notice only that your cats skin looks scaly. Other cats may develop the classic round, thickened skin patches or round patches of hair loss that look like a ring. Those patches can become itchy, and some cats might develop claws that look deformed or irritated. Its also possible for cats to have ringworm but display no symptoms.
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The Different Types Of Worms
Cat worms can come in a number of different forms: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms there are in fact more than a dozen different intestinal worms that can affect cats and dogs in the UK.
- Roundworms live in the cats gut, living off the contents and growing to around 100mm or so in cats. These worms can be passed from the queen to the kittens. Infected animals pass eggs which can survive in the environment for a long period of time.
- Tapeworms can be much longer. The commonest is the flea tapeworm which affects both cats and dogs, and grows to around half a metre. Cats that hunt are particularly at risk from tapeworm as mice and other animals can be a source of infection.
- Hookworms are only 10mm long but they attach themselves to the gut wall to feed on the cats blood.
Whilst all of these worms can damage your cats health, the good news is that they can all be controlled.
How To Treat Your Cat
The most common worms contracted by cats in Australia are tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms. These parasites are often treated with a specially formulated all wormer for cats with effective active ingredients that kill and control the worms.
Most cats will develop a worm infestation at some point in their lives. However, you can prevent worms in your cat by administering worm medication on a regular three month schedule. It is important to maintain this routine, as re-infection, or infection from other cats, can be a common problem.
When selecting an all wormer for cats, there are many different options to choose from, including tablets, spot-ons, and pastes. Palatable all worm tablets are usually small in size, and coated in tasty flavours to make them easier for your cat to consume. However, cat worming pastes can also be an easy and effective option for cats that have difficulty with tablets. If youre not sure which option to pick, or how to treat your cat, ask your vet.
When administering tapeworm treatment for cats, its also important to consider flea control. Cats often contract tapeworms by swallowing fleas, and a cat with fleas can easily be reinfected. Consider pairing your cat worming tablets with an effective flea prevention treatment.
Heres some helpful tips to prevent reinfection of worms in your cat:
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How Cat Roundworms Can Infect Human Beings
The larvae of T. cati roundworms can infect people, as well as cats. This happens when eggs are ingested. It is most common in children who may not practice the best hygiene and may pick up eggs on their hands when playing in the yard, for example. Good hygiene is important. Children should wash their hands regularly, and cats should be kept out of areas where children play. Sandboxes, not surprisingly, pose a particular challenge. It’s also important to keep pet waste picked up.
The larvae don’t develop into adult roundworms in people, but the larvae migrating through the tissues can cause inflammation, especially in young children. Most cases are not serious, but in serious cases, organ damage is possible, as result of the migrating larvae , and sometimes the larvae can reach the eyes, leading to visual disturbances and even blindness.
Migration of roundworm larvae through human tissues is called “visceral larva migrans,” while migration to the eyes is called “ocular larva migrans.” Proper prevention of a roundworm infection is important to prevent these human health problems.
Everything You Need To Know About Worms In Cats
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Discovering your cat has worms can be shocking and upsetting. Whether theyre external or internal, these parasites can wreak havoc on your cats health. But with proper diagnosis and treatment, worms in cats can be effectively treated and eliminated.
In This Article
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Presence Of Worms In Cat Feces
If your cat has worms, youll most likely see them in her feces. When parasites build up in your cats intestines, some of them will be passed during a bowel movement.
The presence of worms in cats feces is the most popular and common symptom of worms in cats.
This symptom is visible when the worms are already grown and ready to destroy things in the cats system.
Diagnosing Worms In Cats
While some worms can be seen by the naked eye, others must be diagnosed with fecal testing. Your veterinarian will ask you to bring in a stool sample, which will be placed in a solution that allows the parasite eggs to separate from the feces and float to the top.
Next, a drop of the sample is placed on a slide and examined under a microscope to determine the exact type of worm infesting your cat. A physical exam, along with blood work, may also be carried out to get a complete picture of your cats health.
Because the lifecycle of each parasite is different, its important to know exactly the type of worm infesting your cat. This will determine medication, treatment, and follow-up care. After treatment, your cat will likely need another fecal exam to ensure the worms have been wiped out.
Thankfully, most intestinal worms in cats are easily resolved with either a single dose of dewormer or a short course of deworming medication that your vet can prescribe and administer. Certain worms can be more stubborn to resolve, resulting in slightly longer treatment courses of intestinal dewormers.
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The Best Topical Parasite Preventive
Safe for use in kittens as young as 8 weeks, Revolution Plus Topical Solution treats, controls, and prevents more parasites than any other topical product, including roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, fleas, ticks, and mites.
Pros: Safe for use in kittens 8 weeks and older and weighing at least 2.8 pounds
Cons: Does not kill tapeworms, caution required in cats with a history of neurologic disorders
Our pick for best topical parasite preventive is Revolution Plus Topical Solution because it protects cats against six different parasites more than any other topical preventive. Revolution Plus beat out the other topical preventive we considered, Bravecto Plus Topical Solution, because it is safe for kittens 8 weeks and older. Bravecto cannot be used for kittens younger than 6 months old. Revolution Plus also kills ear mites, while Bravecto does not.
Revolution Plus treats and controls two intestinal worms: roundworms and hookworms. It also prevents heartworms, treats and prevents flea infestations , and treats and controls ear mites and three different tick species . It does not kill tapeworms.
Before choosing a broad-spectrum parasite preventive for your cat, have a conversation with your veterinarian who can advise you on what might be best depending on your cat’s lifestyle and what parasites are most common in your area.
Treating And Preventing Worms
Kittens. Your kitten will need a special worming treatment suited to their age and weight. They should have their first treatment at 3 weeks old and after that, they should be wormed every two weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After 16 weeks, they will need a treatment every one-three months .
Adult cats. A worming treatment every three months is usually enough to prevent problems from developing. More regular treatments may be necessary if your cat hunts a lot.
What to expect after treatment. You probably wont notice any changes after giving your cat a worming treatment, unless they had lots of worms, in which case you may see some dead worms in their poo. Contact your vet if your cat has diarrhoea or seems unwell.
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Can Indoor Cats Get Worms
While indoor cats are less prone to contract worms, they are not immune. If fleas are introduced into the house from the outside, they may carry tapeworm, which is then passed on to the cat.
To be cautious, its still a good idea to treat indoor cats for worms, and it wont hurt the cat.
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Wrapping up on symptoms of worms in cats
Because there are many different varieties of worms that may infect cats, its important to be aware of the warning symptoms.
Not only can prompt treatment help to prevent the infestation in your cat from worsening, but it will also safeguard the other cats, pets, and people in your home.
It might be upsetting to learn that your cat has worms, but with excellent treatment from your veterinarian, your cat will be worm-free in no time!
The Bottom Line On Ringworm
Hopefully, your cat never deals with a ringworm infection, but its a good idea to be able to recognize the signs of ringworm so that you can quickly get him the care he needs. Because ringworm is so contagious, acting promptly can help minimize its spread and keep everyone else in your home safe. Dont try to treat ringworm yourself instead, go right to your vet so you know youre using the products that are right for the specific fungus thats causing your cats ringworm. Using the right treatment from the start means your cat will start to feel better sooner.
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Should I Be Concerned About Ringworm
Yes and no. Ringworm in cats is not typically serious, but it can spread to people as well as other animals, such as dogs. Transmission occurs through direct contact between infected and uninfected individuals. It may be passed from cats to dogs to people in any number of spreading paths.
Adult humans are usually resistant to infection unless there is a break in the skin, such as a scratch, but children and the immune-compromised are especially susceptible. Seek care from your physician if you notice suspicious skin lesions similar to those described for cats. The good news is that because human hygiene is generally more thorough than our pets’, a topical antifungal cream or spray may be all that is needed for human treatment.
Don’t neglect the environment when dealing with a ringworm infection of either people or pets. The fungal spores may live in bedding or carpet for up to 18 months! A solution of bleach and water can be used to disinfect and kill the fungal spores: One pint of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water is effective on hard surfaces suitable for dilute bleach. This is very important to prevent recurrence of the infection.